Beach Benz

Servicing Mercedes Benz Exclusively for over 20 years

Costa Mesa Drivers: Is It Time To Replace Your PCV Valve?

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Improved fuel economy has two benefits: less fuel is necessary and fewer emissions are released. Costa Mesa cars and trucks run cleaner than ever. Costa Mesa motorists may not realize that the first federally mandated pollution control device came out almost fifty years ago.

California motorists that were around in the early 60’s may remember that the PCV valve came out on 1964 model cars. PCV stand for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. Costa Mesa Drivers: Is It Time To Replace Your PCV Valve?The crankcase is the lower part of the engine where the crankshaft is housed and where the engine oil lives. The crankshaft is connected to the pistons that power the engine.

When fuel is burned in the sedan engine, it pushes the pistons down and the crankshaft rotates and sends power to the transmission. Some of the explosive gases from combustion squeeze past the pistons and down into the crankcase.

Now this gas is about 70% unburned fuel. If it were allowed to remain in the crankcase, it would contaminate the oil and quickly turn it to sludge. Sludge is like Vaseline and clogs passages in the engine leading to damage.

Also, the pressure build up would blow out seals and gaskets. So in the old days, there was just a hose that vented the crankcase out into the air. Obviously, not good for our air quality in Huntington Beach.

Enter the PCV valve. It’s a small, one-way valve that lets out the gases from the crankcase, and routes them back into the air intake system where they are re-burned in the engine.
Fresh air comes into the crankcase through a breather tube. This makes for good circulation in the crankcase. And that gets the bad air out. As you can imagine, however, the valve gets gummed up over time.

Costa Mesa drivers that skip oil changes now and then will notice that the PCV valve gets gummed up even faster. If the PCV valve is sticking in your sedan, the gases won’t circulate as well, leading to increased pressure in the crankcase. That, in turn, can lead to oil leaks. Fortunately, the PCV valve is very inexpensive to replace at Beach Benz in Huntington Beach. Some can even be checked by your friendly Beach Benz advisor.

Your sedan auto makers usually recommend they be changed somewhere between twenty and fifty thousand miles. Unfortunately, PCV valve replacement is left out of some sedan owner’s manuals, but at Beach Benz, we will make sure your PVC is replaced if needed.

All of us Costa Mesa car owners can do our part for the environment. Watch that lead foot, stay on top of our automotive maintenance and don’t forget to replace our PCV valve.

Beach Benz On Your Serpentine Belt

Today we’re going to be talking about serpentine belts for our Huntington Beach California customers. Let’s start by talking about the accessories that are driven by the serpentine belt. First is the alternator. That’s the device that makes electricity to power the vehicle and recharge the battery. Then there’s the air conditioning compressor that makes cool air for you while you’re driving around Huntington Beach California in the summer.

The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in most vehicles. Those pumps make the pressure that assists your steering and braking.

In many vehicles, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. The water pump is what circulates the coolant that protects your engine. In some cars around Huntington Beach California, the water pump is driven by the timing belt.

The radiator cooling fans on some vehicles are also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. That’s really a lot of work for one belt.

But modern engine design has a single belt that snakes around the front of the engine and drives most if not all of these accessories. Serpentine belts do a lot of work, but they’re tough and can last for thousands of miles.

Just how long will they last? That’ll vary for each individual car in the Huntington Beach California area. Your manufacturer will have a recommendation for when it should be changed, but it could need it sooner. The good news is that a visual inspection can reveal a belt that’s getting close to failing.

Beach Benz can look at the belt: if it has more than three or four cracks per inch it needs to be replaced. A deep crack that’s more than half the depth of the belt – replace. Frayed, missing pieces, a shiny glazed look? It’s out of there.

What’s involved in replacing the belt? First the old belt is removed. Then a new one is fitted around all the pulleys for the accessories and the drive. There’s a special pulley called a tensioner.

This pulley is mounted to the engine block with a spring loaded arm. Its job is to apply the correct amount of tension to the belt to keep it from getting loose and maybe slipping off. Because the spring in the tensioner pulley wears out, AutoNetTV recommends replacing them at the same time as the belt. It just makes sense.

What are the warning signs that there’s a problem with the serpentine belt? You may hear a squealing sound from under the hood when accelerating around our Huntington Beach California streets. A loose belt might give you a slow, slapping sound.

What do you do if your belt breaks? If you’ve actually had that happen on our local Huntington Beach California freeway, it can be a little scary. Often the first thing you notice is that you have no power steering or power brakes. Don’t panic – you can still steer and brake, but you’ll have to do the work. It’ll be harder to steer and you’ll need more time and effort to stop, so plan accordingly.

Your dashboard will light up will all kinds of warnings. You’ll see a warning about your cooling system if you have a water pump that’s driven by the serpentine belt. This is very critical because without your cooling system working, your engine will overheat. If you don’t stop you’ll have massive engine damage, maybe to the point that you need a new engine. Pull over as quickly as you safely can. Open your windows and turn the heater on full blast to provide a little engine cooling and pulled over as soon as possible.

The battery light will come on because the alternator isn’t working. If your car’s water pump isn’t driven by the serpentine belt, you’re not in danger of overheating so you can drive a little further if necessary. But the battery will run down to the point where the car won’t run and will just shut off. You don’t want that to happen while you’re driving in our local Huntington Beach California traffic.

Remember, this does not have to happen if you replace your serpentine belt on schedule. Ask your technician at Beach Benz to check your belts and hoses from time to time so you can take care of them if they need to be replaced prematurely.

Beach Benz
7492 Slater Ave
Huntington Beach, California 92647
714 842-9816

Power Steering Service At Beach Benz In Huntington Beach

Many Huntington Beach drivers have been hearing about technological advances in power steering, specifically, electric power steering. Some very high-end cars have been featuring electric power steering for a few years now. An electric motor directly provides the power assist to make steering easier. Undoubtedly we’ll see much more of this in Huntington Beach as full electric cars and electric hybrids become more common.

The vast majority of cars and trucks serviced at Beach Benz in Huntington Beach use a hydraulic power boost system. With hydraulics, fluid is pressurized by a pump which actuates a hydraulic cylinder to reduce steering effort. Some of these pumps are powered by an electric motor. Most pumps are powered by the serpentine belt driven by the engine.

Power Steering Service At Beach Benz In Huntington BeachPower steering fluid has the necessary hydraulic properties and the ability to lubricate the internal parts. The power steering fluid also protects sedan components from rust and corrosion.

Huntington Beach car owners should be aware that manufacturers recommend that the fluid be replaced on schedule.
At Beach Benz, the old fluid is drained and the system cleaned thoroughly. Fresh fluid is then installed.

Unfortunately, many Huntington Beach drivers don’t realize how critical it is to service their power steering, and some may not even know that it’s necessary in the first place. A neglected power steering system can develop leaks that will shorten the life of the pump.

Huntington Beach drivers should be aware of warnings that indicate possible power steering problems: the need to constantly add power steering fluid, a loud whining from the pump, erratic power assist or high steering effort. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, have your power steering checked out at Beach Benz in Huntington Beach.

In addition to the pump and hydraulic system, there are mechanical parts in the steering system. The rods, arms, joints and knuckles that actually turn the wheels can become worn or damaged. A standard alignment service at Huntington Beach includes an inspection of steering components.

If you notice any play in the steering wheel, that the steering wheel is off center, or a noise coming from your front wheels, especially when turning, have your Beach Benz advisor do an inspection so the problem can be corrected. Waiting too long could cause uneven tire wear and may even lead to steering failure. Call Beach Benz today at 714 842-9816.

Following Recommended Intervals For Your sedan

If you’re reading this article in Huntington Beach California, then you probably care about your car and how it runs. Even though you care, there is still that moment of dread when your service technician tells you the manufacturer recommends some additional service. Your heart beats a little faster, your blood pressure rises. You worry about spending more money than you expected.

Contact Beach Benz in Huntington Beach California by calling 714 842-9816

And you worry that if you say “no”, you might be harming your car or compromising safety.

At the risk of sounding like your dad, you really should have done your homework. All of this stuff is in your owner’s manual. But it is not like you want to keep your maintenance schedule on your nightstand for bedtime reading.

Cars are complicated machines and it takes care to keep them running well. That is why manufacturers have maintenance schedules that explain how to keep your vehicle performing efficiently and prevent costly break downs. In a typical owners manual you’ll find: oil change, brake fluid and pad change, coolant system service, transmission service, battery electrolyte levels, cables and terminals, tire pressure and wear, CV boots, cabin air filter, air conditioning, heater, fuel filter, air filter, belts and hoses, power steering fluid, differential service, fuel system cleaning, and wheel alignment. And then there are mechanical service requirements like timing belt changes, valve adjustment, steering function, engine and exhaust leaks – yeah, it is a really long list!

Fortunately, this isn’t a test: You don’t need to have it memorized. Your service center at Beach Benz has access to your manufacturer’s recommendations. So do not be surprised when your technician at Beach Benz reminds you something is due. Your manufacturer has taken great care in putting together your maintenance schedule. Let Beach Benz help you stay on top of important maintenance. You can expect them to suggest recommended services and tell you what problems they find under the hood. We’ll also explain how urgent these services are so you can work them into your budget.

Fuel Saving Tip: Fuel System Cleaning Near Garden Grove California

A lot of gas is wasted in the Garden Grove area by dirty fuel delivery systems.

Let’s start at the tank. The gas tank gathers dirt, rust and sediment over the years. That’s why there’s a fuel filter to clean the fuel after it leaves the tank. A dirty filter will rob the engine of the clean gas it needs to run efficiently.

Beach Benz Fuel System Cleaning The fuel intake components get coated with gum and varnish over time. This results in fuel being delivered inefficiently and some of that gunk getting into the engine. A fuel system service at Beach Benz will leave your intake as clean as a whistle.

The big fuel thief is dirty fuel injectors. They deliver fuel to the engine at a specified pressure and in a particular spray pattern. When they’re clogged, the fuel doesn’t get atomized the way it’s supposed to and doesn’t get burned as efficiently.

See your owner’s manual or ask your Garden Grove service advisor at Beach Benz when a fuel system cleaning is recommended.