Beach Benz

Servicing Mercedes Benz Exclusively for over 20 years

Hitting The Brakes In Costa Mesa

Hello Huntington Beach, let’s talk about brakes. Braking, as all California motorists know, is slowing or stopping your vehicle. As you can imagine, brakes are engineered to work well on a particular vehicle application. For example, you would expect more powerful brakes on a heavy-duty pickup that routinely hauls big loads and pulls trailers, than you would on a compact car. And a Corvette that can go over 180 miles per hour would have much different braking needs than the family mini-van you drive around between Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley and Costa Mesa.

Hitting The Brakes In Costa MesaBut the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There’s also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.

Let’s step back. A new sedan or truck rolls off a local Huntington Beach showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.

Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles start to add up on the sedan. Huntington Beach motorists tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads, and shoes on drum brakes, are called the friction material. That’s because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it’s not until they are worn so thin as to be out of auto makers’ specs that they lose their ability to stop.

The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over many miles around California, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail – a scary possibility That’s why a regular brake inspection at Beach Benz is important for your sedan and your family’s safety. At Beach Benz we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.

That leads us to brake fluid service at Beach Benz. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the sedan fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system reduce the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at Beach Benz cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.

The tires are what connect the sedan to the road. Stopping force all comes down to traction. The better the tires grip the road, the quicker you’ll stop.

This is especially important on wet Fountain Valley area expressways and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. California motorists need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.

“Before You Leave Huntington Beach, Get A Trip Inspection”

You know, at Beach Benz we get a lot of people asking about how to prepare their car for a trip. That’s a big deal. You could be driving through mountains and deserts in some pretty lonely areas outside of Huntington Beach so you may be anxious to know that the car is up to the task and won’t leave you stranded.

You really do need to plan ahead for a major road trip – there are a lot of things to get ready. Where should you start? You could start with the tires. Look them over for tread wear and check to see that they are properly inflated. Take a quick test drive around Huntington Beach to see if you can feel any vibrations: are the wheels are in balance? Is the car tracking straight? Is the alignment ok?

Come in and see us for trip inspection.

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

The next thing is a full service oil change to make sure all of your fluids are topped off and you have fresh oil for the trip. And if your car has over 75,000 miles, you may consider putting in the high-mileage formulation to clean harmful sludge deposits in the engine. You may also need a new PCV valve and an engine air filter.

How about your transmission and brakes? Have you had your transmission and brakes inspected in the last six months?

How are your wiper blades? There’s nothing like not being able to get rid of the bug juice on a long road trip away from Huntington Beach.

Check your owners’ manual for any other recommended service and have Beach Benz do the multi-point inspection before you head out.

Consider also having the coolant system serviced – you want to stay within the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you’re towing a trailer you’ll want to be keep in mind that you’ll be going a long way under severe conditions.

A lot of folks overlook severe conditions like towing, or summer heat, or driving on dirt roads. Plan ahead for your next road trip – we want you to get there and back.

I Can See Clearly Now: Wiper Blade Replacement In Huntington Beach

About 90% of our driving decisions in Fountain Valley are based solely on what we see. So having a good pair of windshield wipers is extremely important.

Most Fountain Valley motorists have experienced the frustration and fear of not being able to see clearly during a storm, or when our sedan windshield is just dirty. In fact, it’s estimated that 46,000,000 motorists across the nation are driving with wipers that can’t adequately clear their windshield in a storm.

It seems like your wiper blades are always at their worst when you need them the most. If that sounds like you, you’ve got plenty of company in the Fountain Valley area. 78% of motorists only change their wiper blades after the blades function so poorly that they become a safety hazard.

Us Huntington Beach motorists need to change our thinking. Instead of blades being something to replace when they fail, we need to consider wiper blades as an important sedan safety component. Then we’ll stay ahead of the storm.

You really ought to replace your wiper blades twice a year; in the spring and the fall. If you live in the colder parts of California, you may even want to get special winter blades in the fall.

Winter blades are made to resist freezing. Speaking of winter and freezing Fountain Valley conditions, if your sedan has been sitting for a long time and the windshield becomes frozen, don’t use your wipers to clear off snow and ice. That can shred your blades and may even damage the wiper motor.

Your wiper blades live outside in the freezing cold and blistering Huntington Beach sun. Over time, they become hard and brittle, and then tear. They also lose their flexibility and just don’t clear the sedan windshield effectively. Worn wiper blades aren’t just a safety hazard; they can also scratch your windshield. That may require replacing the entire sedan windshield – that’s a steep consequence for neglecting such a small part.

AutoNetTV and Beach Benz recommend you replace worn blades right away. Your Huntington Beach service center can provide you with a quality replacement blade. At Beach Benz, they cost about the same as they would at the store – but installation is included.

Of course you also need washer fluid to help your blades do their work. Even though Beach Benz will top off the washer fluid with a full service oil change, it is a good idea to have some extra fluid at home. Bring it with you if you’re heading out on a road trip.

Always use windshield washer fluid. Plain water, even that fancy French bottled water, just doesn’t cut it. It can freeze in the fluid reservoir or on the windshield itself, making things worse. Besides, water won’t clean your windows as well.

So follow these tips to keep your windshield clear and your eye on the road.

Find us at:

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

Maintenance for High Mileage Vehicles In Huntington Beach California

Before the recession hit, the median age for cars in the Huntington Beach California area (zip code: 92647) was over nine years. And two-thirds had over 75,000 miles. At Beach Benz we hear reports that those numbers continue to rise.

If you have a high-mileage vehicle in the Fountain Valley area, bring it in for high-mileage maintenance:
Beach Benz
7492 Slater Ave
Huntington Beach, California 92647
714 842-9816

Many people in Huntington Beach are keeping their vehicles longer. The economy has influenced that, but the fact that modern sedans are more durable and reliable means that owning a high mileage vehicle doesn’t have to be a painful experience.

Local car owners in Huntington Beach with over 100,000 miles on their vehicles often ask which service intervals they should follow. Let’s start with the special needs of the older vehicle…

The reality is that time and mileage will take its toll. The engine and transmission will have more sludge. The fuel, steering and brake systems will have gum and varnish built up. There’ll be more dirt and contaminants in the fuel tank. Corrosion and deposits in the cooling system. And seals and gaskets will start to dry out.

All of this, plus normal wear and tear, means that the engine might not be as strong as new, so it just has to work harder to get the job done.

So we need to compensate. Consider high-mileage formulations for oil changes, transmission service, etc. These special formulations contain additives that condition the seals and gaskets to prevent leaks. They also have more detergents to clean sludge and other deposits. They cost a bit more, but they’re worth it.

In general, if an auto service was recommended every 15,000 miles when the car was new, you should continue to get the service done every 15,000 miles.

Talk with your Huntington Beach service advisor at Beach Benz about the condition of your engine. See if he thinks you should adjust your auto service intervals for oil changes or other auto maintenance to account for the older engine working harder.

Expect the oil filter to get dirty faster. Same goes for the fuel filter. And some leaks are to be expected so you need to keep a closer eye on fluid levels.

If anything, following recommended service intervals for your sedan is more important in a higher mileage vehicle. Skipping oil changes or other services can lead to problems much more quickly than with a newer vehicle.

So, have your Huntington Beach auto service advisor at Beach Benz help you with an assessment of your older car or truck. If you haven’t gotten around to a fuel system cleaning, or replacing power steering or brake fluid, a differential service or transmission service – it’s time to start taking care of those things. It’ll help keep you on the road for many more happy miles.