Monthly Archives: August 2021

Timing Belt Service to Save Big Bucks in SAN CLEMENTE

Your engine is like a finely choreographed dance. All the parts have to work together. If the timing is off at the ballet, dancers crash into each other and fall down. It the timing is off in your engine, it may not run at all. One of the most intricate dances in your engine has to do with the combustion cycle. Your vehicle engine has cylinders in which a piston travels up and down. At the top of the cylinders are valves that open to bring in the air and fuel. And there are valves that open to let out the exhaust after the fuel has been burned. Call Courtesy Automotive Service at 949.498.0421 for answers about your timing belt, or drop by our SAN CLEMENTE, CA, service center on 2229 S EL CAMINO REAL. It's critical that the values be timed to open and close at precisely the right time in the combustion cycle, or the engine will run poorly or not at all. The timing belt is responsibl ... read more

What's in a Number? (What Tire Numbers Mean)

You've probably never paid much attention to the writing on the sides of your tires, but they contain a wealth of information.  There's a long combination of letters and numbers that can tell you a whole lot about what tires your vehicle was designed to be riding on.  Let's check out this example found on an SUV: P245/70R17 108T. The first letter, P, means it's intended for passenger vehicles.  If there's no letter, it means it's a metric tire.  If there's an LT at the beginning or end that means a tire designed for light trucks. Moving on to our example, the 245 shows how wide the tire is in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall.  The number that follows in our example, 70, means the height of the tire is 70% of its width.  The letter after that in our example, R, describes the type of tire (on this vehicle, radial).  Following that is the diameter in inches, in our SUV example, 17 inches.  How much load the tires ... read more

Give me a Brake (Light)!

If that little brake warning light pops up on your dash, do you know what it means? Well, if you said no, you wouldn't be alone. You know it has something to do with your brakes, but exactly what? You're not sure. One of the reasons is that it could mean a lot of different things. It could be something simple, like you put your parking brake on and forgot to take it off. Easy fix, you're on the road in seconds. Or, it could mean there's something wrong with your anti-lock brake system. That is a pretty complex symphony of speed sensors, computers and wiring, and sometimes things get a little out of whack. You could have a defective sensor or some wiring may have gotten damaged or come loose. A trained technician at Courtesy Automotive Service with special equipment can sort it all out. It's also possible you have low brake fluid. That could be caused by a number of things. One simple reason is that your brake pads have worn down. Replacing them could solve the pr ... read more

CA: What Is the Risk of High Oil Change Intervals?

CA residents may have heard that vehicles don't need their oil changed as often as they used to. That's true. But it's not the whole story. Owing to improved engine technology and higher oil quality, most newer vehicles can go longer between oil changes than their older counterparts. So what is a good time interval for oil changes? How do CA residents know when to change it? And why do we change it in the first place? Oil lubricates a vehicle's engine, which protects it from friction damage. Over time the oil can collect dirt and contaminants that inhibit its performance. But dirty oil isn't the only problem for CA residents. What you really want to avoid is called oil sludge. Oil sludge is caused by moisture in the oil and by hot spots in your engine that burn off oil. This sludge is a gooey gel that can clog engine passageways, which can block lubricants from reaching vital engine parts. The result can be engine wear or even engine failure. Sludge forms rapid ... read more

Protecting Your Vehicle from Theft in SAN CLEMENTE, CA

Every car in SAN CLEMENTE, CA, is at risk for theft. So it's up to us to make our cars a less appealing target and more of a challenge – hopefully sending potential thieves to look elsewhere. The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends a layered approach to protecting vehicles: Common sense Visible and audible devices Immobilizing devices Tracking devices Let's review each of these. One is common sense; you would be surprised how many vehicles are stolen in CA where the keys were left in the ignition with the doors unlocked. Always take your keys and lock the doors. In fact, in some places it's against the law to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition. And don't leave spare keys in the car or hide them outside – because a thief will find them. SAN CLEMENTE drivers would be wise to park in well-lit areas that have a lo ... read more

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