Monthly Archives: July 2019

Does My Choice in Oil Affect Change Intervals?

Oil changes are probably the most recognized service on a vehicle. Almost all SAN CLEMENTE residents know about them. But do we know enough? Several decades ago, oil changes were fairly standard: every three months or 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But recent advances in both engine technology and oil quality have led to longer oil change intervals. Delayed or skipped oil changes are a problem for SAN CLEMENTE residents because they lead to the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Oil sludge forms when engine oil breaks down, which happens with both time and miles. Obviously, driving will take its toll on engine oil, but the oil also breaks down even as the vehicle just sits in the garage. This is why oil change intervals are listed in both time and distance traveled, and the phrase “whichever comes first” is applicable. Oil sludge is essentially petroleum jelly. Imagine this stuff squishing around in your vehicle engine, pushing into small engine passageways an ... read more

Emergency Items for SAN CLEMENTE

Safe CA travel starts with preventive maintenance and good vehicle care at Courtesy Automotive Service. But there are other things SAN CLEMENTE residents can do to prepare for emergencies on the road. Here's some auto advice that can help you plan for emergencies, and just may save your life — or someone else's. First, SAN CLEMENTE auto owners should consider keeping an auto emergency kit in their vehicle. The kit should contain items that will allow you to deal with common emergencies on the road. Some items you should carry in your vehicle include jumper cables (or a booster box), flares, a flashlight and some basic hand tools. Other useful items include gloves, two quarts of oil, some antifreeze, water and everything you need to change a tire. You might also consider a can of tire inflator, which is a great temporary fix for minor flats ... read more

Transmission Care in SAN CLEMENTE, CA

Do you have any plans around SAN CLEMENTE, CA, for the weekend? Maybe you and some friends are taking the boat up to the lake. Maybe you'll be having a lot of fun water skiing and doing a little fishing. You got the boat all ready. It's all gassed up. You packed lots of snacks and the cooler's stocked – ready to go. How about your tow vehicle? It has plenty of gas and you've even vacuumed it out, but is your auto maintenance up to date? Stop and think. You'll have some heavy traffic on your way out of town. Hilly terrain as you get to the lake. Some dirt roads – and you may have hot weather. And all the time you're going to be towing around a lot of extra weight. That all adds up a lot of severe strain on your engine, brakes and transmission. Your transmission's going to be working overtime, spending more time in lower gears. The internal transmission temperature is going to be much higher than normal. What's a ... read more

The Courtesy Automotive Service Guide to Tire Specs

You know you need newtires, but you're not sure what type. You look at a tire to get the size: 225, 50, R, 16, 92, H. All the way to the SAN CLEMENTE service center you keep repeating it over and over. You even say it over in your mind while waiting in line. Then you get to the counter and the manager asks what size you need. Then your mind goes blank. Tire size can be confusing for many SAN CLEMENTE drivers. There's so much on the side of the tire, and it's hard to keep straight. Even though there's a lot on a tire - if you know what it all means, it's actually more helpful than confusing for SAN CLEMENTE tire shoppers. Let's start with the size number. For example, let's say a tire reads: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The 225 part is the width of the tire in millimeters - the width between the sidewalls of an inflated tire with no load. The 50 is the aspect ratio - the ratio of the sidewall height to the tread width. Off-road ... read more

Why Wheel Balancing and Tire Rotation Save You Money on Tires

SAN CLEMENTE drivers want their tires to last as long as possible. Two ways to extend tire life are wheel balancing and tire rotation. When wheels are out of balance, they wobble and vibrate. That makes the tires wear in a cupping pattern. If a front wheel is out of balance you'll feel it in the steering wheel. If it's a rear wheel you'll feel it through your seat. To fix this, your technician at Courtesy Automotive Service puts weights on your wheels to balance them out. That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a vehicle wear out faster than the rear tires. As they push through turns, the shoulders of the front tires wear down. So rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate over the life of the tire. Proper tire inflation will also help SAN CLEMENTE folks' tires last longer. Underinflated tires wear more on the shoulder and may even overheat. This could cause tire damage or a blow out. Overinflated ti ... read more