Archive for July, 2018

Summer Maintenance Check List For Your Car

No matter where you live the summer months can be daunting on your car but in Southern California especially the temperature and weather conditions can add excess amounts of stress on your car. While vehicle maintenance is important to follow during the summer the best way to handle the season is to prepare your car in the months leading up to summer. This article will help you form a checklist of important car maintenance items that you should take care of to make sure your car is properly prepared, taken care of and ready for summer.

Air Conditioning

Chances are whether you’re out on the road for 5 minutes or 500 miles you are going to rely on your car’s air conditioning to keep you cool and comfortable. Turning on the A/C to get blasted with hot air or a completely broken air conditioning will ruin your car and can cause excessive problems with your car overheating. Instead follow your car’s annual air conditioning maintenance so that the necessary repairs can be made when needed year-round. By checking things like the coolant levels and having the system inspected for leaks and damage you can help spare you a major hassle and inconvenience in the middle of the summer.


Not specific to summer, your car’s battery can fail or die any time of the year but it’s a bigger hassle and problem in the middle of a hot summer afternoon. When you schedule routine maintenance for your car make sure to include a battery inspection and test to find things like leaks and corrosion while also having the connections checked and tightened. This will ensure that your car starts right up without any unwanted surprises when you need them least.


Summer is the most popular time for road trips and nothing is more important than reliable brakes. Dealing with any brake problems can lead to dangerous situations out on the roads along with high service and repair costs should something serious happen. Routine brake services are always recommended annually and will always ensure safe, strong performing brakes even when the weather is at its’ worst.


Visibility is important when driving during those long summer nights so make sure to have your car’s lights checked and replaced as needed. Whether it’s a burnt out bulb or damage/scratches on the lenses replacing it will improve your visibility and keep your safer.


Oil changes should always be performed at the recommended intervals or it can lead to severe issues for your car’s performance. It’s especially important to have fresh engine oil before embarking on a long summer road trip so if you’re planning any vacations make sure to have your car’s oil checked and changed.


Annual tire rotations will help promote even tire wear and tear while also allowing mechanics to inspect them for other damage and cupping. Driving on worn out tires can also cause issues with your alignment while also putting you at risk for a blowout while on the road.

Emergency Supplies

It’s an unfortunate reality but no matter how well prepared you and your car are, sometimes accidents are inevitable. Work with your trusted mechanic to form an emergency supply kit of basic tools and items to help you in the event of car problems while out on the road. Be sure to include important items like:

  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Flares
  • Tire patches
  • Pump

Family Road Trip in Summer

Preventative Maintenance You Can Trust

If you don’t think your car is prepared for summer and would like to schedule an appointment with experts you can trust then call the experts at Star Motors today. We are Orange County’s largest independent service center and for years we’ve helped drivers prepare their cars for summer and beyond.

Our expert mechanics utilize the latest factory tools and equipment available to properly diagnose and service each vehicle we service. We specialize in European vehicles so no matter the make or model your car is in good hands with our trained technicians.

Call Star Motors today to speak with one of our mechanics with any further questions regarding preparing your vehicle for summer or if you would like to schedule maintenance for your car.

How to Deal with a Rusted Fuel Tank Shield in a Land Rover

Land Rovers are known for their high quality design and exceptional performance standards. Unfortunately, like all vehicles out there, auto mechanics are near impossible to perfect and this can take a toll on vehicle wear and performance at some point. One issue that Land Rover drivers experience is fuel tank shield or fuel tank skid plate corrosion and rust. This is a concerning issue, as it can greatly compromise your safety and your vehicle’s performance. In this article, we’ll give you some background information on why the fuel tank skid plate is an important part for your car, how to spot signs of corrosion, and what you can do to prevent or address the issue in your own Land Rover.

Why is the fuel tank shield important?

All cars’ fuel tanks are shielded by a skid plate of sorts that is designed to house and protect the fuel tank. Since the fuel tank is often in a vulnerable position beneath the car in Land Rovers, it’s important to keep the fuel tank protected from road debris or other threats. Unfortunately, the fuel tank shield can run into its own problems that compromise its ability to perform its job adequately.

What to look for in a compromised fuel tank shield

A fuel tank that is compromised will exhibit a few outwardly concerning symptoms that you should be aware of and address immediately. Here are the most common signs that your fuel tank shield is beginning to degrade:

• Any amount of visible rust on the exterior of the shield
• Patches of rust surrounding drain holes
• Visible rust stains on the ground beneath your car

What can cause the fuel tank shield to corrode?

Your Land Rover specialist will want to perform a differential diagnosis to determine the original cause of the issue; this way, the problem will likely not occur again once the issue is remedied. Here are the most common reasons for fuel tank skid plate corrosion:

• Poor drainage
• Clogs
• Consistent exposure to excessive moisture
• Road and salt spray
• Location climate and conditions
• Vehicle age and mileage
• Lack of maintenance

Some of these issues are due to design and engineering issues with the vehicle itself, which necessitates that your automotive shop get a little creative with their solutions. For instance, replacing the part with the same original part may lead to corrosion in the future if the design of the part is the problem in the first place. Otherwise, there are things you can do to prevent this from occurring, which we’ll go over in a moment.

How to address the issue

Addressing the issue of fuel tank shield corrosion or rust is a process that involves several steps. Depending on what information your automotive specialist collects in the initial diagnostic process, they may decide to take a few different routes of addressing the problem. Usually fixing the issue requires replacing the part, but if the problem has not progressed substantially it may be able to be cleaned and restored.

How to prevent fuel tank shield corrosion

There are a few things you can do for your Land Rover to ensure that the fuel tank shield does not corrode at a rapid pace that goes beyond repair. Here are a few suggestions:

• Hire a trusted automotive professional specializing in Land Rover cars
• Perform frequent, ongoing inspections of the undercarriage
• Perform ongoing cleanings and detail work to the undercarriage components
• Keep your car parked in a covered area not exposed to water or humidity
• Avoid driving through large puddles (even though it’s tempting with your Rover’s specific capabilities)

What we can do to help

At Star Motors, we service Land Rover vehicles from all over Land Rover Defender 90 San Juan Capistrano, CA and other Southern Orange County areas. We are proud to be named South Orange County’s premier European auto repair facility by our patrons, and continuing our three decades of award winning service is our promise to the community. Dealing with a corroded fuel tank shield in a Land Rover is something we’ve addressed countless times, and we’re familiar with various treatment approaches depending on the severity of the issue. If you would like to have your fuel tank shield inspected for corrosion, please contact us today to schedule an appointment.

* Land Rover Defender 90 image credit goes to: typhoonski.