Archive for the ‘Car Maintenance’ Category

Things to Consider While Maintaining Your Rolls Royce

A Rolls Royce is a highly desired luxury car. They are old-school, classic, classy—a big get by any stretch of the imagination. With their stylish designs and bulky charm, they appeal to many. Their high price tag, however, means that only a few can take advantage of their allure.

Due to their price, reliability, style, and name recognition, a Rolls Royce is a car you want to take good care of. Maintaining their longevity becomes key, as you want to get the most return on your initial investment.

Potential Hazards

Regardless of the car, it’s always important to make sure that it sticks to its regularly scheduled maintenance. With a car in the price range of a Rolls Royce, you want to make especially sure that this is the case.

Getting a regular oil change is crucial. If the oil becomes old or runs out, the engine can seize. A seized engine requires complete replacement, which in a basic family hatchback is expensive. In a luxurious Rolls Royce, it’s exceptionally pricey. Checking the oil in your car is also easy and quick, and can give you some insight into whether or not the car needs a service. Make sure that the car is on level ground, pull out the dipstick in the oil cylinder, and wipe it on a paper towel or cloth. Insert the dipstick back into the cylinder, hold for a moment, and remove. The level of oil should be clearly indicated on the stick. It should always remain between the two lines indicated on the stick. When observing the oil, make sure that it is a clear gold color, and not a dark brown. A dark brown or black color means that the oil should be changed immediately, as it’s old and burnt.

Always make sure that the air tire pressure is at the level indicated by the driver’s manual or the dealership. An electronic digital tire-pressure gauge is the most accurate and helpful, however, any tire pressure gauge will do the work just fine. Make sure to also check the air pressure in the spare tire, as well. While a popped tire is not generally a major disaster, it can be a huge inconvenience and a large expense if your spare is not inflated. Driving with a tire that’s low on air can affect the driving experience, as well as put unnecessary pressure on the struts and axles of the car. A tire that is low because of a leak will likely require a complete replacement, while others can just be refilled at any service station for relatively cheap.

Other Maintenance Tips

Other key areas to check and maintain include the oil filter, the brakes, the exhaust and air conditioning systems, and all fluids. Most of these are best treated at a trusted mechanic, and most will be done during a routine oil change. When driving a car as pricey and unique as a Rolls Royce, it’s important that you have the car checked regularly, as well as when any questions or concerns occur.

Rolls Royce parts are often more expensive than the “regular” version, and generally need more specific help. Always make sure to take your car to a Rolls Royce certified dealer/mechanic, or check that your mechanic is qualified to help you with a Rolls Royce. Damages can add up much quicker and can be extremely detrimental when dealing with a car as sophisticated as the Rolls Royce, and you want to make sure that you handle them with care and speed.

Rolls Royce Logo

How We Can Help

Regardless of the type of maintenance that your car needs, Star Motors is ready and willing to help. We understand that your car is important to you, and we promise to treat it like it’s our own. Serving San Juan Capistrano, CA, as well as other Southern Orange County areas, we’re prepared to help you in any way necessary.

Our certified technicians are qualified to work on a variety of European cars. We use the newest diagnostic equipment and promise dealership quality with lower prices. When in doubt, we at Star Motors are prepared to help you sort out any of the problems that occur with any of your luxurious cars, including your Rolls Royce.

* Luxurious Rolls Royce Car image credit goes to: AdrianHancu.

* Rolls Royce Logo image credit goes to: the_guitar_mann.

Important Volvo Maintenance Tips

As a Volvo owner, regular maintenance is vitally important to the performance and safety of your vehicle. Without proper care, your vehicle will be more likely to have serious problems in the future that could lead to you spending large amounts of money on emergency fixes. Poor maintenance also compromises the security and stability that has become synonymous with Volvo’s brand.

Car maintenance shouldn’t be considered a difficult task. Even drivers with limited mechanical knowledge can perform routine maintenance tasks which can prolong the life of your Volvo as well as save you hundreds of dollars in emergency fixes. Maintaining your vehicle shouldn’t be considered an inconvenience or a challenge. Instead, you should see this as ensuring your safety and security and getting the most out of your investment.

Keep it Clean

A simple maintenance task that often goes overlooked is maintaining a routine car washing schedule. The best way to keep your Volvo’s exterior looking well is to clean off any mud and scum that may harm the car’s finish. This also gives you a closer look at any scratches, dents, chips, and dings that you would not usually notice. Below are some tips on washing your Volvo.

  • Wash your car with a gentle cleaning solution that is safe for automotive finishes. Start at the top and work down from there. Use a washing mitt or cloth made of microfiber. After washing the finish, wash your tires with a separate bucket filled with soapy water, so you do not get grease or dirt on any other parts of your car.
  • Look over the paint for messy spots from bird droppings, pollen, or tree sap. These contaminants are often stuck to the paint’s surface so a special clay bar made for car exterior care may help you clear them away.
  • Dry your car thoroughly with fresh, clean towels. Soft, waffle-weave, absorbent microfiber drying towels are preferable for this task. Then put on car wax. You have several varieties from which to choose, but usually a liquid or paste-style wax works well when applied every 3 months. This will help protect and maintain the exterior of your car.

Checking Tire Pressure

Another maintenance tip that often gets disregarded is the importance of checking your tire pressure. Low tire pressure can result in dangerous driving conditions. Low tire pressure will also result in you visiting your local gas station more frequently, as it will lower your car’s gas mileage. Checking your tire pressure can be done anytime you visit your local gas station and should take you less than 5 mins. The only tool you’ll need is a tire gauge which should cost anywhere from $5 to $10 from your local auto store.

  • Take off the cap from the air valve, then firmly press the tire gauge squarely onto the air valve. Be sure to only remove the valve cap from one tire at a time.
  • Increase air in the tire until it reaches the recommended air pressure.
  • Screw the valve cap back onto the air valve.
  • Look over your tires to be sure that they do not have any nails, screws, or any other objects stuck in the rubber that could puncture the tire and cause an air leak.
  • Check the sides of the tires to be sure you do not see any cuts, bulges, gouges, or any other irregularities.
  • Repeat this procedure for each tire. Don’t forget the spare!

Further Maintenance

For the more ambitious Volvo owner, there are additional maintenance steps you can perform, such as changing your battery every 4 to 5 years, regular oil changes, replacing the brake pads as needed, and rotating your tires annually. However, these are more intensive tasks, and these can all be addressed at an annual checkup with your local Volvo specialist.

Red Volvo Car

How Star Motors Service Can Help

The Volvo automotive specialists here at Star Motors focus their expertise on European automobiles and their safety and performance. We serve clients from all over the areas of San Juan Capistrano, CA and Southern Orange County. We perform thorough ongoing inspections as part of our routine maintenance plan for our clients. If you’d like us to perform a routine maintenance check on your Volvo, contact us today to schedule an appointment with our Volvo experts or drop by to speak with one of our skilled service technicians.

* Red Volvo Car image credit goes to: ESezer.

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.

Battery

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.

Brakes

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.

Lights

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

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.

Tires

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 Maintain the Rear Self-Leveling Suspension in Jaguar

Jaguars are termed luxury vehicles for a reason: simply put, they offer drivers consistent quality performance and comfort that goes beyond the average vehicle. It’s no wonder why drivers gravitate toward Jaguar vehicles—they continually deliver on their promise to give drivers an exceptional experience. Contrary to popular belief, however, Jaguars encounter performance issues just like every other vehicle on the road. One area that Jaguar vehicles tend to combat is suspension problems, specifically with a rear self-leveling suspension.

If you’re already lost and aren’t sure what a rear self-leveling suspension is, don’t panic—you’re not alone. Educating drivers on their cars helps promote longevity and saves them money. This article should help give you a little background information on what the self-leveling suspension does for your Jaguar, signs that it is incurring problems, and what you can do to extend the life of your suspension system.

What Does a Self-Leveling Suspension Do For Your Jaguar?

The suspension in any car is designed to perform certain functions. Specifically, the suspension is what helps level the car, keeping it off of the ground, and absorb the impact of road imperfections and normal bumps and divots. In a Jaguar, the suspension is especially sophisticated in that it has what’s called a rear self-leveling suspension. This type of suspension is designed to level or even out the weight of the vehicle by detecting heavier rear loads and adjusting the height of the vehicle accordingly to promote proper aerodynamics and suspension functioning. In cars with more front-wheel braking power, the self-leveling suspension also helps distribute the braking power more evenly, making brakes more effective in times when the back of the car is carrying a heavier load.

Symptoms of Problems

As with any other problem or concern with your Jaguar, paying close attention to warning signs of rear self-leveling suspension failure or wear is essential for the diagnostic and repair process. These are some of the most common signs of suspension failure in Jaguar cars:

Vehicle Lower to the Ground in Rear

The rear self-leveling suspension does just what its name implies: it levels out the rear of the car. If the suspension isn’t working properly, then it’s common to be able to observe the rear of the car being especially lower to the ground when carrying a heavier load, but it might sit lower without a load if the rear self-leveling suspension has failed completely.

Less Effective Shock Absorption

When the chassis of the car is too low to the ground, or to the wheels, the shock of road impacts cannot be properly absorbed. As the rear self-leveling suspension lifts the vehicle, it also allows it to reduce the amount of vibration and impact inside the cabin. Ineffective shock absorption certainly affects the quality of your driving experience, and it’s a sign that the suspension needs some TLC.

Less Effective Braking with Heavy Loads

As we mentioned earlier, one of the main functions of the self-leveling rear suspension is to better distribute the braking power evenly from the front to the back of the car. If your Jaguar becomes difficult to halt, especially with a load in the back, it might be due to a failing suspension.

What You Can Do to Maintain the Rear Suspension

Ongoing care and maintenance for your Jaguar’s suspension is essential to keep it working properly. Here are a few tips to best prevent suspension issues in your Jaguar:

Perform Frequent Inspections

The suspension requires fluid changes and mechanical work in order to maintain its function. The more often your Jaguar specialist can take a look at the various components and systems of your car, the more likely they are to spot an issue sooner rather than later, eliminating the cascade of damages that can occur.

Follow Your Jaguar’s Maintenance Plan

The Jaguar manufacturer designs a maintenance plan that is specifically dedicated to your Jaguar model and year. It’s important to follow this maintenance plan in order to experience the most optimal performance in your car’s suspension.

Jaguar Sports Car

Consult with Jaguar Experts

Along with following your maintenance plan it’s important to consult with Jaguar experts who can spot problems that are typical as well as problems that might be out-of-the-ordinary or unexpected. The Jaguar specialists here at Star Motors serve clients from all over the areas of Southern Orange County as well as San Juan Capistrano, CA. For over 30 years we’ve dedicated our passion to these cars, and it shows in our quality of work and customer service. To schedule an inspection of your rear self-leveling suspension, please call one of our helpful professionals today.

* Jaguar Sports Car image credit goes to: ian35mm.

How to Preserve the Shine of Your Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce is a brand that’s synonymous with the epitome of luxury and elegance, and is one of the most highly-sought-after vehicle brands in the world. If you drive a Rolls, the whole world knows you’ve “made it.” Preserving the integrity of your Rolls-Royce requires the consideration of the many facets of ongoing automotive care. From routine oil-changes, tune-ups, and inspections, to the not-so-often heavy repairs it requires, vehicle maintenance is a commitment. While the aforementioned procedures involve the internal components of what’s under your Rolls’ hood, there are other maintenance procedures to consider that add to outward appearance of the condition of your luxury car.

Paint jobs on cars can be highly special and unique, even if it comes straight from the factory with the standard paint job. Rolls-Royce vehicles are known for the consistency in their shine and outward appearance, as this is usually the first thing people notice about the cars. But this appearance comes at the price of effectively maintaining the paint job. Whether your paint work is custom or came stock from the manufacturer, there are certain tips one should follow on how to best preserve the shine of a Rolls-Royce. Here are some guidelines to follow that will keep your paint glossy, shiny, and turning heads wherever you go.

Waxing and Polishing

Many car owners debate the importance of waxing and polishing their cars. Some claim that it may only damage the paint job over time. Well, they’re absolutely right—waxing and polishing can cause damage to your paint job over time, or even in one instance of waxing and polishing. The difference between what makes an effective polishing and/or waxing job is the care and consideration the individual puts into the task. Waxing and polishing is a necessity for paint care in cars, it’s just a matter of the type of materials one uses and the process one adheres to when applying the technique. Under certain circumstances, waxing and polishing may do more damage; however, if you hire a professional with a stellar reputation in the community, verifying their methodology, your odds are highly improved.

Pay Special Attention to Detail

Whoever you hire to care for your Rolls’ paint work must be a stickler for detail. Meticulousness never hurts when it comes to car detail work; the cracks and crevices require attention also in order to achieve an overall look of complete care, especially since they hold a lot of the dirt and debris that can cause scratches to the rest of your car if not attended to properly. Your wheels are a perfect example of how attention to detail has an overall effect on the appearance of your Rolls. When the wheels shine, it makes the look much more complete.

Utilize Only the Best Quality Materials to Clean With

The shop you hire to maintain your Rolls’ paint work should utilize only the top-of-the-line materials and equipment. Using the wrong solutions and chemicals to clean a paint job can cause the paint to strip and/or dull over time, sometimes even in just one application. Be sure to consult with your automotive shop on the materials they use and ask plenty of questions about their proven effectiveness with your specific paint work.

Shield Your Car from the Sun

This is a big one! Keeping your Rolls parked in a garage or out of the sun is essential to paint care. Over time, the harmful UV rays from the sun can cause paint to fade, to corrode, or even to chip in some cases. Keeping your car protected from direct sun rays has the added benefit of protecting the interior as well. It can limit interior fading and/or cracking significantly. Well worth the garage space if you ask us!

Rolls Royce Wraith

Why Scheduled Detailing is Important

Our detail technicians here at Star Motors have provided paint care services for a wide range of Rolls-Royce clients here in Southern Orange County and San Juan Capistrano, CA. We pay close attention to detail here, as do our clients, and it has served us well to utilize the best quality paint care materials for our Rolls clients especially. We know how special these cars are, and a solid, shiny paint job is nearly required when it comes to these unique vehicles. For information about our paint detailing processes, including the materials we utilize for the job, please call one of our professionals here in the shop. We look forward to proving our dedication and commitment to excellence.

* Parked Rolls Royce image credit goes to: pjgs.

* Rolls Royce Wraith image credit goes to: Artyom_Anikeev.

Tips to Maintain Your Bentley’s Engine

Automotive care isn’t a priority for most drivers, but it should be; there are many benefits to ongoing engine maintenance. Bentleys usually have a high standard of performance and luxury, and therefore must also have a high level of care and maintenance. Purchasing a Bentley is expensive enough, and it can be difficult for drivers to continue to spend money on maintaining and repairing it. However, such an investment must be protected—especially if you ever decide to sell it.

Beyond resale value, ongoing vehicle care for your Bentley will increase its reliability and consistency in performance; the last thing you want is to be broken down on the roadside in your Bentley. However, by performing your Bentley’s engine maintenance, you also save yourself the hassle and expenditure of time-consuming, costly repairs resulting from lack of maintenance. If you own a Bentley, here are some tips for basic engine care.

Keep fluids clean and full

Your car relies upon several different fluids that are critical to its performance and reliability. Coolant (antifreeze or radiator fluid), transmission fluid, engine oil, power-steering fluid, and brake fluid are the five most important fluids your car needs to perform optimally. You can take your Bentley to a qualified, trustworthy automotive shop that specializes in Bentley maintenance and repair to inspect the quality, clarity, and fullness of these various fluids. Some of them, like your antifreeze and motor oil, are simple to inspect yourself; however, if you aren’t already familiar with these processes, we don’t suggest you start trying on a Bentley.

Keep air filter clean and replace it regularly

Your engine air filter is what keeps the three D’s out of your engine: dust, dirt, and debris. These harmful particles can buildup in your engine, causing clogs and significant disruptions in performance. The air filter is easy for your trusted Bentley technician to check for quality assurance. If your air filter isn’t white or off-white, it’s time for a clean one. If you leave a dirty air filter in your Bentley, you might begin to notice some concerning symptoms and effects on the vehicles performance, such as: reduced fuel efficiency and reduced horsepower. If the problem worsens, you may even experience engine misfiring.

Hire a Bentley specialist

While there are automotive shops and dealerships on practically every street, it’s important to keep in mind that most of those shops won’t be able to offer the level of care your Bentley needs. Generalized automotive knowledge is helpful, but Bentleys have their own unique design, engineering, and parts that require specialized knowledge and skills in working with various Bentley models. To find a specialist that you trust, you can look online at customer reviews and learn more about what people are saying about the shop and their experiences with them. Call various shops to get quotes and estimates as well as more information about their credentials and qualifications in working with Bentleys.

Adhere to your Bentley’s maintenance plan

There are many procedures besides fluid and filter care that must be routinely performed for your Bentley’s engine. For instance, at different intervals, your transmission, suspension, and other components will require replacement parts or servicing. You can find a detailed schedule of maintenance for your Bentley in your owner’s manual. The manual suggests certain maintenance tasks based on the vehicle’s mileage and age. It’s important for you to consult with your Bentley specialist to learn what maintenance plan will suit you best, taking into account your unique driving habits and typical driving conditions—i.e. frequent heavy traffic vs. only leisurely drives occasionally.

Bentley Badge

How Star Motors can help

For over 30 years, the Bentley experts here at Star Motors, have been serving clients in the areas of Southern Orange County, including San Juan Capistrano, CA. European imports like Bentley require a higher standard of care than most vehicles, simply because their design and engineering is unique and geared toward performance and luxury. The technicians at Star Motors are ASE certified and highly skilled in working with various different Bentley models. Basic ongoing engine maintenance is crucial to uphold for your Bentley; we help our clients get on track with a routine maintenance plan that works for them. For more information contact us directly. You can also schedule an appointment on our website!

* Bentley Badge image credit goes to: sjharmon.