Archive for the ‘Car Repair’ Category

Ways to Fix Electric Sliding Door in Cars

A common feature of minivans and mid-sized SUVs is the electric sliding doors. They are known for making our lives much easier and more convenient. Instead of fighting to hold the car door open while your arms are filled with bags and crying children, modern technology has made it so that you can get in and out of your vehicle with the simple press of a button.

Of course, the addition of an electric mechanism in your car’s sliding door can mean that, if something malfunctions or breaks, the issue can be a little more complicated to repair than a simple manual sliding door. This article will discuss electric sliding doors and their benefits, the associated problems, preventative measures, and how to fix your electric sliding door when it malfunctions.

The Benefits of Electric Sliding Doors

The convenience and ease provided by electric sliding doors are major benefits, but these are not the only perks to owning a vehicle with this special feature. The following are just a few additional assets of electric sliding doors:

● Can transport large groups
● Accessible for the disabled
● Makes seat rearrangement trouble-free

While these are all benefits of the original manual sliding doors, the hands-free approach to electric sliding doors just adds another element of ease to your everyday life. This is one of the reasons why, even though manual sliding doors used to be the standard for many years, the invention of the electric sliding door has become a very popular and sought-after feature in newer vehicles.

How Electric Sliding Doors Work

The design behind electric sliding doors is actually fairly simple. By pushing a button, a signal is sent to a mechanism in the door. This mechanism utilizes a motor and a chain drive. These move the door back and forth along a track. As the door moves, it extends slightly out from the door’s frame. Then, when the door is fully open, a hook known as a pawl attaches to the gears below the door and locks the door into place.

Problems with a Failing Electric Sliding Door

Though the actual technology behind the electric sliding door is simple enough, a lot of problems can occur if it malfunctions. The most obvious sign that the mechanism in your electric sliding door is failing is if the door won’t open or close when you push the button. Another problem that you might experience is a grinding noise every time the door does open or close. This is a sign that the door’s motor is wearing out and needs to be replaced. It’s also possible for the electric sliding door to become damaged and for the door’s window to come loose, causing it to make a sound every time that it rubs against the door.

Preventative measures

As a responsible car owner, one of the most important things to remember is to make sure that you take good care of your vehicle. Proper maintenance is imperative when it comes to preserving your car’s functionality and performance. Here are a few preventative measures you can take to avoid developing problems with your electric sliding doors:

Clean the track of any debris

If dirt and debris are allowed to build up in your sliding door track, eventually the door will not be able to function properly.

Keep the track well-lubricated

Lubricant will allow your door to move back and forth smoothly across the track. If your electric sliding door squeaks every time you open or close it, the track should probably be lubricated.

Avoid working against the motor

Perhaps the most common reason why electric sliding doors develop problems is because people have a tendency to pull on the door as the door’s motor is working to move the door in the opposite direction. This wears out the motor, so try to avoid doing this.

We Will Help

In addition to taking preventative measures to help Car Electric Sliding Door Issue Fix keep your car’s electric sliding doors functioning optimally, hiring a professional who can inspect, diagnose, and repair issues is a key step in good automotive care.

At Star Motors, we are trained to find out what’s causing your electric sliding door to fail and the best solution to fix it. No matter what model of vehicle you drive, we are qualified to treat your car with the proper care and attention that it deserves. So, if you’re having any problems with your electric sliding door, stop in and see us today. We are located in San Juan Capistrano, CA and other Southern Orange County areas.

Fixing the Electric Sliding Door of Your Car

Modern technological conveniences have afforded many opportunities for advanced features in different vehicles. Electric sliding doors are the ones that can be opened or closed with the touch of a button. They literally slide along a set of tracks and automatically open and close at your behest. The sliding doors associated with minivans or midsize SUVs make it much more convenient to get in and out of the vehicle with bags, children, or a handful of goods, but there is still the chance for something to go wrong with the electronics.

The electric sliding door mechanism is very popular in many vehicles. Recent models of all types of SUVs and minivans use the touch of a button to open and close a door. It literally does not get more convenient than this type of advanced technology. However, when something goes wrong, fixing the issue can be a bit more complex. Most doors that do not have electric components can be much more easily fixed with simple tools. For example, if you are having trouble getting the car doors open because they are sticking or squeaking on an older pickup truck, you can probably apply some lubrication or some WD-40, maybe even replace some screws on your own and have no more problems in the future. However, if the problem is with an electronic component, things get a bit more complicated and you may not have the tools or the skills to identify the issue and fix it.

Benefits of Sliding Doors

Sliding doors provide many benefits. They are helpful for parents of children who need help getting in and out of the vehicle, and they are more accessible for disabled individuals, which makes them the perfect feature for ADA-compliant vehicles. They are ideal for transporting large groups of people or items, and they are incredibly convenient for loading and unloading.

How do electric sliding doors work?

Because these components are electric in nature, problems become a bit more complex to fix. Of course, everything begins with understanding how the components work in the first place. Electric sliding doors offer a simple design with a great deal of convenience for drivers. Whether you are trying to load or unload large packages, new furniture, pets, or passengers, having the automatic sliding door in the vehicle is great.

When your electric sliding door works properly, all it takes is the push of a button and the door will follow the tracks as it is pulled open or closed by a small motor. It extends slightly away from the vehicle before following the rest of the tracks until it is completely open or completely closed. In order to properly function, this mechanism uses a motor and a chain drive to move the heavy door. There is a pawl hook that hooks into the gears underneath the door which locks it into the open position.

Man Viewing Outside Car

Problems with Electric Sliding Doors

If the mechanism stops working properly and your door no longer opens and closes at the push of a button, it is important to bring your vehicle into one of our locations to have a skilled professional fix the problem. Nonetheless, there are things you can do at home to help prevent serious problems with your door. You can, for example, keep the tracks properly clean and lubricated. Debris and crumbs and all manner of dirt typically get caught in the tracks when the doors open, and if that isn’t removed on a regular basis it can build up and cause serious problems with the function of the door. If there is a problem you don’t want to let it get worse. Eventually, the door will not open or close at all.

When you bring your vehicle in because of an issue with the electric sliding door, we can help you to figure out the cause, provide repairs, and offer long-term solutions for you to help prevent future problems from arising. Our staff is very well-trained with handling electric sliding door issues and we specialize in all types of models, both domestic and imports. So, if you are having trouble getting your door open or closed, let us know. At Star Motors we are conveniently located to San Juan Capistrano, CA and other Southern Orange County areas.

What Problems Do Faulty Spark Plugs Cause?

Most of us know that the spark plug is necessary for the important act of starting your engine. This tiny component of your engine sends a small electric arc across a gap that lights the first in a series of small explosions in your car that use the fuel you pump into it to run your engine. Though it is one of the smallest parts of your engine, who could argue that it is one of the most important?

What Does a Spark Plug Do?

In addition to starting your engine for you day after day, the mighty spark plug is responsible for a handful of other tasks that greatly improve your driving experience:

Burns off deposits from fuel additives

Over time, deposits in your car engine can lead to a jolt when you start your car or a jerky ride as you drive. The heat generated from good spark plugs keep these deposits from building up in your engine.

Helps your car run efficiently

According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence misfiring spark plugs can reduce fuel efficiency by 30%.

Improves performance

A smooth combustion system triggered by healthy spark plugs means a smoother ride.

Reduces harmful emissions

With many states now requiring emissions testing of motor vehicles in order to renew registration, this is an important consideration. Many times, when a car fails an emissions test it is due to the amount of raw gas being released from the tailpipe. If you find yourself in this situation, replacing spark plugs could be the first step you take in correcting and retesting your car’s output.

Problems Caused By Faulty Spark Plugs

Needless to say your spark plug does a lot for your vehicle. Yet not many of us give much thought to the maintenance required to keep them working as intended. Automotive manufacturers recommend replacing your spark plugs anywhere from every 30,000 to every 80,000 miles. Failing to do so can lead to problems, the most troubling of these being the inability to start your car in the morning. Over time, poor fuel quality can leave deposits on your spark plugs, or an ashy coating on the electrodes which lead to misfiring. If not addressed, the build up can actually close the gap between the electrodes which would leave you unable to start your engine.

In addition, the following list of symptoms are good indicators of failing spark plugs:

Jerky engine start

After some time, the gap between electrodes between which the electrical signal is sent, can begin to widen making it harder for that spark to get across. If your car is having a hard time starting and requires a few tries in the morning, this may be the culprit.

Engine idles roughly

If the RPMs are shooting up and down causing your car to rumble as you idle, there could be a problem with a set of your spark plugs. Check the color, wetness and physical appearance of your spark plugs as an indicator of where the faulty ones may be.

Engine surges

Engine surging is a warning sign that your car has combustion problems. Spark plugs are key in the combustion process and could very likely be the cause for the surge. Each cylinder in your engine has a spark plug. If one of those are misfiring it could lead to engine surging.

Failure to accelerate

For the same reason mentioned above a failing spark plug can make your car’s acceleration feel laborious.

Filling up your gas tank more frequently

Faulty spark plugs could lead to increased fuel consumption and higher emissions as mentioned earlier. If your spark plugs haven’t been checked in a while, this might be the time.

Spark Plug Repair

Spark Plug Maintenance

As with anything, maintaining your car’s engine is safer, more economical and results in a more enjoyable driving experience. Replacing your spark plugs at the recommended interval will help you avoid the headaches listed above and keep repair costs to a minimum. Rely on the European car experts at Star Motors or Orange County to help you create a maintenance schedule tailored to your vehicle. Contact Star Motors in San Capistrano, CA to check your spark plugs and get you set up on the best maintenance schedule for your vehicle.


Cars are one of the largest conveniences of our time that often goes underappreciated until drivers experience performance issues in their vehicles. One common performance issue that nearly all drivers report is, “my car vibrates when accelerating or driving at high speeds.” Since this is such a pervasive issue, it’s common for drivers to continue driving despite the concerning symptom. If you experience this issue in your own car, it’s important to bring it to a specialist for an inspection right away to spare your car further strain and damage and save yourself some money in unnecessary repairs. Here’s what you should know about car vibration upon acceleration and what you can do to prevent it.

The Most Common Causes of a Vibrating Car While Driving

It is your automotive specialists’ primary mission to determine the cause of the vibration that you’re experiencing in your car; once the source of the problem is detected, it can be resolved with the appropriate treatment interventions. These are the most common causes of vibration, or shaking, that you should know about:

Spark plug issues

Spark plugs are critical for ignition and combustion, they ignite the fuel/air mixture that makes your car go. The plugs themselves, or failing electrical wiring, put the engine under a great amount of strain and may be the reason behind the vibration and shaking.

Dirty air or fuel filter

As we mentioned, a perfect fuel/air mixture is an important for optimal performance. If the air or fuel filters are clogged, then the engine can’t get enough air or fuel and becomes strained. This leads to shaking when the car attempts to accelerate.

Engine mount failure

The motor mounts holding your engine in place are instrumental to the quality of your drive. If a motor mount is cracked, collapsed, leaking or damaged at all, it can cause your engine to vibrate intensely.

Brake wear

The brake system can encounter problems now and then that surprisingly leads to vibration while driving. Although the symptoms usually occur when applying the brakes, you may also experience them upon acceleration.

Suspension or steering issues

Faulty or failing suspension or power steering components are often the sources of vibration during acceleration. As the car generates speed, it puts more pressure on the suspension components – especially if the road conditions aren’t optimal.

Wheel and tire care

Proper wheel care entails tire rotations, filling tire pressure, wheel alignment, and wheel balancing. If any of these tasks aren’t upheld, it can lead to vehicle vibration.

The Importance of Preventive Maintenance and Ongoing Automotive Care

Preventing your car from vibrating when accelerating, or shaking at all for that matter, can not only make you feel safer in your car but keep your car performing optimally year round, which leads to the need for fewer repairs. These are a few other valuable byproducts of preventive maintenance:

  • Retains a car’s reliability
  • Retains a car’s value
  • Extends a car’s longevity
  • Upholds performance standards
  • Saves money in unnecessarily expensive repair bills

In terms of preventive care, there are a number of things you can do to keep your car from vibrating while accelerating. Here are a few suggestions that you should adhere to for optimal performance results and less intense and costly repair work:

  • Look for an automotive shop that specializes in the particular type of car you drive
  • Stay on top of routine maintenance and repair tasks
  • Don’t let concerning symptoms go unattended

When your car begins to vibrate at all while you drive, it can be concerning for your safety depending on where the original source of the issue is coming from. For instance, if the issue is related to the engine, you may eventually experience engine stalling, misfiring, or other serious symptoms related to engine performance.

Mechanic Checking Car Vibration Issue

What We Can Do to Help

The causes of vehicle vibration can range in severity, and it’s our job here at Star Motors to assess the problem accurately the first time, repair it properly, and follow up with preventive care for ongoing future maintenance tasks. Our clients come from all over San Juan Capistrano, CA and other Southern Orange County areas for our services because we believe that high quality automotive work should be affordable for all – especially for the luxury vehicles that we specialize in like Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Porsche, Land Rover, Rolls Royce, and Bentley. To take advantage of our expertise and affordability, please contact one of our helpful professionals to provide interventions for performance issues. Schedule an appointment online or call us today.

Why Your Ride in Your Land Rover Might Be a Little Bumpy

Land Rover drivers are usually drawn to such cars because they’re powerful, sturdy, and durable. They can withstand rough terrain, but without sacrificing on important luxury components typical of European import vehicles. Land Rovers are especially capable of handling rough road conditions, and it can be especially upsetting when you begin to notice that your Land Rover isn’t handling the bumps and road imperfections as well as it usually does.

Land Rover suspension is unique and especially well-designed for the specific purpose of handling intense roads; however, even Land Rovers can experience problems in this area. Land Rover suspension is built for endurance, but it’s also designed to make the experience inside the cabin comfortable for the driver and passengers. If you suspect that there’s some issue with your Land Rover’s suspension, this article might help you confirm your suspicions. It’s most important that if you recognize troubling symptoms you bring your Land Rover to your trusted automotive specialist immediately.

What is a ride optimization system

Many luxury vehicles are fitted with what’s called a ride optimization system, including Land Rovers. This system is a tech-based feature that runs by calculating a driver’s typical driving habits and road conditions and adjusting suspension and other components to the drivers typical standards. Therefore, if you regularly take your Rover over rough terrain, your ride optimization system will be able to recognize the road conditions and driving style under those specific circumstances and adjust the various systems to optimize running to those conditions. Unfortunately, when something goes wrong with the ride optimization feature it can greatly affect how smooth your ride is in your Rover.

Common air suspension problems

Beyond simply the ride optimization system not running properly, you might begin to notice specific suspension problems alongside the failure of this program. This is because when the ride optimization feature isn’t working properly it leaves main suspension components susceptible to more damage and even failure. Here are some of the most common air suspension problems.

Deteriorating air springs

Springs can begin to deteriorate under a number of different circumstances. Consistent wear is normal over the life of a vehicle, but depending on your typical driving conditions and driving habits, air springs might wear quicker than normal. For instance, if your Land Rover is used for driving over bumpy roads regularly, it can wear out the springs faster. Furthermore, springs are susceptible to water damage and corrosion.

Air compressor failure

Your Land Rover’s air suspension is designed to fill air bags with air that raise the vehicle up off the ground higher and support the weight of the vehicle, cushioning it as it rides over bumps and potholes. In order for the air bags to fill properly, the air compressor must be functioning well enough to fill the air bags with enough air.

Air leaks

As you might imagine, if your air suspension system experiences a leak in any number of the system components, this can lead to symptoms of suspension failure. The source of the leak must be determined through a suspension-specific differential diagnosis.

Symptoms of suspension issues

If your Land Rover begins to experience issues with the ride optimization system or any of the above mentioned components, you might notice the following symptoms:

Car sits lower than normal

This can occur when one or more of the air bags is compromised, or when the air compressor has failed. Driving your Land Rover under these conditions can wind up doing serious damage to the car.

Feels rough going over bumps

If you notice that your Rover is sitting lower than normal in one or more point of the car, then you also might experience more of the road bumps and imperfections more intensely inside the cabin. For a Land Rover, this is especially problematic because it should be able to handle rough conditions.

Rough Road

Why it’s important to hire a Land Rover specialist

For more than three decades, the expert Land Rover technicians at Star Motors have helped improve the driving experience of a wide range of clients from all around the areas of San Juan Capistrano, and Southern Orange County, CA. Finding specialized care for your Land Rover is critical—it ensures that your Rover is getting the best care, the best replacement parts, and the highest quality repair work. If you’re concerned that your Land Rover has been riding rough lately, please contact us immediately to schedule an inspection.

The Effect of Transmission Leaks on Your Car

Owning a car is fun, taking care of it isn’t always easy. Ongoing vehicle maintenance takes patience, time, and money—things not all of us have. Therefore, it’s critical to find a reliable automotive shop that can help make the process a little easier, faster, and cheaper. One of the most important aspects of vehicle maintenance is fluid care. The various fluids your car utilizes to run properly must be inspected, kept full, and often flushed in order to function well. Transmission fluid is one of the most critical fluids in your car; when it begins to leak, it can cause serious issues in performance and engine reliability.

How to differentiate between transmission fluid and other engine fluids

Your car has several different types of fluids it utilizes for overall optimal performance. When one of these fluids begins to run low or become contaminated, it can cause serious harm to your engine. Transmission fluid has a different purpose and function from other engine fluids; however, in appearance it may look similar to power-steering fluid. Both power-steering fluid and transmission fluid look sort of red or light brown in appearance, but the difference between the two is indicated by where the location of a leak occurs. Since these locations may differ depending on the type of car you drive, it’s important to have the help of a professional automotive specialist to determine where the issue is coming from.

Potential causes of transmission leaks

There are several reasons why your transmission might leak fluid, and they all require expertise and skill to fix. It’s important to have an automotive specialist perform a differential diagnosis to determine the exact cause of your transmission leak, otherwise the problem could have devastating effects on your engine. Some of the more common causes of transmission fluid leaks are: damaged fluid lines, a leaking torque pump, or damaged transmission seals. All of these things can wear out over time, so it’s important to stay on top of your vehicle’s scheduled maintenance plan and replace parts before they fail.

The effects of driving a car with low transmission fluid

Driving a car with low or inadequate transmission fluid can cause noticeable issues with your vehicle’s performance. Much like your engine requires motor oil to function properly, your transmission requires transmission fluid to smoothly shift gears. Therefore, symptoms related to transmission fluid inadequacy are evident in the gear-shifting processes. If your transmission is losing fluid and running low, you may notice shifting problems, such as: transmission slipping, delays in engagement, unpredictable shifting, difficulty shifting at all, and high engine temperatures. Suffering through these symptoms is problematic, as it renders your vehicle inconsistent, unreliable, and over time, completely useless due to a damaged transmission. The long-term effects of low transmission fluid can be costly, and might even lead to the need for an entire transmission replacement.

Why ongoing fluid maintenance is so important

The long-term damages that can result from low transmission fluid are devastating, and can drain the money from your bank account quickly. Ongoing fluid care is critical to ensure that your vehicle performs well for years to come; however, it’s also critical to retain the value of your car. Transmission inspections and transmission flushes are important to maintain the level and quality of the transmission fluid in your car, and they are a part of your scheduled maintenance plan set forth by the manufacturer of your specific car. To know when to service your transmission, refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual and/or consult with your automotive specialist.

Car Transmission Check

Hiring a specialist to handle your routine vehicle maintenance

Here at Star Motors, serving clients from the areas of San Juan Capistrano and the greater Southern Orange County, CA, we have seen a wide range of transmission problems that often relate to a lack in transmission care. With over 3 decades of experience in the field, we have learned that focusing our attention on preventive care and accurate diagnoses is the best approach to automotive work. We value our clients, and we value their patronage—we strive to serve our community with honesty, integrity, and exceptional quality of work. Specializing in European import brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Jaguar, we also make it our mission to offer competitive prices for luxury vehicles that usually cost an arm and a leg to maintain. To schedule an inspection, tune-up, or simply to speak to one of our professionals, please contact us directly. We look forward to earning your trust.

MAF Sensor Failure in Porsche

Porsche vehicles are sought after because of their exceptional design and performance. When such brands don’t function the way drivers expect, it can be disappointing and concerning. Ongoing vehicle maintenance is the best way to combat failing parts and repair needs; however, even with the most diligent care, issues are bound to come up. Vehicle brands are each susceptible to their own uniquely common problems. For instance, common problems in certain Porsche models like the Boxster and Cayenne are typical and easily diagnosed and addressed by Porsche specialists.

Among Boxster and Cayenne models in particular, issues with the mass airflow (MAF) sensor have been frequently reported. The MAF sensor plays an integral role in engine functioning, and they work slightly differently in different types of vehicles. For instance, in electronic fuel injection (EFI) engines an intricate series of monitors, sensors, and computer control systems work in tandem with the MAF sensor to relay appropriate messages to the electronic control unit (ECU) which can adjust the amount of fuel being dispersed for proper combustion. MAF sensor failure is a complex issue, especially in Porsche models. Here is a little more information about your Porsche’s MAF sensor and how to detect and fix potential issues:

What is a MAF sensor?

A mass airflow sensor is a critical element of your engine, and your Porsche cannot run without it functioning well. The MAF sensor is responsible for determining the amount of air coming into the engine. As previously mentioned, it works in combination with the electronic control unit (ECU); after it measures the rate of airflow into the engine, it relays this information to the ECU which then determines how much fuel the engine needs in order to promote healthy combustion. When the MAF sensor begins to fail or function appropriately, you might notice some concerning symptoms that can turn into even more serious problems the longer the issue goes unaddressed.

Symptoms of a failing MAF sensor

The symptoms of a failing MAF sensor can be a result of a few different problems, such as fuel system issues. When you experience any of the following symptoms, you should bring your car to a Porsche specialist for an immediate inspection. Running rich or lean could indicate MAF sensor issues. Running rich means that your engine is utilizing too much fuel and not enough oxygen; running lean means that your engine is utilizing more air than fuel—both of which can cause serious damage to other parts of your vehicle. You might also notice lowered fuel economy, rough running and idling or even stalling when your MAF sensor begin failing.

How to fix a failing MAF sensor

The course of action that your automotive specialist takes will depend upon the model Porsche you drive and whether the part can be repaired or not; however, it’s generally recommended to remove the MAF sensor and replace it. Sometimes thoroughly cleaning the MAF sensor will do the trick. Removing a failing MAF sensor requires special tools, skill, and knowledge of various Porsche models, particularly because removing the MAF sensor can be difficult.

How to prevent MAF sensor failure

One of the causes of MAF sensor failure is debris contamination; in other words, motor oil dirt and debris buildup can clog and damage the sensor. By performing regular oil changes, you keep your motor oil clean and free of dirt and debris. Additionally, frequent tune-ups and inspections can help you to catch an issue early-on, or even prevent MAF sensor failure all together with appropriate maintenance and monitoring.

Porsche Carerra 2002

The Porsche specialists at Star Motors have seen every Porsche issue over the last 3 decades. Their experience in Porsche maintenance and repair rivals the nearby dealerships, but offered at a fraction of the cost. Our clients here in the areas of San Juan Capistrano and Southern Orange County, CA, remain loyal to our shop because it’s clear that we work hard at proving our honesty, integrity, and fairness—as you know, most automotive shops don’t have a great reputation for those qualities. If you are experiencing any of the concerning symptoms mentioned above, you might need to replace or service your Porsche’s MAF sensor. To schedule an appointment, check out our home page or contact us directly. We look forward to helping your Porsche run its best, always.

Porsche Carerra 2002 image credit goes to: contrastaddict.