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Is it time to replace my vehicle?

This is a question we get asked a lot. In response, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Does my current vehicle suit my needs and fit my lifestyle?
    If not, then the answer is yes. If it does, it may make sense to invest some money in it to keep it on the road longer.
  2. Are you going to buy a new or pre-owned vehicle?
    Often the sales tax alone will exceed the price of the repairs needed on your current vehicle. Then, compound the cost of registration, down payment, insurance and depreciation and we get further into trouble. Pre-owned vehicles usually only give you a two-year reprieve from repairs at best.
  3. What is my current vehicle actually worth? What is it worth to me?
    Another way of looking at the situation is the idea of buying miles. Breaking down the cost of repairs by the number of miles we can get out of the vehicle can often justify the costs. This is especially helpful when your car has little market value, meaning, the amount of money you can net from a private party sale or trade-in at the dealership relative to the cost of repairs needed. I also like to take a look at the total dollar amount of the repairs and ask myself if I could buy a better car for that amount of money?
  4. Am I making an informed decision? Or am I buying someone else’s headache?
    We’re familiar with our vehicles even if there is a list of repairs that need attention. That’s worth something. The worst part about buying a used vehicle is that you’re taking a gamble on whether or not you have to start repairing it.
  5. Am I throwing $50,000 at a $5000 problem?
    That’s a good question. Buying a new vehicle rarely makes good financial sense. Vehicles are a bad investment, but necessary to have. Let us help you decide which options are best for you and your family.

If you have more questions than answers, please call to schedule a consultation with us. We can perform our comprehensive 59-point safety and maintenance inspection, then sit down and have an objective conversation about whether you should keep your car or replace it.

If it is indeed time to replace your vehicle you can buy with confidence once we’ve performed a pre-purchase inspection on your next vehicle.

Here are some of the benefits of performing a pre-purchase inspection:

  1. Negotiating power. If the prospective vehicle needs service and or repairs, it’s a great way to negotiate the price or the repairs before you make the purchase. We tend to see customers buying the car first and then finding out it needs extensive work.
  2. A lot of times used vehicles look better on the outside than they do on the inside. There are many vehicle components that wear gradually and can go undetected on a test drive.
  3. Accidents and structural damage don’t always show up on a Carfax report. Repairs can be made at shops that don’t report to Carfax. Be an informed buyer by insisting on a pre-purchase inspection before you complete the transaction.

Our pre-purchase inspection is regularly priced at $189. Through September and October we’re offering this service for $139. You save $50!

Air quality: Your health and your filters

Over the past few weeks, we have been seeing a lot of very dirty engine air filters and cabin air filters due to the poor air quality from the devastating wildfires burning here in California and the west coast.

Typically, in normal conditions, engine air filters can be in service for 30,000 to 40,000 miles in our particular climate. In severe conditions like we’ve been experiencing lately, they will need to be serviced much sooner than that.

In some cases, engine air filters can even cause poor engine performance due to the fine particles in smoke that can get past the air filter element and affect the sensitive electronics that meter the air coming into the engine. Some of the symptoms you may notice are lack of power, hesitation or misfiring, or your Check Engine light may come on. Please give us a call right away if you experience any of these problems with your vehicle. It could be an easy fix!

The main function of the cabin filter is to clean the air entering your vehicle while your heater and air conditioning is in operation or the fresh air vents are open. The fine particles that get through the cabin filter are also known to cause health problems, especially in people with allergies or asthma. We can replace your cabin air filter and sanitize the ductwork in your vehicle’s HVAC system all within a couple of hours.

It only takes a few minutes to inspect these filters and we are more than happy to offer a complimentary inspection while you wait. Please just give us a call to let us know you’re on your way.


Please know that we are still being very diligent in our efforts to keep you and our staff safe from COVID-19. We regularly disinfect our facility, your keys and high-touch areas in your vehicles before, during and after service. Our lobby is still closed to clients, but we do have a table at the front door where you can drop off your keys and talk to us from a safe distance. We’re looking forward to the day when we can shake hands and do business face-to-face again.

Rodent Damage Can Mean Big Problems for Your Car

While sitting idle, a client’s car suffered some severe rodent damage. He immediately called us and brought the car into our shop.

Upon our initial inspection, we found multiple warning lights on the dash. As we investigated a little further, we found extensive damage to the vehicle’s electrical system and two seat belts that needed to be replaced. One shoulder belt was chewed all the way through, and a seatbelt buckle was chewed halfway through on the opposite side of the vehicle. The scary part was that the buckle was damaged between the seats and wasn’t visible at first glance, which is particularly dangerous.

Along with the seat belt replacement and wiring harness repairs, we performed our FREE 59-point inspection just to be sure all the other major components were in working order.

We were able to replace the seat belts and repair the wiring within two days to get his car back on the road in the condition it’s meant to be driven safely.

Don’t let rodents or other pests take control of your car. All you have to do is schedule an appointment and we’ll take care of the rest!

Our Commitment to you:

  • We will inspect your vehicle and create a “Health Plan” for the foreseeable future.
  • We will prioritize our discoveries into three categories:
    • Safety and reliability
    • Preventative maintenance.
    • Aesthetics, future repairs and maintenance
  • We will review this plan with you and offer strategies to get the most important things done now, and then schedule the remaining services for a future date.
  • We want to take a step-by-step approach to maximizing your vehicle’s performance, reliability and value.
  • We can work with ANY budget.
  • We can negotiate with vendors on pricing and offer multiple options on parts (good, better, best quality).
  • We can offer more or less warranty to help control price and help you achieve your goals.
  • We can offer recycled parts when practical to help save money.

Call today to schedule your appointment today at 949-979-5255!


In between services? Not driving as much? Mostly we hear about how we need to keep our vehicles maintained every 5,000 miles and how to keep up with our scheduled maintenance. What we don’t hear about is what to do when we’re not driving our cars.

Believe it or not, it’s actually worse for your vehicle to be left idle and unattended than it is to drive it every day. Over time, fluids break down causing excessive internal wear, tires can get flat spots, seals and gaskets can become dry and brittle and start to leak. It’s also very common in Orange County for rodents to build nests and chew on the wires and hoses of your vehicle while it’s being stored.

New cars sales are down as much as 35% nationwide through the second quarter of 2020 indicating that consumers are holding onto their cars instead of buying new ones. Here’s how we can help you get the most value out of your current vehicle.

We are continuing to offer our 59-point inspection for FREE. All you have to do is schedule an appointment, no strings attached.

  • We will inspect your vehicle and create a “Health Plan” for the foreseeable future.
  • We will prioritize our discoveries into three categories:
    • Safety and reliability.
    • Preventative maintenance.
    • Aesthetics, future repairs, and maintenance.
  • We will review this plan with you and offer strategies to get the most important things done now, and then schedule the remaining services for a future date.
  • We want to take a step-by-step approach to maximizing your vehicle’s performance, reliability, and value.
  • We can work with ANY budget.
    • We can negotiate with vendors on pricing, offer multiple options on parts (good, better, best) quality.
    • Offer more or less warranty to help control price and help you achieve your goals.
    • Offer recycled parts when practical to help save money.

Call today to schedule your appointment since we can only accommodate two FREE Inspections per day.


We are proud our customers voted us Best Auto Repair shop in the Orange County Register’s 26th Annual People’s Choice Awards for the 11th year in a row! Every year the citizens of Orange County vote on the best auto repair shops in area, and once more the choice was clear. Star Motors continues to earn the confidence of Orange County luxury motorists by providing truly exceptional auto services for luxury European imports at less-than-dealership prices.

How Our Shop Has Grown Over 11 Years

When Chris Knuth and his wife Emma bought Star Motors in 2008, they decided to reinvent this San Juan Capistrano auto shop as a leader in luxury car repair and maintenance services. 11 years later, Star Motors is one of the most respected luxury auto service stations in Orange County, with thousands of loyal, repeat customers and a well-deserved reputation for excellence.

Our secret to success? We never stop improving! Here are just a few enhancements we’ve made as we continue to elevate our service and care for our customers and their vehicles:

  • Door-to-door concierge service
  • Caring for the environment by going completely paperless
  • VIP Savings Club ($619.96 value for only $139.96)
  • Complimentary loaner car or shuttle
  • Full vehicle detailing service
  • New, larger auto shop with more space for our dealership-level diagnostic equipment
  • Luxurious customer lounge with free Wi-Fi
  • Free car wash with any Service
  • Comprehensive 59-Point Service Inspection at every visit

New Location

Stop by our new and improved auto shop at 32961 Calle Perfecto in San Juan Capistrano, just a few blocks south of our previous location. With a spacious waiting area, luxurious customer lounge, and free Wi-Fi, we offer the same great car repair and maintenance services with even more comfort and convenience.

Star Auto Spa

Now you can trust Star Motors with more than expert luxury auto care. Give us a call today to schedule a same-day appointment for full vehicle detailing. Every service and repair also comes with a FREE complimentary car wash.

Apprentice Program

At Star Motors, we are committed to ensuring the future of great auto service throughout San Juan Capistrano and Orange County. That’s why we started our Technician Apprentice Program, which provides mentors and career paths for entry-level personnel. Young service techs gain valuable hands-on experience by working with our seasoned team members. They learn the ropes of providing exceptional, dealership-level diagnostics, repairs, and maintenance services from the very best in the business. It’s just one more way that the Star Motors family contributes to delivering high-quality luxury auto care services in Orange County.

Completely Paperless

Star Motors not only provides the best car repair and maintenance services for Mercedes Benz, BMW, Porsche, Jaguar, and Land Rover – we also care about taking care of our community and the environment. We reached a major milestone this February when we succeeded in going completely paperless! You can rest easier knowing that you’ll receive the same personalized customer service from our dedicated team, all while contributing to conservation and sustainability.

We recently moved to a new location, 32961 Calle Perfecto, San Juan Capistrano. Schedule an appointment at Star Motors today to see our new shop improvements and learn why Orange County voted us best auto repair 11 years in a row!

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The polls are open in the Best of San Juan Capistrano Dispatch People’s Choice Horseshoe Awards. Please vote Star Motors for Best Mechanic Shop and Best Overall Customer Service! We’ve won the OC Register’s Best of Orange County People’s Choice award for Best Auto Repair for 11 years in a row, and now we’re going for San Juan Capistrano! Polls close on December 8th and voting is open to people who live outside of the area, as well. We’d love your vote, so click here to vote for us!

Reasons Our Customers Choose Star Motors

Star Motors is trusted by countless motorists throughout Orange County, who continue to rely on us because we provide exceptional European luxury auto services at less-than-dealership prices. Our ASE-certified auto technicians have over 68 years of combined experience, many of them at luxury auto dealerships like Mercedes Benz, Porsche, and Audi. As a testament to our skills and experience, we have earned the distinction of being an AAA Approved Auto Repair Shop, a Bosch Certified Service Station, and a Certified California Green Station.

Customer Service

It’s not just our knowledge and expertise that makes us Orange County’s best choice for car repair and maintenance. At Star Motors, we truly care about our customers. To us, luxury auto service is not just about caring for your vehicle – it’s about keeping families safe. That’s why we go the extra mile to ensure that every customer is treated with honesty, courtesy, and respect. We even offer FREE door-to-door concierge service anywhere in South OC.

Prices Less Than the Dealer

If you’ve received a quote from a dealership that seems excessive, give us a call today. Or stop by our San Juan Capistrano auto shop to speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable service techs. Our prices are usually much less than your local dealership, whether you need a transmission flush, brake pad replacement, electrical diagnostics, or routine maintenance.

Complimentary Car Wash

As an extra perk, every service comes with a complimentary car wash to keep your vehicle looking in top shape. We also now offer full-service auto detailing! Call today to schedule a convenient same-day appointment.


At Star Motors, we value complete transparency and honest auto repair. When performing any inspection, diagnostic test, service, or repair on your vehicle, our expert technicians take multiple photographs and detailed readings. We then share our findings with you according to your preferred communication method, whether that means through text, phone, or email. Every one of our services is always clearly listed on your bill, and there are never any hidden fees or costs.

59-point Inspection

Because we care so much about our customers’ safety, we provide a comprehensive 59-point vehicle inspection with every service. This includes checking all major systems, including fluid levels, tire pressure, belts, hoses, and more. If we find any problems or warning signs with your vehicle, will let you know immediately. We can then work with you to find an ideal solution that fits your needs and budget.

Certified Technicians & Equipment

All of our factory-trained technicians are certified by the National Association of Automotive Excellence (ASE). In addition, we only use dealership-level tools and advanced diagnostic equipment, and are a member of the National Automotive Service Task force (NASTF). This means we have access to proprietary OEM security and diagnostics information for all major brands of European luxury imports, and can complete dealership-level repairs according to authorized brand specifications.

Complimentary Car Rental or Shuttle

We take the hassle out of car repair by offering complimentary shuttle service to locations throughout South Orange County. Or, we can help arrange a car rental through our neighbor, Enterprise Rent-a-Car. They offer Star Motors’ customers an exclusive $25 discounted rental rate.


Star Motors is proud to announce that as of February 2019, we have gone completely paperless! You’ll receive the same great Star Motors’ customer service and efficiency, all while helping the environment and c¬¬ontributing to conservation.

Visit Our Shop and Vote for Us

Stop by today to visit our new and improved, spacious auto repair shop! We’ve recently moved just down the street to 32961 Calle Perfecto in San Juan Capistrano. And remember to vote for us in the Best of San Juan Capistrano Dispatch People’s Choice Horseshoe Awards! We are in the running for Best Mechanic Shop and Best Overall Customer Service. Polls close December 8th, and voting is open to people living outside the area.

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What Happened To My Fuel Economy?

Have you recently noticed that your vehicle seems to no longer be getting the great gas mileage it used to? Well, there may be a few reasons why. Like any “issues” with your vehicle, there can be numerous roots of the cause for poor fuel economy.

Air Filter: Made of pleated paper fabric elements, its purpose is to prevent pollen, dust and particulates from entering the fuel system. If they were to enter, they could do some serious damage. If your air filter seems to be clogged and is restricting air flow, take out the air filter and hold it up to a bright light. If there isn’t much light that is passing through it, that means it’s time for a new one.

Tires: Having under-inflated tires means that there is more rolling resistance, and more rolling resistance means poorer fuel economy. Check your tire inflation at least once a month by using a tire gauge. Even the slightest amount of under-inflation can cause problems, so get your tires checked right away!

Check Engine light: Your engine relies on a series of sensors that send great amounts of information to the drivetrain computer in order to monitor your vehicle’s fuel delivery, ignition timing, transmission shift points and many other important functions. If a sensor is sending abnormal operating limits, a trouble code will be registered in the engine’s drivetrain computer and the Check Engine light on the dashboard will be illuminated. A technician can then use a code reader or scanner device, connected to the diagnostic connector, to read the codes and figure out what the root of the issue is.

Oxygen Sensor: Engines use an O2 sensor in the exhaust stream to monitor the content of the exhaust gases. Typically, the O2 sensor(s) will last for the length of the vehicle’s life, but there is a possibility of one failing. If this happens, it can lead to a rich-running condition and cause the engine to put excessive amounts of fuel into the system. Remember the saying that your parents used to tell you, “too much of anything is bad?” Well, it even applies to your vehicle!

Have questions or concerns? No worries, call us today at 949-443- 1970 and we will get your vehicle back to tip-top shape in no time!

-Star Motors

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Celebrating Being Voted “Best Of Orange County” 8 Years In A Row

Wow, can you believe it? Eight years in a row! There is absolutely nothing more rewarding to us than seeing our faithful clients who have been coming to us all these years continue to vote us as one of the best businesses in town. Seeing this for the 8th consecutive year is truly one of the greatest compliments we could ever receive from you all. Your loyalty and continued business is, and forever will be, sincerely appreciated.


Reflecting on how much we have grown over the past few years, we can easily remember being one of the small shops in town back when we first opened our doors in 1985. From then until now, we have grown to an 11,000 square-foot facility and have clients traveling from miles and miles away so that they can ensure their vehicles are being taken care of with the absolute best quality service and care. It has been an incredible journey so far and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for all of The Star Family.


For those of you who weren’t already aware, our new location places us next to an Enterprise car rental office. We use Enterprise for complimentary loaner cars for our customers while we work on their vehicles. Sometimes it can be a real hassle and inconvenience when your vehicle all of a sudden has an issue, so we want to make sure that you can continue to get to work and go about your life while we go ahead and do what we do best.


Listen to what one of our amazing clients recently wrote about us in a review on Yelp: “I had the best experience with Mark and his mechanics from Star Motors. My Jeep wouldn’t start and was towed in on a Thursday evening. They not only fixed the problems but also got me back on the road by noon the next day! They were so kind that they even offered to pay for a rental car if they couldn’t fix the Jeep in time for me to get to work. I will be coming back again for any maintenance and recommend this place to anyone new to the area like myself.”


Comments like the one above are what let us know that our job is being done correctly. It’s what constantly motivates us to uphold our high standards of service for each and every client that we serve.


So again, we want to give a deep and sincere thanks to everyone that has ever come to us for any service on their vehicle. Each of us here at Star Motors absolutely love the work that we do each and every day, and we are truly honored that you continue to believe in and trust us to get the job done correctly. We look forward to seeing you all again in the future!


Till next time,

The Star Team

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Having a cluttered vehicle certainly is no fun. Driving your car should be an enjoyable experience, not a stressful one! To help you make sure that you actually enjoy driving around this fall, we’ve put together 5 steps to help you declutter your vehicle.

  1. Take the time to clean your car at least once a month. This can sometimes be a bit time consuming, but doing so will go a long way in making your vehicle much more pleasant to drive in. Vacuum the seats and floors, wipe down the dash and console, wash the exterior, and protect it with wax or a sealant. These may seem like chores, but it’s the best place to start when wanting to get things tidy again!
  2. The next thing that we recommend is to consider what things you really need and want to have in your car. It is easy to pile up a bunch of miscellaneous things such as empty water bottles, mugs and containers, so taking the time to be aware of what you really should have in your car will help get rid of those unwanted items.            
  3. Going through your glove box, center console, and other storage compartments would be a very wise thing to do. How many random items do you think that you have stashed in your car?  We are pretty sure that the old SMOG paperwork from 2008 won’t be of much use to you anytime soon, so make a pile of what you absolutely need to keep and take the rest to the shredder!
  4. It’s time to tackle the trunk! This may be the easiest or the hardest task of them all depending on how much you tend to store in the back. Drivers tend to toss trash, spare blankets, and abandon long-forgotten purchases in the trunk because after all, out of sight, out of mind, right? Not quite! Like the front of your vehicle, you should spend some time getting around to the back. If you happen to be storing a stare tire underneath the floor of your trunk, lift up the floor and check out all of the dirtiness that has accumulated down there.
  5. Lastly, it’s time to do one more sweep of the car. Make sure you’ve gotten all the garbage and that you’ve returned all your emergency supplies to your car so that it’s ready for whatever adventures that you’ll be going on!

If you want to learn more about keeping your car clean and in tip-top shape, give us a call at 949.443.1970 to schedule an appointment with us! We know that you will be glad that you did!

-The Star Team

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