Jax Auto Repair

Servicing Brea and the surrounding area since 1985

Jax Auto Repair - Servicing Brea and the surrounding area since 1985

Fuel Filter Replacement

You would never like to drink a glass of mud, right? Well, your car feels the same way. It needs a steady supply of clean fuel in order to run well and deliver good fuel economy. The fuel filter’s job is to clean dirt and rust out of the fuel before it gets to your engine. A clogged fuel filter can actually choke off the engine so that it won’t start or run. Some fuel filters have a bypass valve that allows fuel to go around the clogged filter so your car will still run. But, then the contaminated fuel can plug your fuel injectors and allow damaging particles into your engine.

A car with a partially clogged fuel filter might run well around town, but sputter and strain on the highway because it’s starving for gas. There are two things that affect how often you need to replace the filter. They are: where you drive and the gas you buy. If you drive a lot on dirt or gravel roads in rural California, your fuel filter will have a harder time keeping the fuel clean.

And, we hate to say it, but buying the cheapest gas from cut-rate La Habra area stations sometimes means dirtier fuel that’ll clog the filter sooner. Major brands tend to be cleaner and certainly have higher levels of detergent additives.

Of course, your manufacturer recommends intervals for changing the fuel filter. But, it’s a little more complicated than that. Some manufacturers stopped listing recommended intervals for fuel filter replacement or have very long intervals like every five years or eighty thousand miles. So you may need to look to other sources for recommendations. Cars older than six or seven years are especially at risk because they have had time for dirt and rust to build up in the fuel tank. A clean fuel filter keeps the gas flowing. Even a partially clogged filter puts added strain on the fuel pump. That can shorten its life and result in a costly repair.

As is often the case, spending a little money now on something as inexpensive as a fuel filter can save money down the road. At Jax Auto Repair in Brea, we can check your fuel filter. It is better than fixing a burned out fuel pump or ruined fuel injectors.

Jax Auto Repair Guide To Using the Correct Fluids in Your Vehicle

Today’s Jax Auto Repair post focuses on using the proper fluids for your vehicle. Big advances in automotive technology have lead to the development of high-tech fluids to keep pace. Some because of engineering advances and others, advances in the materials used to build sedan automotive systems.

A simple example of this is the cooling system. For decades it was primarily made out of iron, steel and rubber hoses. There was one kind of coolant that protected these components from corrosion.

Now cooling system components are made with various metal alloys and plastics. These materials require different additives to protect them from corrosion. Since the materials used vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, we now have a number of different kinds of coolant.

And it’s important that Fullerton car owners use the right coolant. Jax Auto Repair Guide To Using the Correct Fluids in Your VehicleIf you pour in the wrong kind, it won’t protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your sedan owner’s manual. Of course, your Jax Auto Repair advisor will know the proper coolant to use.

Brake fluid is confusing for some Fullerton drivers. Back when we opened shop 27 years ago, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some Fullerton people mistakenly think the higher numbers are an upgrade. You know, if 3 is good then 4 must be better. That’s not how it works. They are different formulations to meet the demands of differences in brake systems. Only one of them is recommended for your sedan.

Transmission fluid is the same thing. For decades there were two basic types of tranny fluid used at Jax Auto Repair: friction modified or not. With the tremendous engineering advances in sedan automatic transmissions, there have been several new types of fluids developed to protect and lubricate them.

Nowhere are the advances in automotive fluids more evident to Fullerton motorists and Jax Auto Repair professionals than in motor oil. Many new weights and formulations have been created to meet the demands of today’s modern sedan engine design. Modern engines have more parts and much tighter tolerances. Every year, engines make more power and get better fuel economy. And with all the complication and sophistication, they still have to be durable.

That’s where the new grades of engine oil come in. They have to be formulated to lubricate, protect and clean all of those sedan engine parts, big and little. The oil has to be thin enough to get into little passages, yet resistant to vaporization.

At Jax Auto Repair, we believe that in some ways modern automotive fluids are just as great feats of engineering as the new engines. Because weights of oil and types of coolant and transmission fluid are so carefully matched to the vehicle, take care to always use the proper fluid if you are topping off at home.

Check your sedan owner’s manual or ask your Fullerton service advisor.
The wrong fluid can cause damage. If you drive a car or truck with 75,000 miles or more, consider high mileage formulations. These fluids contain extra detergent to clean dirtier older engines as well as additives to condition seals and gaskets. That’ll help prevent leaks. Always be sure that the high mileage fluid is the same weight or type of fluid recommended for your vehicle.

Protecting Your sedan From Theft In Brea California

Every car in Brea California is at risk for theft. So it’s up to us to make our cars a less appealing target and more of a challenge – hopefully sending potential thieves to look elsewhere.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends a layered approach to protecting vehicles:

  1. Common sense
  2. Visible and audible devices
  3. Immobilizing devices
  4. Tracking devices

Let’s review each of these. First, common sense: you would be surprised how many vehicles are stolen from Brea California where the keys were left in the ignition with the doors unlocked. Always take your keys, and lock the doors. In fact, in some places it’s against the law to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition.

And don’t leave spare keys in the car or hide them outside – because a thief will find them. Try to park in well-lit areas that have a lot of foot traffic. If possible, park near the end of a row and near a light. Back your car into a parking space or your driveway to make your car more visible to passersby and harder for a thief to work under the hood without being seen.

Remember to roll up your windows completely and avoid leaving your car in public lots for a long time. If you park in a lot that has an attendant, only give them the ignition key.

Keep valuables out of sight: purses, wallets, cell phones, clothes and even change are attractive “smash-and-grab” targets. And pay to have your Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, etched into your windows – it makes your car less attractive to a thief who wants to send your car to a chop shop.

There are lots of visible and audible devices available. A steering wheel lock is highly visible and will deter some thieves. Loud alarms can alert you and others that your vehicle is being tampered with. But if your alarm does go off, be careful. Observe what’s going on; get descriptions of suspicious people and vehicles, including license plate numbers.

Now, if you catch a thief in the act, call 911 but don’t approach the person. Your safety is more important than the car.

And here’s a great one – immobilizing devices. They actually shut off your car’s electrical or fuel supply. So without a key, or knowing where the hidden switch is located, a thief can’t drive your car away.

Finally, you can also get a tracking device that allows police to track your car down and recover it quickly.

Remember, where you live, work and drive around Brea California has a great impact on your decisions. If you’re in an area with high theft rates, you may want to spend more money on security systems. And check with your Brea California auto insurance company to see if they offer discounts for adding any of these items.

Of course, the common sense suggestions from Jax Auto Repair don’t cost anything and go a long way toward keeping your car safe from thieves. Take a look at the attached video auto tip from AutoNetTV.

Come see us for practical advice on keeping your sedan safe.
Jax Auto Repair
331 South Brea Boulevard, Brea, California 92821
Call us at (714) 529-2886

What Is A Differential And Do You Have One?

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Brea, California, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most folks in Brea, California don’t even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don’t need to be serviced for years, so it’s understandable that it’s not something on the top of mind for our Brea customers. So it’s not uncommon for people to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

Call Jax Auto Repair at (714) 529-2886 for information about differential service, or stop by our Brea, California auto center at 331 South Brea Boulevard 92821.

To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Brea high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That’s to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It’s a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars in the Brea, California area weigh between three and six thousand pounds – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That’s a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool.

The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that breakdown over time. So manufacturers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.

Your Brea, California technician at Jax Auto Repair will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. Then he’ll replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Jax Auto Repair service advisor can look up the manufacturer’s recommended service interval or you can check your owner’s manual. Give us a call at (714) 529-2886 for more information about your differential service.

Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down Around Brea

There’s not much we can do about the price of gas in Brea California, but we do quite a bit about how much we use as we’re driving on our Brea streets.

Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.

Slow Down In Brea for Fuel Economy The first thing we can do is watch the ‘go-pedal’. Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don’t need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Go a little slower on the freeway to La Habra. Once you’re going more than sixty-five miles an hour your fuel economy starts to drop dramatically. Leave early so you don’t need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speed uses less gas.

Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands.

Hey at current gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot.

Jax Auto Repair
331 South Brea Boulevard
Brea, California 92821
(714) 529-2886