Jax Auto Repair

Servicing Brea and the surrounding area since 1985

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

The Easy Way To Save Cash In Brea

The hottest California news story may be different everyday, but there’s one topic that seems to come up over and over again – the price of gas in Brea. If you feel like most of your paycheck goes into your gas tank, this post is for you. Here are several basic things  Brea auto owners can do to greatly reduce their gas consumption, save money, and help the La Habra environment. You can really improve your fuel efficiency by how you drive – but first, here’s a review of things you can do for your car that’ll save gas no matter how you drive.

The first one for Brea auto owners is keeping tires properly inflated. That can save two miles per gallon. Driving on low tires is like driving through sand – your car just has to work harder. Most Brea service centers will fill up your tires for free, so just ask your Jax Auto Repairservice advisor. Also, make a habit of checking your tire pressure whenever you fill up. Many Brea gas stations have an air hose you can use for free.

Another important item is to keep your air filter clean. An air filter all clogged up with dirt and bugs doesn’t let enough clean air through to efficiently burn fuel. Using a dirty air filter will cost you almost two miles per gallon in reduced fuel economy. And worn spark plugs can cost another two. A spark plug can fire as many as 3,000,000 times for every thousand miles driven. Check the sedan owner’s manual for replacement recommendations.

The biggest item is the oxygen sensor. This device provides the engine management computer with vital information it needs to fine-tune the fuel/air mix. When that’s messed up it can cost Brea auto owners up to three miles per gallon. And of course, there’s dangerous dirty or substandard oil. Dirty oil causes extra drag. The wrong grade may be too thick. That’s another .4 miles per gallon right there.

One item Brea residents seldom think about is their gas cap. A worn, loose or missing gas cap can cost another two miles per gallon. Adding up all of these worn, missing or sub-par items leads to a total of almost 11.4 miles per gallon in reduced fuel efficiency! And with current gas prices in the Brea area, the cost really adds up. Taking care of these simple maintenance items will save Brea drivers cash at the pump. 

Now most Brea drivers aren’t missing on all of these items, but think about which ones might affect you right now! And don’t forget tune-ups, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, fuel system cleaning, wheels out of alignment, PCV valve, fuel filter and other critical services spelled out in your owners’ manual.

Jax Auto Repair knows all this stuff and can tell you when you’re scheduled to take care of each item. Create a system of your own to track your service schedules, or just use the computer system at Jax Auto Repair – which may also be updated with recall notices and important maintenance schedule items from your automobile manufacturer.

Your Vehicle is NOT Maintenance Free, Brea Car Owners

A generation ago, Brea car owners seemed to be more inclined to keep their vehicle’s preventive maintenance on schedule. One reason for this may be that vehicles back then were a lot less reliable than they are today. Having your sedan in to your Brea shop every year or two for repairs seemed to be a good reminder to keep the oil changed.

For example, almost everyone in Brea used to take their vehicles in for regular tune-ups. Vehicles had mechanical ignition systems, which meant ignition points, spark plugs and coils had to be replaced and the timing adjusted every few years. As long as the sedan was in for a tune-up at Jax Auto Repair, the vehicle was inspected and you took care of any needed repairs at the same time.

Today’s engines have electronic ignition systems and engine control computers. Spark plugs can last for up to 100,000 miles. Vehicle reliability has vastly improved in the last few decades, and surveys report fewer problems with new vehicles than ever before. That also means that our sedans don’t experience a huge performance drop when they’re ready for some car care. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t need it.

Modern Brea motorists need to rely on calendars and mileage intervals to know when to schedule maintenance. Owner’s manuals contain recommendations on when different types of maintenance should be performed. Also, your Brea service center can provide advice about auto maintenance schedules. At Jax Auto Repair in Brea, we know that benefits of staying on top of preventive maintenance are substantial. First, you’ll get better engine performance and fuel efficiency. Those two things alone return the cost of preventive maintenance: in fuel savings and safety. Also, routine maintenance has been proven to prevent major car repairs later on. Again, the cost savings can be significant. As the old saying goes, “Spend a penny, save a dime.”

Modern sedan engines may be more durable and reliable than their predecessors, but they’re more sophisticated and complex as well. For this reason, preventive maintenance today is even more critical than the old tune-up. Modern engine systems have a lot of essential parts that have to stay lubricated. These parts can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel. Special additives in lubricants are required to keep each of these materials from breaking down or corroding. Over time, these additives are depleted, even if the sedan isn’t driven. This makes fluid changes a critical part of scheduled maintenance if you want to keep your car on the road.

As an example, coolant fluid in your engine is a sophisticated mix that not only keeps your sedan engine cool but also protects and maintains its components. However, this fluid gradually gets contaminated and anti-corrosion additives are depleted. It can become corrosive and actually damage the sedan engine parts it was designed to protect. It can actually eat holes in your radiator and other engine parts. Changing the coolant could have prevented this costly damage, and it’s a whole lot easier and cheaper than replacing a radiator.

Timely oil changes are more critical for Brea motorists than they used to be. Skipping just one oil change can start the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Sludge can clog small engine passages, which cuts off the supply of lubricant to important engine parts. Just this small bit of sludge can reduce the life expectancy of your engine. If the build-up continues, it could lead to engine failure within two or three years.

One word of warning to anyone in La Habra who purchases used automobiles: take care when buying a leased vehicle. Brea folks who lease vehicles only intend to drive them for two or three years, generally the years when the vehicle is least likely to experience any problems. One of the reasons people lease vehicles is that they don’t want to be bothered with maintenance or car care. Before buying a pre-leased vehicle, be sure to inspect it for signs of damage that result from lack of proper care.

Brea auto owners can all be grateful for the improved reliability of our modern vehicles. With proper maintenance and care, we can expect them to last longer, perform better, get better gas mileage, and require fewer repairs than ever before. We just have to be more conscientious about scheduling time for their care.

Jax Auto Repair: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?

Just as our bodies need clean air to function properly, your sedan engine needs clean air to operate efficiently. Let’s go egghead for a minute. For every gallon of gas we burn driving on California highways, twenty pounds of carbon dioxide comes out the tailpipe. Question: how can a gallon of gas that weighs a little over six pounds produce twenty pounds of carbon dioxide?

The answer is that the carbon comes from the gasoline, but the oxygen comes from the air. You see, it takes about twelve thousand gallons of air to burn a gallon of gas in your engine. Clearly, your sedan needs a lot of air to keep going in Fullerton. A lot of clean air is best.

Jax Auto Repair: Why Replace Your Engine Air Filter?You’ve seen the pictures of people in Japan wearing face masks. They want some kind of filter to keep unwanted pollution and germs out of their lungs. Well, your sedan also works better when its internals are clean. When your sedan air filter’s dirty, it simply can’t trap any more dirt, so the pollutants just pass through into your air intake system. From there it can clog your fuel injectors and even get into the motor itself. Not surprisingly, burning dust and pollen in your sedan engine does you no good.

So, we’re talking potential damage for La Habra drivers. But another big thing is wasted fuel. Your sedan engine management computer tries to mix the correct amount of air in with the fuel. If the filter’s clogged, there isn’t enough air for the optimal fuel to air mix and that really messes with fuel efficiency.

In fact, replacing a dirty air filter at Jax Auto Repair in Brea can improve your fuel economy by up to ten percent. At today’s Fullerton fuel prices, you should be able to pay for a new air filter before your next oil change.

The verdict: When your sedan engine air filter needs to be replaced; it needs to be replaced. How often depends entirely on the level of air pollution where you drive in California. A simple visual inspection at Jax Auto Repair will tell you when you need a new engine air filter.

When you look at the air filter on your furnace at home and see it’s all clogged up with dust and dirt, you don’t hesitate to replace it. When your Jax Auto Repair service advisor shows you your nasty engine air filter, you now know why you should go ahead and replace it.

Jax Auto Repair Maintenance Tips: The Belt Goes On

Today’s Jax Auto Repair auto maintenance article focuses on your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power essential automotive systems. Let’s go over them.

First, the serpentine belt drives your sedan air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in La Habra.

Next, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your sedan’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. Jax Auto Repair Maintenance Tips The Belt Goes OnAll La Habra auto owners know that without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.

The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes. And, on many sedans, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures for La Habra motorists. (On some sedans, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.)

So you can see the serpentine belt does a lot of work. And it if breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why car makers and your service advisor at Jax Auto Repair have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn’t fail.

Your
friendly Jax Auto Repair tech can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon and will measure the amount of belt material to make sure there is enough.

Your serpentine belt works in tandem with a spring loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its important job is to make sure there’s a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn’t slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Jax Auto Repair, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

All in all, the serpentine belt’s an essential art for the function of your sedan. And it’s not that expensive to replace at Jax Auto Repair – so bring in your vehicle if it hasn’t been checked in a while.

Gas Savings In Brea: Sharpen Your Pencil

High gas prices in Brea increase the cost of living for California car owners. You’ve probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some Brea vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

According to California news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn’t been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.

Gas Savings In Brea: Sharpen Your PencilIn this area, we can take a lesson from professional Brea vehicle owners. I’m talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Brea folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel efficiency may put their La Habra business in the red.

So what does this mean to Brea drivers? Well, there’s a ninety percent chance that you’re missing some service that would improve your fuel efficiency. Here’s a quick reminder list:

Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
Ring any bells? Can most Brea car owners honestly say that there isn’t at least one thing on the list that hasn’t been done?

Let’s suppose you chose to spend one hundred and fifty dollars and get caught up on some of these services at Jax Auto Repair. Figure that they combine to improve your gas mileage by fifteen percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

Well, the average personal vehicle in Brea is driven about twelve thousand miles a year. If you get twenty miles per gallon in your sedan, over the course of one year you would pay for the hundred and fifty dollars worth of service and save an additional hundred and sixty five dollars if gas is at three dollars and fifty cents. If gas is four fifty, you would save two hundred and fifty-five dollars. And you’d rack up savings of three hundred and forty five dollars with gas at five and a half bucks.

GAS PRICE
$3.50
$4.50
$5.50
20 MPG
$165
$255
$345

From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in Brea for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A fifteen percent improvement in gas mileage can generate huge savings – six hundred and sixty dollars a year if gas is four fifty a gallon in Brea. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.

GAS PRICE $3.50 $4.50 $5.50
10 MPG $480 $660 $840
20 MPG $165 $255 $345
30 MPG $60 $120 $180

 

So catch up on those services you’ve been neglecting at Jax Auto Repair. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you’ll save a lot of cash at Brea gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.

 

 

Keeping Your Car Young in Brea

As Brea consumers, we live in a disposable society. It’s amazing all the stuff we throw away.

New stuff comes out so fast in California, and much of it is fairly cheap, so we just toss the old and move on. It seems like when we were kids in La Habra, our parents were real sticklers about taking care of our stuff – especially parents who grew up in the Depression. You know, hang up your clothes, polish your shoes, put away your toys. If something got lost or ruined by neglect, tough, we had to do without. 

Brea auto owners couldn’t afford new cars very often, so we tried to make them last as long as we could. It’s a good thing that cars are more reliable these days. They just don’t break down as often. And the good news for us Brea penny pinchers is that a modern car can easily go 200,000 miles with proper care. The engineering’s there and so is the manufacturing quality. The missing ingredient is us making sure we follow the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedules.

Is it really that bad for Brea motorists to get off schedule? Well, it all adds up. Every time you go a couple thousand extra miles between oil changes, you’ve created an opportunity for detrimental sludge to form and clog passages. Then some parts don’t get oiled and they start to wear out faster. 

Skip a cooling system service, and the corrosion inhibitors become depleted, and the radiator starts being damaged – one step closer to a failure. The same thing is true for transmission service, power brakes, fuel system cleaning – really everything on your schedule.

It’s also even more important for older vehicles in the Brea area. Those engines and other systems have had more time to get dirty, so they’re working harder anyway. But it’s never too late for Brea drivers to get back on track with critical maintenance and to hold off further expensive damage.

It’s just another example of our parents knowing what’s best. (Surprising how often that happens.) And it really does start with the oil change, just like Dad said. When you get a full service oil change they top off all your fluids and check for other items that are on your maintenance schedule. That’s like your safety net; go in for oil changes on time, and let your technician at Jax Auto Repair in Brea help you keep track of the rest.

Of course, it is inevitable for Brea auto owners that some things are going to wear out along the way – important stuff like alternators, water pumps and such – they don’t last forever. But that stuff is cheaper than a new car payment. And taking care of problems early means they have less time to cause other problems. It’s like having high cholesterol; you don’t want to wait for a heart attack before you address it.

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

Budget For Maintenance in Brea

Sometimes busy Brea residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around La Habra in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today’s automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Brea auto owners spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today’s vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.

Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today’s Brea motorists would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience; and it’s likely that yesterday’s Brea car owners didn’t care much for it, either. So on today’s vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at Brea area auto service centers.

Brea car owners should certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Car care in Brea is simply more expensive than it used to be. So if you think about it, California motorists can avoid many costly sedan repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.

Edmunds.com has a great calculator to help you estimate car repair costs. La Habra auto owners can enter the year, make and model for your vehicle, and the calculator will give you an estimate of what it will cost to service and repair your vehicle for the next five years. It also estimates the costs for depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fuel.

These estimates can be used to set up a reasonable budget to manage your car repair and maintenance expenses. Of course, they are just estimates. All Fullerton motorists know that life hands out a lot of surprises — some good, some bad, so there’s no way to know exactly what your sedan will need. But a good estimate helps you make a good budget, and a good budget is always helpful when it comes to car repairs.

Let’s look at one example. For a 2003 Toyota Camry, here is Edmunds’ estimate for the cost of repairs and maintenance for the next three years (as of the time of this writing):

Yr. 1 Yr. 2  
Yr. 3 
3-Yr. Total  
Maintenance 748    
225      
794     
1767  
Repairs 352      
409 476 1237  
                           Total 1,100 634 1,270 3,004  
Monthly Average 92 53 106 83  

According to this estimate, the owner needs to set aside about $83 a month to defray the costs of car care. That sounds like a lot until you compare it to the payment on a new automobile. And even if car repairs are more pricey than expected, that $83 is going to make the bills a lot less painful.

Just a bit of auto advice from Jax Auto Repair: If you like new cars and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new car every few years because you’re afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and California auto insurance with an older Brea vehicle, and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for important preventive maintenance in California, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less costly!

Jax Auto Repair Helps You Decipher The Menu Board: Part 2

Brea service centers have a menu board that lists the services they provide. Some Brea drivers may not be familiar with all of the items on the board so here is a quick description of some of the typical services that might be listed.

Jax Auto Repair fuel system cleaning: Over time, the sedan fuel system gets gum and varnish built up. A fuel system cleaning gets rid of that and cleans out the fuel injectors. Saves gas, by the way.

Jax Auto Repair headlamp replacement: Halogen and standard headlamps gradually fade. It’s usually good to change them every year or so.

Jax Auto Repair inspections: Brea drivers get inspections for many reasons. Maybe they’re going on a trip or just want to make sure their vehicle’s ready for California summer or winter. Maybe they just bought a used sedan and want to give it the once over. An inspection may reveal some things that are broken or are getting close to having a problem.

Jax Auto Repair oil change: – there are several options: Some Brea centers offer just an oil change and new filter as an option. Most will also check and top off all of your other fluids and do a quick visual inspection with a full service oil change. In my way of thinking, the full service option is best because it makes sure you have adequate fluids and may uncover an emerging problem. There may also be options for higher mileage fluids or an upgrade to synthetic oil.

Jax Auto Repair PCV valve replacement in Brea:
PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve. It’s a little part that releases pressure from the engine. It can get gummed up and that can lead to engine damage. Just needs to be changed now and then.

Jax Auto Repair power steering service: Often overlooked. Your friendly Jax Auto Repair technician will evacuate the old fluid, clean out the system and replace it with clean fluid. Keeps the sedan system running well for a long time.

Jax Auto Repair serpentine belt service:
That’s the belt that powers the sedan engine’s accessories like the alternator, air conditioner, power steering and brakes. You’ll want to replace the serpentine belt before it breaks, because that’ll shut you down.

Jax Auto Repair shocks and struts: This starts with an inspection of the suspension components. Shocks last a long time and wear out slowly, so many Brea people don’t notice when it’s time to change them. If they’re worn or leaking, they need to be replaced.

Jax Auto Repair transmission service:
This involves removing the transmission fluid and replacing it with clean fluid. It’s like an oil change for your transmission.

Jax Auto Repair tire rotation and wheel balancing: The tires are rotated from front to back using the recommended rotation pattern. This helps tires wear more evenly. Wheels need to be balanced from time to time to keep them turning without any wobble or bounce. Helps the ride and saves tire wear.

Keys to a Long Lasting Vehicle

Brea auto owners live in a disposable society. Everything from elaborate packaging to our clothing. Even cell phones are disposable. When replacement is cheaper than repair, the term “built to last” goes by the wayside. An exception is our vehicles. They’re still a very big investment and Brea motorists want to make them last as long as possible – and we want to make keeping them as cheap as possible. When talking cars, it’s all about preventive maintenance. There is an old saying that says, “a stitch in time saves nine” and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your car. A great example is coolant service in Brea.

Your coolant not only protects your engine from overheating and freezing – it must also protect cooling system components from corrosion. Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That’s why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.

The same is true for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. And of course, Brea auto owners shouldn’t forget those oil changes right on schedule. Skipping even one change can start the build up of harmful oil sludge.

Our engines are full of gaskets and seals. Fresh fluids condition those gaskets and seals to keep them from drying out and leaking. Automotive fluids contain additives that help clean and lubricate the various systems they protect. Over time, the additives are used up and the fluid just does not provide the protection it did when it was fresh. And don’t forget the mechanical systems. Changing brake pads before they are worn to the point that they cause damage to rotors is a great way to keep your operating costs less pricey.

Replacing serpentine belts and timing belts on schedule is much cheaper for Brea motorists than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure. Also, air filters, fuel filters, PCV valves and batteries are all important. Regular wheel alignments, tire rotation and balancing will make your tires last longer. And don’t forget to replace your shocks and struts when they wear out. Your fuel system needs regular cleaning to keep running well, prevent pricey mechanical damage and improving gas mileage.

Now this is a lot to remember for Brea drivers – too much really. But it is your Brea automotive technician’s job to keep on top of this stuff. At Jax Auto Repair we can tell you what your manufacturer recommends and help you with a plan to take care of it. We can advise you about which  maintenance schedule you should use – the regular schedule or the severe service schedule – depending on the kind of driving you do. We also know the right fluids for your vehicle and may even suggest higher mileage formulations for your older sedan.

Bottom line – take care of this stuff on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent pricey damage and maintain your warranty coverage.

Of course, you want your car to look as good as it runs. Regular washing will prevent rust and protect your finish. Take advantage of cleaners, waxes and protectants for your interior and tires. Your vehicle will look great and you’ll be proud to drive it longer.

Most of us Brea motorists can’t afford to throw away our car when it breaks down. By budgeting for regular preventive maintenance, we can prevent many inconvenient – and costly – problems down the road, and can keep driving “old faithful” for years to come.

Commitment to Make Your sedan Last At Jax Auto Repair

For advice on how to make your sedan last longer, visit us at Jax Auto Repair
331 South Brea Boulevard
Brea, California 92821
(714) 529-2886

These days many people in the La Habra area are really committed to making their cars last a long time. First thing: you’ve got to start with what you’ve got. It’d be ideal if people started with a brand new car, never missed a scheduled service item, paid attention to the severe service maintenance schedule and had regular inspections. But if you’ve had the vehicle for a while, or bought it used, its maintenance history is what it is; and that’s where you start.

Go through the maintenance schedule for your sedan and see what’s been done and when. Have your Brea service advisor at Jax Auto Repair do an inspection and come up with a list of stuff that needs to be done. Review the list and prioritize the work, talk about budget and make a plan to get caught up.

Making a plan is so important. Suppose you go in for an oil change and learn you need your cooling system serviced, a transmission service and are coming up on a timing belt replacement in the next 5,000 miles. You might be pretty overwhelmed.

To make it even more stressful, these are all very important systems that are expensive to repair if there’s a failure. In consultation with your Brea service advisor, you might decide to take care of the transmission on this visit, set an appointment for the cooling system service next month and get an estimate for the timing belt replacement so you’ll be prepared for it in a few months.

Having a plan for taking care of these important services will set your mind at ease.