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What Happens When the Check Engine Light Appears?

What Happens When the Check Engine Light Appears?

What is it about that light that causes our blood pressure to spike when we see it shine on our dash? What a feeling of dread is caused as we wonder what this unexpected cost will be.  If you are curious about what could be causing this pesky light to turn on, read on!   When a dash light turns on, it lets you know that there has been a signal sent from the emission system. The emission system on your car is closely linked to your engine, which is why this same system triggers the check engine light.   Your first step when your check engine light turns on is to check your fuel cap. If the vapor system detects a leak, the check engine light on your dash will shine. If this is the issue, merely tightening your fuel cap will make the light go off on your dash.    There are many reasons for a check engine light to illuminate. If the light only turns on when you are driving on the freeway, and shuts off when you are on the side streets, you will want to let your mec ... read more

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Certifications Matter

Certifications Matter

Whether you drive a race car or the family wagon, your vehicle is a significant investment, and its reliability is essential. By choosing to use certified auto mechanics, you can rest assured knowing that your car is in good hands of mechanics that undergo continual training to stay up on the latest techniques and tools in the industry.    ASE stands for Automotive Service Excellence. This certification means that the mechanic on staff has a minimum of 2-years experience before undergoing initial testing. There are tests that cover many topics such as engine repairs, drive trains, axles, suspension, automatic transmissions, suspension, brakes, electrical, heating, and air conditioning, as well as engine performance testing.   Because technology is always changing, certifications expire without undergoing continual training and testing. This means that your auto mechanic is sure to be informed and armed with the latest in automotive repair technology. Computer chips, diag ... read more

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Preventive Maintenance Matters

Preventive Maintenance Matters

Preventive maintenance for your car is like going into the doctor before joining a sports team. A simple checkup can catch a little issue before it becomes a big issue. We all know it is a good idea to get a checkup now and then, so give your car the same care and plan a time to take your vehicle into the shop. Mechanics have a trained eye to catch any warning signs on your car before things get out of hand. Take the time to form a relationship with a repair shop before you need one; it is the ace-in-the-hole move you can make. Knowing they have your car in their system means that you are more likely to get in and back out when time is of the essence.   There are simple things you can regularly do yourself to help prevent damages to your car, things like replacing your cabin filter, washing your car, and replacing your wiper blades. If you are handy, more significant things like oil changes belt, hose, tire, and battery inspections need to be performed. These items are often best ... read more

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How to Love Your Car - 5 Areas of Your Vehicle That Could Use a Little Love

How to Love Your Car - 5 Areas of Your Vehicle That Could Use a Little Love

Larry’s Independent Service in Mission Viejo knows how much you love your car. That’s why we don’t want you to neglect showing it some love this Valentine’s Day. Imagine a day without your car and how bummed you would be if that were the case. Now is the time to show your car a little love. You can never go wrong doing so and will always reap the benefits. Here are 5 ways you can show that love this Valentine’s Day:  Take time to check all of your car’s fluids. Each one contributes to keeping your vehicle running at its best. You’ll want all fluids to be at optimal levels and clear of dirt and debris.  Tires are often neglected, but when cared for can significantly improve your fuel efficiency as well as properly grip the road and even help you stop in time. The way to help your tires wear down evenly is to have them regularly rotated, aligned, and air pressure kept at the right levels of inflation. All the belts and hoses should b ... read more

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Good Driving Habits

Good Driving Habits

As we move into the new decade, this is a wonderful time to reflect on habits that have served us well and maybe ones that aren’t so great. If you take a close look at your driving habits, that’s an area that we could all take the time to reflect upon and find areas that need improving.  The number one bad driving habit that most people not only complain about but also do is using your cell phone while driving. We can’t help it! We HAVE to see who called or quickly read the text that is so important. As human beings, we are wired that way. When we receive a text, it releases dopamine into our system and makes us happy. However, we won’t be happy if we end up in a ditch or worse. Slow down. Don’t be in such a hurry. Give yourself a few extra minutes so you don’t feel compelled to speed. Take a moment and breathe. Even if you are running late, let it go! It’s better to be late than to be dead. No wants a ticket either! Turns signals were ... read more

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Christmas Gifts You Can Give Your Car

Christmas Gifts You Can Give Your Car

It’s the reason for the season: giving! There are some wonderful ways to give and it’s always nice when a gift you give is both fun and practical.  But who says it always has to be a gift for a person? A great way to accomplish that is to buy some gifts for your car. So, let’s take a look at the range of practical to fun gifts you can give to your car that will make you happy and hopefully help make all the trips in your car that much better. Auto Detailing Look into a detailing for your car. It’s like a spa treatment, and who wouldn’t want a spa treatment for Christmas? Detailing is going to help provide some practical benefits as well as more superficial ones. Practically speaking, you’re going to get the gunk and dirt removed from your car, which is going to help protect the integrity of its appearance and help with functionality. The polishing and waxing that comes along with it will help protect that appearance, making this a worthy choic ... read more

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Why November is a Great Time to Buy a Car

Why November is a Great Time to Buy a Car

Buying a car requires a number of decisions and planning to make sure you’re getting what you need, what you want, and at a price you can afford. So, once you’ve decided on the car and options that you want, you’re likely ready to just go to the dealership and buy. However, there are certain times of year, and even during the week, that are better for bringing your car home. Since it is recommended that you don’t wait until you’re in active need for a new car, waiting for those times of year are really going to help save you money without compromise.  The savings start to grow in October, and by November, it’s peak time to head to the lots and start looking for the best deals you can find. Here are a few reasons that this time of the year are really the time to shop.  Sales Quotas As you get towards the end of the year, or even the end of the month, salespeople are going to be more aware of how many cars they’ve sold ... read more

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Fall Cleaning

Fall Cleaning

Just like your home, cleaning for the season is going to help you feel better and potentially help protect your car for the incoming weather changes from the summer seasons. There are some every season things we can do just to make our rides more comfortable, but there are some fall specific cleaning we can do to really extend the life of our car’s performance. A couple of simple things we can do to help our car is to regularly clean of debris like twigs, leaves, and muck. This is really going to extend the life of your windshield wipers, but it is also going to help protect you and keep your visibility clear. Fall means it gets darker and the weather isn’t always pleasant. Speaking of windshield wipers, don’t forget to check them and change them if needed, this will also help ensure your visibility is the best it can be. Many folks don’t always consider going to get the car washed if we’re potentially seeing poor weather coming up, but something to look i ... read more

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The Perfect Tailgating Kit for Your Car

The Perfect Tailgating Kit for Your Car

With football season here, tailgating ensues! Making sure you have everything you need for tailgating is very important. You want to make sure you have fun while also being prepared. Here at Larry’s Independent Service, we want to make sure you have what you need, here is our tailgating kit list: A good cooler, investing in a nice cooler will save you money in the long run. It will keep everything colder for longer, they tend to be more sturdy and you won't have to be constantly replacing your cooler. Extra containers and bags, having some extra containers and plastic bags can help make your cleanup easier. You know that you will have dirty utensils from grilling and maybe even some food left over. Having something to put them in will make it a lot easier to clean up.  A pop-up tent, whether it be rain or shine you want to be prepared. Having some shade for a really sunny day or some shelter from the rain will make your tailgating experience a lot better. A portable ... read more

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Why Having Someone Check on Your Car Is Just as Important as Hiring a Pet Sitter

Why Having Someone Check on Your Car Is Just as Important as Hiring a Pet Sitter

When you head out of town for an extended vacation, work commitment, or another obligation, it’s important that you not only have a great pet sitter but that you also have someone awesome to check on your car. Definitely, don’t leave your car with just anyone. Vette them out to ensure they meet all of your specific requirements.  Your car is precious to you and it, therefore, demands the attention of someone trustworthy to care for it while you are away. Depending on the needs of your vehicle, you’ll want to choose accordingly. If it needs to be taken out for the occasional spin around the block, look for someone with a clean driving record and also someone not inclined to go for a serious joyride while not considering the nuances of your baby.  You will definitely want to have someone start it regularly even if it doesn’t need to be actually driven anywhere. Make sure they look under the hood for any animal nesting possibilities to prevent the likel ... read more

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