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Valentine’s Day for Your Car

Valentine’s Day for Your Car

Most of the planet has a deep love affair with our car. It gives us freedom, joy, and can certainly make us feel powerful. It even give us the illusion of control. There aren’t too many things in life that can give us all of that. They don’t talk back, they don’t argue, and they never tell us we look fat in those jeans we love. There’s a lot to be said about just how special our relationship is with our car and that’s why we should take time to woo our car this Valentine season. Thank goodness it doesn’t take much to make them happy! You even need to bring flowers, but here are a few suggestions: A lovely bottle of wine: Or in the for your darling auto,  simple oil change goes a long way in making your car feel loved. Much like a nice bottle of wine for your human counterpart, just the right oil can make all the difference in the world. AND help your beloved run well and stay healthy.   Spa day: A goo ... read more

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Changes On The Horizon: The Future of Automobiles

Changes On The Horizon: The Future of Automobiles

Do you remember being a kid and seeing some of the futuristic-looking vehicles in the movies? Well, it’s kind of crazy to think that a lot of those “far-fetched” ideas have come to fruition and even crazier to take a look at what’s coming down the pike and around the bend. The future craze of the all-electric vehicle is no longer in the future. Most automakers either already have one on the market or it’s coming. Do a Google search on your favorite model with the word “hybrid” or “electric” and see what comes up.  Chevy Camaro is just one example of carmakers previously steeped in the world of gasoline are now not admitting that electric is the wave of the future, but that it can be just as powerful as anything before. Chevrolet is committed to keeping this muscle car precisely that, with V-8 options that will blow you away both on and off the track. It’s no longer “just” Tesla leading the pack, but ever ... read more

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Why Is Important To Winterize Your Vehicle?

Even though Southern California certainly does not experience winter like other parts of the country, it’s still a good idea to do some general winterizing for your vehicle during this time of year. It will help keep you safely driving down the I-5 and will also prepare you for those trips up to the mountains for some skiing or merely getting away this holiday season. Check your battery: colder temps can put a strain on your battery, and you sure don’t want to find out the hard way that this was the time you should have purchased a new one. Replace wiper blades and fill wiper fluids: it’s a good idea not just to use water in the colder months because that could easily freeze in your lines. And imagine driving in either a rain or snow storm with wiper blades that don’t wipe!! GAH! This is the time to change those blades! Inspect your tires and make sure you have chains if you are heading up to the mountains. There are places along the way to Tahoe or Big Bear ... read more

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Family-Friendly Road Trip Games

This is the time of year for family road trips. More people are out on the roads than any other time of year, as much as 25% more! Be prepared for delays and traffic. There’s nothing worse than a long road trip with nothing to do. Aside from all the safety tips for traveling, it’s almost as important to have your road-trip-games at the ready. Sanity is just as important as safety on any travel expedition. Here are a number of fun games to get you started: During the holiday season is a good time for this one… calling out ‘decorations’ as each passenger sees a holiday-decorated house or vehicle. Keep track of who says it first the most number of times and at the end of your trip, that’s your winner. Who can correctly identify the make of a vehicle around you? This is a great game if there are multiple car lovers along for the ride. If you’re really good, you can up it to the next level to see who can identify the correct models too! I spy w ... read more

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What Are the Top Five Questions You Should Ask Your Auto Mechanic?

It takes a lot of trusts to drop our beloved vehicle off to an auto repair shop, especially one we know little about. Finding a good auto mechanic who does a great job AND one we feel has integrity can take a while to see in a new city. Just like finding the right doctor or dentist, we want to make sure they know what they’re doing, and we want to feel welcome when we walk through the front door. To help you find that right-fit auto mechanic and shop, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the top 5 questions you want to ask your auto mechanic before starting your new relationship. These aren’t in any particular order because we believe they are ALL important! Do you charge for diagnostics and if so, how much? This is an important question to ask since times have changed. Our vehicles are much less mechanical and far more technical than ever. We own a computer on wheels. Because of this, it requires a lot of the right kind of diagnostic computers and tools. These ... read more

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Japanese Automotive Specialist vs. General Auto Repair Shop: What's the Difference?

When you are looking for expert car repair services for your Japanese automobile, it can be a tough thing trying to find a shop you can trust as well as one that is fully equipped with auto mechanics who have the right kind of training and tools. Not all shops are created equal, and as you probably already know, that’s an understatement.  When you want the best in service for your Japanese automobile, whether it’s a Honda, Acura, Lexus, or one of the other many makes, it can take some serious sleuthing. Even if you do find an auto repair shop that specializes in Japanese vehicles, you’ll still want to make sure that their auto mechanics have the experience and training, as well as the right tools, that will allow them to do great work for you. They can say they specialize in any make, but unless they have all the right components, it doesn’t mean that they can deliver.  When you go with a general auto repair shop, it can often be risky unless they tr ... read more

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What Happens When The Alternator Dies?

The bottom line is that when your alternator dies, your car dies. Well, not forever, but you certainly can’t get to where you need to be at the moment. The good news is that usually, you have some warning signs show up before you are completely stuck and broken down. Larry’s Independent Service wants to help you at least avoid a costly tow or worse damage, so we’ve compiled a list of the significant warning signs to get you out ahead of a potentially dangerous day.  Your alternator is responsible for supplying your vehicle’s electrical power. When it stops, then your battery no longer can recharge. When your battery isn’t working right, then there’s not enough power to charge the spark plugs, and that’s all folks, you’re not going anywhere. Even if you can get your car started again with a jump, you probably won’t get very far.  Warning signs: A warning light on your dash. ALT or GEN are the common ones and when this li ... read more

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What Does a Preventive Maintenance Multi-Point Inspection Include?

Regular maintenance is great when it comes to oil changes, tire rotation, and topping off fluids. But when it comes to the many other auto components that are required to keep your vehicle running at optimum levels for years on end, this is where a preventative maintenance multi-point inspection comes into play. It’s akin to an annual check-up for you with your doctor. It helps to identify problems that could otherwise go unnoticed. If caught early, these problems could prevent much bigger and more costly issues. Everyone wants to save money!   Let’s break down what a multi-point inspection consists of:   Tires: pressure, wear, damage, alignment Brakes: pads, rotors, calipers, hoses Lights: headlights, tail lights, turn signals, brake lights, hazard lights Interior/Exterior: all windshield wipers, floor mat placement, emergency brake, horn, clutch, cabin air filter Vehicle’s undercarriage: shocks & suspension, power steering, ball joints, dust co ... read more

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Which is Cheaper? Maintaining Your Current Vehicle or Buying a New Car?

It can be a tough decision when trying to figure out whether the smart move is to keep your old car and invest in having repairs done or whether it is time to invest in a new car. When you see all the latest technology that comes out every year, and especially what’s new in keeping you and your family safe, it can be hard to remain happy with what is already in your garage. One of the first things to consider is the impact either decision will have on your finances.   Keep in mind that buying new isn’t always going to be what will cost you the most. Sometimes repairs are so extensive that it’s just not worth putting the money into fixing your vehicle. Something else, though, that can have a direct impact on the financial side of your decision is to compare how much you are spending on gas in your current vehicle vs. what you will spend on the new car you’re out test driving. You might be shocked to find that the money you spend on gas every month could be ... read more

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Top Ten Road Trip Ideas Around Mission Viejo, CA

Californians love our cars and as much as we detest traffic, we love the open road. Whether you simply want to jump in the car and go or you want to plan out something more involved, we have compiled 10 of the best road trips around. Mission Viejo is a great starting point whether you’re just heading down to San Juan Capistrano to see the swallows returning or all the way up the 101 to go wine tasting and other cool places along the way and then some. 1. San Diego 75 miles approx. 1 hour 15 minutes: What’s not to love about San Diego? Beaches and waterfronts, the Gaslamp Quarter, farmers markets galore. There is so much to see and do in San Diego alone, a month might not be enough time, but since it’s so close to Mission Viejo, this is one road trip we suggest you often take. 2. San Juan Capistrano 8.5 miles approx. 12 minutes: San Juan Capistrano might be close to Mission Viejo, but it boasts one of the most beautiful of the 21 Spanish Missions that dot the Calif ... read more

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