Best Auto Repair, Irvine

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GENERAL MAINTENANCE

Working Hours
  • Mon 8:00AM - 5:30PM
    Tue 8:00AM - 5:30PM
  • Wed 8:00AM - 5:30PM
    Thu 8:00AM - 5:30PM
  • Fri 8:00AM - 5:30PM
    Sat Closed
  • Sun Closed

GENERAL MAINTENANCE

The classic "tune-up" was once the heart of the automotive business and contrary to some beliefs, today's modern vehicles still need tune-ups to keep them performing at the most efficient levels.

As the pace of technology quickened, the procedures required to perform a traditional tune-up changed dramatically. Highly sophisticated ignition and fuel systems are now the norm, using one or more onboard computers to control critical engine and transmission management functions.

If the vehicle isn't being properly maintained, you're not going to get where you want to go. As part of the 21st Century Tune-up on today's modern vehicles, the following systems should be inspected: battery, charging and starting engine, mechanical powertrain control (including onboard diagnostic checks), fuel ignition, and emissions.

To help ensure good performance, fuel economy and emissions, the Car Care Council also recommends that motorists take the time necessary to become familiar with their vehicle. Study the owner's manual to become thoroughly acquainted with the operation of all systems. Pay special attention to the indicator lights and instruments.



Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Winter

Mechanical failure - an inconvenience anytime it occurs - can be deadly in the winter. Preventive maintenance is a must. A well-maintained vehicle is more enjoyable to drive, lasts longer, and could command a higher resale price.

Some of the following tips can be performed by any do-it-yourselfer; others require the skilled hands of a professional auto technician.

Engine Performance - Get engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good repair shop. Cold weather makes existing problems worse. Replace dirty filters - air, fuel, etc.

Fuel - Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Note that a full gas tank helps keep moisture from forming.

Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual - more often (every 3,000 miles) if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.

Cooling Systems - The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.

Windshield Wipers - Replace old blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent - you'll be surprised how much you use. Carry an ice-scraper.

Heater/Defroster - The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility. Newer models have a cabin air filter that should be replaced periodically. Check your owner's manual for the location and replacement interval.

Battery - The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.

Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

Exhaust System - Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and floor boards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly.

Tires - Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressures once a month. Check the tires when they are cold, before driving for any distance. Rotate as recommended. Don't forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.

Carry emergency gear - gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, and a flash light. Put a few "high-energy" snacks in your glove box.



Getting Your Vehicle Ready For Summer

Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic, will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance. Your vehicle should last longer and command a higher resale price, too! Some of the following tips are easy to do; others require a skilled auto technician.

Air Conditioning - A marginally operating system will fail in hot weather. Have the system examined by a qualified technician. Newer models have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. Check your owner's manual for location and replacement interval.

Cooling System - The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.

Oil - Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual - more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer.

Engine Performance - Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended - more often in dusty conditions. Get engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.

Windshield Wipers - A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.

Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

Tires - Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; check them while they're cold before driving for any distance. Don't forget to check your spare as well and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there's uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.

Brakes - Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.

Battery - Batteries can fail any time of year. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check the fluid level monthly. Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.

Emergencies - Carry some basic tools - ask a technician for suggestions. Also include a first-aid kit, flares, and a flashlight. Consider buying a cellular phone.



Keeping your vehicle in tune with the environment is definitely a win-win situation. Besides helping the environment, a properly maintained and operated vehicle will run more efficiently, will be safer, and will last longer - up to 50% longer, according to a survey of ASE-certified Master Auto Technicians.

The following tips should put you on the road to environmentally conscious car care.

  • Keep your engine tuned. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30%.
  • Follow the service schedules listed in your owner's manual. Replace filters and fluids as recommended.
  • Check your tires for proper inflation. Underinflation wastes fuel - your engine has to work harder to push the vehicle.
  • Wheels that are out-of-line (as evidenced by uneven tread wear or vehicle pulling) make the engine work harder, too. Properly maintained tires will last longer, meaning fewer scrap tires have to be disposed.
  • Observe speed limits. Mileage decreases sharply above 60 mph.
  • Drive gently. Avoid sudden accelerations and jerky stop-and-go's. Use cruise control on open highways to keep your speed as steady as possible.
  • Avoid excessive idling. Shut off the engine while waiting for friends and family.
  • Today's vehicles are designed to "warm up" fast, so forget about those five-minute warm-ups on cold winter mornings.
  • Remove excess items from the vehicle. Less weight means better mileage.
  • Store luggage/cargo in the trunk rather than on the roof to reduce air drag.
  • Plan trips. Consolidate your daily errands to eliminate unnecessary driving. Try to travel when traffic is light to avoid stop-and-go conditions.
  • Join a car pool.

Remember, how your car runs, how you drive it, and how its fluids, old parts, and tires are disposed of all have serious consequences on the environment.

What People Say About Us

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    The folks at the Blacksmith European Motorworks really take care of their customers and their cars. I have a 1986 Volvo that has needed many repairs in the last year and they helped me every step of the way. Stephan and his team rebuilt my whole exhaust system so that I could pass smog for a fraction of what I thought it was going to cost. They really look out for the customer and never give up on the cars that they love. This will always be my first choice for any service big or small.

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    Blacksmith European Motorworks provides honest, reasonable priced service, with great results. My Volvo S40 just had it's tune up the the guys there are very honest with you. If it is just an oil change that is what you get. If they detect upcoming problems, you are informed and are given the information needed to either have work done then or wait a couple months. This honesty is something I treasure, plus they outstanding job they have done with my car.

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    I came from Seattle, and my 9.5 Saab started oil leak. I took my car to Blacksmith European auto shop and received warm welcome. Immediately my car checked and diagnosed and source of problem found. I recommend this shop to all Saab owners.

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    They repaired my car as scheduled, helped me understand the safety features, and followed up as promised. I don't feel crazy for owning a Saab in this shop, or at least I feel comfortable with it. It is a very comfortable waiting area, and there are a variety of good restaurants nearby, so I would go back for regular service from people who I believe would notice anything else that might become a problem.

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    I can't say enough good things about our experience at this shop. My teenage daughters just bought a used Volvo a few months ago, and when it needed repairs we brought it in to Ken. As usual we were extremely satisfied from start to finish. We have known him for many years and he is always very professional and trustworthy. His shop is clean and the waiting room is very pleasant. The repairs were done quickly and the girls were happy to be back in their car! I highly recommend Blacksmith European Motorworks

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    Blacksmith European Motorworks is the poster image of authentic customer service. At the front counter, Ken gives attention to ensuring that the customer understands the work order and that the pricing is fair. Behind the scenes, Blacksmith's highly-qualified mechanics are treating every car like it is their own. If your need is major work or simply a tune-up, stop in, you won't be disappointed. And, no, I am not family or friend; I am, truly, a super satisfied customer. Thanks Blacksmith European Motorworks!

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    Found out my car had was leaking differential fluid on a Sunday night, took it to the Blacksmith on Monday morning. He inspected it and called me with a pressure free detailed oriented estimate, also he had sent a hard copy in a email (HUGE Plus +). After approving the estimate he had the car fixed before I had time to pick it up. Great service, quality work!

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    I only trust them with my little car, Jellybean. Driving a vintage 1956 Volvo P444 requires a very excellent crew to keep her finely tuned. They've gone over with a fine tooth comb and brought her back to running like a Swiss watch. Thanks guys! You're the BEST!

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    My first visit to Blacksmith and boy was I happy I found them. I found them through Yelp and messaged back and forth and felt confidant with them. The waiting area, office and restroom were immaculate, as was the shop. That's always a great sign. Ken did a great job and showed me what was needed. I felt I was talking with a friend that cared! (A great quality in the automotive world.) The repairs were done right and fairly quickly. The whole experience was great! I highly recommend Blacksmith and Ken!!

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    Prompt responses, fair prices, fast work. Everything you want in a repair shop. Ken is a pro.

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    I messaged this mechanic shop on a busy morning I was trying to get quick quotes, and they responded immediately. He asked me a few questions about my vehicle and Sent me a formal quote by email less than an hour later. I dropped off my vehicle at 1 PM and it was ready by 6 PM. His prices were less expensive than 4 other quotes I received. I though I need 4 new brakes but he said I only needed two! I appreciate the honesty and will definitely be going back!

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    Ken is kind, honest, and professional. I am so thankful to have found this shop to service my Volvo-one less thing to worry about!

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    Ken and his crew are awesome!...I was able to schedule an appointment right away (Other places don't do appointments and I'm a busy person...Their waiting area is very clean, comfortable and has coffee and snacks for customers. They replaced my rear brakes in no time! Front brakes were fine, I appreciated Ken's honesty. I plan on using Ken for all of my auto servicing. Very impressed and thankful I found them!!!!! Give him a try!!!!

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    This is the place you hope to find. Honest, caring, and service oriented. I won't go anywhere else. Go see Ken, you won't be disappointed.

Call us for service: 949-753-1575

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