From the actual brake pedal to hydraulic brake fluid, our automotive technicians know every part of the brake system. With over 30 years servicing south Orange County, our automotive technicians can perform brake repair and maintenance on just about any make and model.

Brakes are the most important safety feature within your vehicle. Saddleback Automotive’s certified technicians will let you know which components need immediate repair & how we can fix it.

How do I know if my brakes require maintenance?

  • If you hear squealing, it could be your brake pads vibrating or the spring clips losing tension. Your pads most likely need to be replaced.
  • Squeaking & Grinding noises are a clear indication of excessive wear or damage to your pads and rotors. The grinding is likely the metal backing of your brake pad contacting your rotor because the brake pad has been completely worn away.
  • If your vehicle has begun to pull to one side, your pads may need replacing.
  • If you notice your brake pedal pushing down too close to the floor of the vehicle, it is likely the brake pads have deteriorated and maintenance will be required.

Our Services

  • Brake pad replacement
  • Brake rotors/disk replacement
  • Shoe replacement
  • Parking brake cable replacement
  • Master cylinder replacement


Contact us at Saddleback Automotive for our full service brake package.

Fill out our form below and schedule an appointment today.


Components of Your Brake System

Disc Brakes

Disc Brakes are built with a disc or rotor, caliper assembly, brake pads and all the bearings/additional hardware that installs the components onto the vehicle.  The caliper is connected to the master cylinder through tubes and valves that push the brake fluid throughout your vehicle’s system.

  1. Rotor: Disc attached to wheel, roughly shaped like a flat-bottomed bowl with a wide lip at the top.
  2. Caliper: The brake caliper is where your car’s brake pads and pistons are located. The brake calipers slow your vehicle’s wheels by creating friction with the brake rotors.
  3. Brake Pad: A thin piece of material that presses against a vehicle’s brake rotor which in turn allows the vehicle to stop.

Brake Fluid:

Brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid that is used to transfer force under pressure (brake pedal) from where it is created through hydraulic lines to your brake system near the wheels. Brake fluid is also designed to protect against corrosion of the system materials it contacts, however those corrosion inhibitors deplete over time, and which is why many manufacturers recommend changing your brake fluid every 2 years.

Check engine lights, running rough, failed smog test, noises? Bring it in to our ASE certified technicians for an honest evaluation.

Nobody wants to see a check engine light come on, it can be due to something small, but it could also mean a larger problem with your engine, and either way, it means you should get it checked out.


We fix anything under the hood, alternators, exhaust manifold, starters, water pumps…you name it, we fix it.

It’s important to take your car to a certified mechanic when you see your check engine light turn on, leaving a problem for later could cause serious problems for your vehicle down the road.

Warranty: Saddleback Smog & Auto 12 Months/12K Mile warranty, guaranteed! 


At Saddleback Automotive we’ve worked on our fair share of engines. Our suggestion is when you see your engine light turn on, don’t ignore it. There is no need to risk additional damage to your engine.

Fill out our form below and schedule an appointment today.


What could be causing that light to turn on?

Loose Gas Cap

You might get lucky, that light might just indicate that you need a new gas cap for you car, an easy fix. The gas cap creates a tight seal on your fuel system, creates pressure within the fuel tank, and keeps harmful fumes from escaping.

If you don’t replace it in a timely manner you could lose fuel via evaporation, meaning more frequent trips to the gas station and more money out of your pocket.

Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is part of your exhaust system which converts harmful fumes into less harmful carbon dioxide, if this part has been left unmaintained, it could trigger your check engine light.

If you don’t address this problem on time you might not pass your next California emissions test, required for registration, your car may run at a higher temperature, and you may experience poor performance and poor gas mileage.

Spark Plugs

The part that creates a spark to ignite the fuel/oxygen in your engine, creating the combustion it uses to run.

If faulty spark plugs are not fixed in a timely manner they will lead to poor performance and gas mileage, and could cause damage to ignition coils and oxygen sensors, and could clog your catalytic converter.

Common Engine Sensor Issues

Oxygen Sensor

This sensor measure the amount of un-combusted oxygen in your exhaust emissions.

If you don’t replace it on time your car could suffer from lower gas mileage, burning more fuel than necessary. A faulty sensor left unfixed for too long could also damage your spark plugs or catalytic converter, leading to further repairs.

Mass Airflow Sensor

This sensor measures the amount of air going into your engine, which helps it determine how much fuel is necessary for it to run sucessfully.

If this problem goes unfixed, it could lead to damage to your spark plugs, oxygen sensors, or catalytic converter, and will reduce performance and gas mileage.

Automotive Services in Costa Mesa & Newport Beach

The above are just a few of the potential issues that could be causing your check engine light to turn on. No matter big or small, it is always best to handle potential engine issues as soon as they arise.

Diagnostic Services

We take care for your vehicle

Whether it’s your car driving differently, a new sound/smell coming from your engine, your check engine light blinking or lit up solid on your dashboard, it can be hard to know what is going wrong with your vehicle.

That’s why we believe no matter how big or small an issue, it is always best to get it checked promptly. Ignoring the issue could cause extensive damage or dangerous engine failure.

Check Engine Light on?

Checking an entire engine for a possible problem could be painstaking work, but thankfully your car is built to help. No matter what problem has appeared, our trained technicians can diagnose the issue with the help of your car’s computer system.

New technologies continue to grow in the auto industry, and for years now cars have been equipped with special computers to help diagnose engine issues. The computer system in your car routinely checks all its systems to make sure they’re running correctly.

When you come in for a diagnostics check you can rest assured that our qualified staff will:

  • Scan your car’s on-board computer
  • Find and record the diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) and their descriptions
  • Check for any associated issues that may be recurrent with the make and model of your vehicle
  • Visually inspect the specified engine system to check for obvious fixes
  • Further testing and analysis to find the issue
  • Accurately provide an estimate for service

With the help of the computer system already in place in your vehicle, we can find what’s causing that shake, rattle, smell, or light and get you the help you need to be back on the road.

Contact us at Saddleback Automotive for vehicle diagnostic services.

Fill out our form below and schedule an appointment today.



At Saddleback Smog & Auto, we perform vehicle diagnostic tests on every make and model.

Like a doctors diagnosis a patient’s symptoms using various methods, we’ll diagnose your car with vehicle diagnostic software that reads your cars computer and reveals the source of the problem.


At Saddleback Automotive, we strive to provide you with an alternative to dealerships by providing the vehicles, and you, with excellent service and the best possible repairs.

We are continually updating and upgrading all of our diagnostic equipment in order to serve our clients confidently, knowing that despite all the changes in technology, we are prepared for any automotive challenges that come our way.

Automotive Repair for South Orange County

If you notice a check engine light on your dashboard, your on-board computer recognized a problem and is warning you.

Whenever there is an issue a specific code is created and logged by the computer, and our trained technicians can access these codes to diagnose exactly where in your engine the issue lies.

While the computer takes a lot of the guesswork out of engine diagnostics and repair, it can only specify a general location or system experiencing issues, the technician will perform further testing and checks to find the exact problem.

A properly working AC unit is often overlooked. On a hot day, you get into your vehicle, power it on, and crank it to cool. Problem solved. When your air conditioning unit is NOT working properly, it is immediately noticeable, often making for an uncomfortable and hot ride.

That’s why we offer air conditioning diagnostic and service here at Saddleback Automotive Repair.

Our automotive technicians are able to service your AC system by visually inspecting its physical components. These components include:

  • Drive belt
  • Serpentine belt
  • Air conditioning compressor

We also review all accessible components for cracks, leaks or damage.

Air Conditioning Diagnostic Service

Air conditioning making noise? Not blowing cold air anymore? Bring it in, we’ll take care of it.

Recommendation: When your car’s AC breaks down, bring it to the shop immediately. It could be a sign of something much worse, like a serpentine belt break, that could possibly lead to your engine seizing. Not to mention leaking refrigerant from a downed AC is harmful to the environment and your car.


Contact us today for full service AC unit diagnosis and repair.

Fill out our form below and schedule an appointment today!


Automotive Repair for Southern Orange County

We recommend periodic maintenance to avoid any serious damage to your air conditioning system. Early detection of leaking or damage to your vehicle’s AC system is key to saving you time and money. We offer regular inspection services to help ensure proper cooling levels and to identify any possible refrigerant leaks. Our mechanics are able to diagnose early signs of wear and tear within the system, as well as provide additional services such as:

  • System fan level check
  • Replacement of faulty switches, fuses, wires
  • System PSI pressure reading
  • Output temperature check


Your vehicle’s transmission system is one of the most complex in the entire engine. It is made up of hundred of parts, all of which are subjected to constant movement, friction, heat, and interaction with other parts.

Because of its complex nature, your transmission may endure more wear and damage than other systems in your car, and transmission problems are some of the most important to address quickly, before those moving parts create further damage and require more costly repairs.

If you notice any of these signs, take your car in to be checked for a transmission issue.

  • Delays in transmission shifting; pauses in movement when your car if shifted from park to drive, into or beyond first gear, or from park to reverse
  • Transmission slipping, jumping, or grinding when changing gears during acceleration
  • Clunking noises, whistling, or screeching made by your vehicle
  • If your vehicle shakes at any speed
  • If you smell burning from under your hood
  • If there is fluid leaking from under your vehicle
  • Cloudy, foul-smelling, or thick transmission fluid found on dipstick
  • If the gear shifter on your manual car is physically difficult to move, or will not move



Transmission Diagnostic and Repair Services

Check engine lights, trouble in gears, slipping transmissions, noises, leaking?

  • Transmission Fluid Service
  • Clutch Replacement
  • Master Cylinder Replacement
  • Transfer Case Fluid Replacement
  • Axle Shaft Assembly Replacement
  • Clutch Fluid Replacement
  • Full Transmission Replacement or Rebuild

Warranty: Saddleback Smog & Auto 24 Month/24K Miles warranty, guaranteed!


It is important that you know the warning signs of a faulty or damaged transmission system. We can help diagnose and repair your vehicle before permanent damage is done.

Fill out our form below and schedule an appointment today.


Common Transmission Issues

Low or Dirty Transmission Fluid

You manual car uses transmission fluid to lubricate gears and keep them from grinding away due to friction. Your automatic vehicle uses transmission fluid to create hydraulic pressure necessary for movement within the transmission system. Transmission fluid can become contaminated due to leaking or age. If your car does not have the proper amount of fluid, or has dirty fluid, your transmission system could overheat, gears can slip or grind, or damage to your entire vehicle could occur.

Failed Needle Roller Bearings (Automatic Vehicles)

Needle roller bearings keep the gears from grinding in the torque converter, inside your automatic transmission. You might hear grinding or brushing noises while your car is in motion if these bearings have become worn. If the bearings are worn or slow your transmission will move inefficiently and your gears will be worn more quickly.

Worn Gear Synchronizers (Manual Vehicles)

The transmission on a manual vehicle uses gear synchronizers to spin the next gear at the same speed as the current gear, creating a smooth transition as your shift from one gear to the next. These synchronizers commonly get worn, and if you do not repair them on time it could lead to total transmission failure in your manual car.

Worn Clutch (Manual Vehicles)

Your clutch can become worn down if there is a leak of hydraulic fluid into the clutch master cylinder, but is more often caused by user error. If the driver repeatedly accelerates and shifts through gears without releasing the clutch, it can be severely worn and damaged and require a replacement clutch to be installed.

In California, poorly maintained vehicles cause thousands of wrecks each year. According to a 2004 study by Car Care Council, the total cost for accidents resulting from unperformed vehicle maintenance tops $2 billion EACH YEAR.

Oil Change Services

Our Full Service Oil Change include:

  • Change oil up to 5 Quarts
  • Install new Oil Filter
  • Lubricate Chassis
  • Check Air Filter
  • Check PCV Valve & Breather Element
  • Check/fill Transmission / Transaxle fluid
  • Check/fill Differential fluid
  • Check/fill Power Steering fluid
  • Check/fill Washer fluid
  • Check/fill Battery fluid
  • Check Brake fluid level
  • Check Engine Coolant level
  • Check Wiper Blades
  • Check & Set Tire Pressure
  • Check all exterior lights
  • Wash exterior windows
  • Vacuum interior


At Saddleback Automotive our technicians are thoroughly trained in an ASE-certified training program and have extensive experience diagnosing and repairing vehicles of all makes and models.

Contact us at Saddleback Automotive for our full service oil package.

Fill out our form below and schedule an appointment today.


Newport Beach Oil Change with Saddleback Automotive

Motor oil is a vital component to keep your engine performing at peak level and running smoothly, without it, all moving parts are subject to wear and serious damage. As time goes on, the oil in your car will start to breakdown and it will become less effective at heat transference and lubrication of parts. This is why regular oil changes are crucial to maintain the condition of your car.

Included in every oil change at Saddleback Automotive is new oil (up to 5 quarts), a new oil filter, 12-point inspection, window cleaning, and interior vacuuming.

We can meet all of your car’s needs, from conventional oil, synthetic blend or fully synthetic oil, and high mileage oil. Please see our list of oil change options.


At Saddleback Automotive we offer:

FREE pick up and delivery 10% off Senior Citizens
Late night/early morning drop off
FREE towing with major repair
Warranty/Guarantee: Engine: 12 months/12K miles; Transmission: 24 months/24K miles

Typically done about once a year, a tune-up is regularly scheduled maintenance on a vehicle. The procedure may vary based on your vehicle’s age, model, and mileage, but a typical tune-up at Saddleback Automotive involves replacing the air filter, computer diagnostics for engine inspection, and review of the fuel filter, spark plugs, and other basic components of the engine.

Preventative Vehicle Maintenance

Our engine tune-up checklist includes both preventative and restorative engine evaluation, and recommendations on how to keep your engine running smoothly based on age, mileage and manufacturer recommendations.

In addition to these performance checks, we visually inspect hoses and belts and all fluid levels including, oil, coolant, transmission, power steering and brake fluid. We review fluid levels to guarantee all are at the proper level and to make sure the condition of these systems is up to par.

In our inspection there should be no sludge in the oil, the coolant should be free of sediment, and the brake fluid should be clear of debris and grime.

Vehicle Tune-Up and Engine Inspection

At Saddleback Automotive Repair our repair technicians visually inspect your engine’s fuel-system components to make sure the fuel filter is clean, clog-free, and undamaged. We also inspect the fuel injectors to ensure they are free of deposits and grime.

  • Engine inspection
  • Spark plug replacement
  • Filter replacement
  • Fluids replacement
  • Check emissions controls
  • Check safety features: signals, lights, tires, wipers


Recommendation: Investing in a tune-up based on your vehicle manufacturers recommendation is like preventative medicine for your car: your making an investment on the long term health of your car, and saving a lot of money in the meantime

Contact us at Saddleback Automotive for engine diagnostics & tune-up.

Fill out our form below and schedule an appointment today.


How do I know if I need a tune-up?

Most older vehicles, with non-electronic ignitions, should be taken in for an evaluation between 10,000 to 15,000 miles or every year, typically whichever comes first. Newer cars with electronic ignitions are built to run longer, but should still be taken in for an evaluation every few years. While we always suggest deferring to your owner’s manual for information on tune-up intervals, we still want our clients to be aware that even if their vehicles don’t require scheduled tune-ups very often, a periodic check-up is the best practice to keep your vehicle running at peak efficiency.

In other cases you may realize your vehicle needs a tune-up if it’s getting hard to start, getting shorter fuel mileage, stalling, or even making a noise it never had before.

That’s where our expertise comes in. With over 15 years experience serving Orange County, we are confident whatever issue your vehicle is having, we can diagnose it and provide you with a cost effective solution.


The electrical systems within our vehicles are more complicated than ever. Luckily, they are also easier to diagnose and repair with the proper equipment. At Saddleback Automotive Repair, we have manufacturer-certified diagnostic tools and years of experience servicing electrical issues. We take pride in our ability to diagnose electrical problems quickly and in our ability to repair them without complication.

We can fix all systems in the vehicle:

  • Door locks
  • Windows
  • Lighting systems
  • Alternator
  • Starter
  • Battery replacement

…and anything electrical!


Electrical Automotive Repair

In your vehicle, most mechanical functions nowadays depend on electrical components. Most newer vehicles are controlled by a complex network of cables, wires, sensors, and computers all working together to keep your car running. If communication along these wires is hindered or interrupted, it could have major consequences for several components of your vehicle and engine.


If your vehicle doesn’t feel right, or appears to be having any electrical problems, our service professionals are ready to help. At Saddleback Automotive Repair, we focus on an honest and transparent approach that keeps our customers in control of the health of their vehicles.

We’re ready to assess your car or truck and get you back on the road as quickly, safely, and affordable as possible.

We use equipment and scanners similar to those used in dealership service departments and are confident our certified technicians can diagnose your vehicle’s electrical problems. Schedule a consultation today.


Our Approach to Electrical Issues

At Saddleback Automotive Repair, we take a serious approach to locating your vehicle’s problem and minimizing the cost of repairs. This means avoiding the guesswork and minimizing your wait in the lobby. And if you prefer, we’re more than happy to give you a ride home or to work in a courtesy shuttle.

There are a number of red flags that indicate the need for a servicing of your vehicle’s electrical system. In some cases, what seems like a major problem can turn out to be merely a software bug. In today’s world, computers control most cars; Our technicians will make sure you don’t waste money on diagnostics and parts by testing your vehicle’s computers system BEFORE recommending repairs.

If you’re experience a bumpy or jumpy ride while driving, if you’re having trouble keeping your car moving in a straight line, if even the smallest bump or dip rattles your entire car, you probably need to have your suspension checked.

Every pothole, curb, railroad track, ditch, or debris your car runs over can slowly wear out your suspension, and even though you may think this will only affect the comfort of your ride, ignoring a damaged suspension can become unsafe and hazardous to you and your vehicle.

Your Vehicle’s Suspension

A car’s suspension (shocks, struts, steering system etc.) is there to manage how your car moves and handles on the road, and adjusts and absorbs any small bumps or vibrations outside to keep you and your passengers comfortable and safe. Basically, the suspension system is the buffer between you and the interior of your car, and the roughness of the road outside.

You may need to check your suspension system if you are experiencing any of these:

  • Car bouncing
  • Noise when driving over bumps
  • Difficulty turning car
  • Your tires are wearing unevenly
  • Car veering left or right on its own
Excessive tire wear, squeaks, uncomfortable ride… We fix them all.

Recommendation: If you see fluid on the driveway, your car leans to one side, veers off to the right or left, or your steeling wheel shakes, it’s likely your steering or suspension, and you should bring it in immediately.


Replacing your shocks and struts can provide you with a smoother ride for you and your passengers, increased safety and stability, better handling and control, easier turning and shorter braking distances.

Contact us today for full service suspension diagnosis and repair.

Fill out our form below and schedule an appointment today.


Fix Your Vehicle’s Suspension Today with Saddleback Automotive

We Service:

Improper Wheel Alignment

If your tires aren’t pointed in the right direction, your steering won’t be centered and you will notice uneven tire wear. Tire alignment can be thrown off by potholes in the road, bumping curbs, etc. Any time you go in to get your tires checked or replaced you should ask about wheel alignment.

Shock Absorbers

Shocks contain a fluid that helps dampen bouncing due to rough terrain, if they start to leak you will notice bumping, bouncing, and shaking during your drive. New shocks will help keep your wheels firmly on the road, and keep your ride smooth.


Some cars use struts instead of shock absorbers. If your car has struts that need to be replaced you will experience a knocking sound when driving over bumps or dips.


Springs hold the weight of the car and keep it level. If one of your springs is damaged you may notice a lean in one direction or a clunking noise when driving over bumps.

Ball Joints

These joints help absorb shock and rotate as your car is making turns, if you hear any creaking or squealing coming from your suspension it is likely coming from your ball joints.

Control Arms

These are the arms that move in sync while your wheels are turning, and hold the wheel and steering system together as a unit. If you notice rattling or imprecise steering, it may be because part of the control arm bushing needs to be repaired.

The belts in your car move like a chain on a bicycle, transferring energy and moving other engine components in sync. Timing belts, serpentine belts, fan belts, and v-belts in your car undergo a lot of stress.

Time, temperature, and work can wear them down, leading to cracks, swells, or splits. If these belts break down completely it can lead to severe damage to larger, more expensive parts, like your engine, alternator, air conditioning, and power steering.

Timing Belt Repair Service

Our trained technicians can help you identify any potential wear or breakage on the various belts in your engine, and can speedily and reliable replace them for you. Belts that are in good condition will keep your car running smoothly and safely, providing ease of mind for every driver.

Most belts require replacement after 30,000 – 60,000 miles, but it is crucial that you check and replace your belts at the recommended intervals found in your vehicle manufacturer recommendations, ignoring a worn belt can lead to intense and expensive repairs down the line. 

Here are some things to look out for to know whether you may need a belt replacement:

  • Loss of engine power
  • Engine vibrating or car shaking
  • Car overheating
  • Difficulting starting car
  • Chirping, squealing, or growling sounds from belts
  • Visible frays, cracks, or rips in belts

The timing belt is responsible for the proper timing of the engines valves, and ultimately the engine. All vehicles require this service at some point or mileage. Schedule an evaluation today.


Recommendation: Follow your vehicles manufacturer recommendation for replacement of the timing belt, and if it breaks before, replace it immediately. Driving without a timing belt will likely lead to replacing the water pump, which is much more costly.

Contact us today and have your timing belt repaired.

Fill out our form below and schedule an appointment today.


What is the timing belt in my vehicle?

The timing belt, specifically, is used to precisely control the camshaft in your engine. This belt also typically controls the water pump in your car, a part which often needs replacement in conjunction with the timing belt. The timing belt wears down just like the other belts in your vehicle, but it may be harder to spot a worn timing belt because it is hidden inside the engine.

This is why it is important to know the recommended time intervals between belt replacements, and why it is important to talk to your technician about the status and condition of all the belts in your vehicle, especially the timing belt.

If your timing belt needs to be replaced, our technicians will carefully remove the housing that covers it, inspect and replace the belt, make sure the engine timing is correct, and reassemble the engine.

The Antilock Brake System (ABS) is a feature that comes standard in virtually all modern cars now that provides superior safety and control, more so than older, traditional brake systems. The ABS in your car makes braking easier in quick stop scenarios, and provides protection against skidding.

ABS System Repair

If your ABS light is on, or the pump on your ABS is running constantly, it can drain your battery and burn out the pump. Before this happens, you can remove the fuse and have it replaced with little impact on your vehicle, saving you from needing a more extensive replacement of the whole unit.

ABS System

The Antilock Brake System uses sensors to monitor individual wheel speed and determine whether a wheel is going to lock during braking. If the wheel starts to lock, a series of hydraulic valves work to reduce braking, saving your car from skidding.

Even in last-minute or short stops the ABS will help your car stop solidly, extremely helpful in wet or slippery road conditions.

As with all technology in vehicles, it is important to make sure your ABS is well maintained and running properly. There are a few common things to look out for on your anti-lock brake system.

The ABS light could also indicate:

  • Pump motor failure or error
  • Wheel sensor error
  • ABS power loss
  • ABS relay codes
  • Missing wheel sensor signal
  • Or other potential issues

It’s important to routinely check your brake system, just like maintaining your tires or oil, to ensure fluid levels are maintained, that seals and gaskets haven’t deteriorated, and that the sensors are clean enough to function fully. Keeping this system maintained will make sure your car has maximum stopping power, and will keep you, your passengers, and your vehicle as safe as possible.


We can repair any malfunctions in the anti-lock brake system, electrical or mechanical.

Recommendation: Get your brakes checked regularly, as recommended by your manufacturer. If the ABS light turns on, bring it into us immediately and we’ll make sure it’s not just an electrical or sensor malfunction. And make sure to stay off wet roads while the lights on!

Contact us at Saddleback Automotive for a complete diagnosis & repair of your ABS System

Fill out our form below and schedule an appointment today.