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The Fall Season is Here!

Posted on 09/18/2015

A change in season is always a great time to have your vehicle inspected for the leading mechanical failures regarding the upcoming time of year. It is a great idea for all of us to take a small amount of our time and invest it into allowing an ASE Certified Master Technician to inspect our vehicle. It's quite a surprise sometimes what can be found before it causes us a big problem when we least expect it. We put some of our most prized possessions in our cars and trucks. How often do we place our amazing children within our vehicles while taking for granted the safety of the vehicle. Stop in for a FREE comprehensive inspection and save yourself time later down the road.

Battery Basics for Winter Drivers

Posted on 11/20/2012

Cold weather is tough on batteries

Cold weather is tough on batteries—not so much because it does damage to them, but because it requires a lot more FROM them. Vehicles that have been sitting out in the cold on a long winter night are harder to start than they would be if it were a morning in the middle of July. This is in large part because the oil in them is thick. One way of explaining this effect is to think of your engine and the oil inside like a can of a cream-style soup (cream of mushroom or clam chowder for example). When you open the can cold, the soup is thick and congealed; it takes a lot of effort to get it out of there, to get it moving so to speak. You have to shake the can or get a spoon and scrape the thick stuff out. But, once it’s in the pan and warms up, it softens and becomes liquid that is easy to pour.

Well, that’s essentially what’s happening inside your vehicle’s engine on cold winter mornings: the oil inside has gotten thick (conventional oil thickens—synthetic oils are designed to avoid this effect). The colder it is, the more thickening takes place. When you get in and turn the key, your vehicle’s starter has to crank an engine full of cold, thick oil that doesn't move as well as warm oil does. Since the battery is where the starter gets its energy, the battery has to provide a lot more electricity to get the engine going given all that cold, goopy oil inside.

Another cold-related issue for batteries is that the processes by which they produce electrons are chemical, and those chemicals aren't as active when cold. So they actually produce less electricity at this time of year. A battery that works at 100% capacity when it is 80°F will be down to 65% when the temperature is 32°F. It’s down to 40% if the temperature hits 0°F. Given what we just covered up above, this is a problem: the battery is producing less electricity in the cold, right when more electricity is what we need. Before the cold weather finds you stuck some morning soon, get your vehicle’s battery, battery cables and charging system checked. A bit of prevention can save you some headaches down the road.

Drive Smart and Save Gas Money

Posted on 11/20/2012

Driving Behavior, Vehicle Care Directly Impact Fuel Efficiency

With no end in sight to rising gas prices, consumers who modify their driving habits and properly maintain their vehicles will get more miles per gallon. The Car Care Council recommends the following ways to drive smart and save gas money:

  • Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph.
  • Avoid excessive idling. Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Warming up the vehicle for one or two minutes is sufficient.
  • Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.
  • Consolidate trips. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much gas as one longer multi-purpose trip.
  • Don’t haul unneeded items in the trunk. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent.
  • Check the gas cap. Damaged, loose or missing gas caps allow gas to vaporize into the air.
  • Replace dirty or clogged air filters on older vehicles to improve gas mileage by as much as 14 percent.
  • Replace dirty spark plugs, which can reduce mileage by two miles per gallon.
  • Change oil regularly and gain another mile per gallon.
  • Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.
  • Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by 3 percent.

“Some motorists think they are saving money when they put off needed vehicle maintenance. What they don’t realize is that neglecting routine maintenance can end up costing a lot more,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Keeping your car running efficiently and adjusting your driving behavior are the best ways to improve your vehicle’s fuel economy and keep more money in your pocket.”



Simple Steps to Save Gas Without Driving Less

Driving less doesn’t have to be a consumer’s reaction to rising gas prices, according to the Car Care Council. While consumers can’t control the price of gas, they can control how much gas they use by following some simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance.
“Most motorists don’t have the option of driving less when gas prices rise, but they can cancel out the increases by making sure their vehicle is getting maximum fuel economy,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Fuel consumption is directly related to vehicle care and driver behavior and both can have a significant impact on how much motorists pay at the pump.”

The Car Care Council offers these simple steps to save gas without driving less:

  • Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.
  • Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by 3 percent.
  • Replace dirty or clogged air filters on older vehicles to improve gas mileage by as much as 14 percent.
  • Replace dirty spark plugs, which can reduce mileage by two miles per gallon.
  • Change oil regularly and gain another mile per gallon.
  • Check the gas cap. Damaged, loose or missing gas caps allow gas to vaporize into the air.
  • Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph.
  • Avoid excessive idling. Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Warming up the vehicle for one or two minutes is sufficient.
  • Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.
  • Consolidate trips. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much gas as one longer multi-purpose trip.
  • Don’t haul unneeded items in the trunk. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent.

“Some motorists think they are saving money when they put off needed vehicle maintenance,” said White. “What they don’t realize is that neglecting routine maintenance can end up costing a lot more. Keeping your car running efficiently and modifying your driving behavior is the best way to improve your vehicle’s fuel economy and keep more money in your pocket.”