There’s not much we can do about the price of gas in , but we do quite a bit about how much we use as we’re driving on our streets.
Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.
The first thing we can do is watch the ‘go-pedal’. Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don’t need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Go a little slower on the freeway to . Once you’re going more than sixty-five miles an hour your fuel economy starts to drop dramatically. Leave early so you don’t need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speed uses less gas.
Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands.
Hey at current gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot.
Today in our blog, we’re going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your isn’t the only aspect of your life in with recommended intervals: Let’s start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?
Now, what would happen if you didn’t follow these intervals? Well, you’d get more cavities. You’d may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you’d have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.
So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our s? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don’t seem that urgent. All our neighbors can see our dead lawn, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It’s easy to put off. The other reason is that we’re just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it’s a bit intimidating.
From a practical standpoint, people don’t need to memorize their owner’s manuals. You can let your advisor remind you of the guidelines established by car makers: he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your . You really can rely on professionals to help you make good automotive decisions.
For drivers who want to be more proactive with their care, here are some simple ways for auto owners to remember what has a maintenance interval.
First: Fluids. If it’s liquid, it’s got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.
Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing, and alignment. And while you’re thinking tires, don’t forget brakes and shock absorbers.
And what makes your go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if car owners remember to take their car or truck in to for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.
And if you don’t follow recommended service intervals? You get lousy MPG, your doesn’t run as well, your safety is compromised and you’ll spend more money in the long run. So it’s the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.
Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.
Many motorists have been hearing about technological advances in power steering, specifically, electric power steering. Some very high-end cars have been featuring electric power steering for a few years now. An electric motor directly provides the power assist to make steering easier. Undoubtedly we’ll see much more of this in as full electric cars and electric hybrids become more common.
The vast majority of cars and trucks serviced at in use a hydraulic power boost system. With hydraulics, fluid is pressurized by a pump which actuates a hydraulic cylinder to reduce steering effort. Some of these pumps are powered by an electric motor. Most pumps are powered by the serpentine belt driven by the engine.
Power steering fluid has the necessary hydraulic properties and the ability to lubricate the internal parts. The power steering fluid also protects components from rust and corrosion.
car owners should be aware that automakers recommend that the fluid be replaced on schedule. At , the old fluid is drained and the system cleaned thoroughly. Fresh fluid is then installed.
Unfortunately, many drivers don’t realize how critical it is to service their power steering, and some may not even know that it’s necessary in the first place. A neglected power steering system can develop leaks that will shorten the life of the pump.
motorists should be aware of warnings that indicate possible power steering problems: the need to constantly add power steering fluid, a loud whining from the pump, erratic power assist or high steering effort. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, have your power steering checked out at in .
In addition to the pump and hydraulic system, there are critical mechanical parts in the steering system. The rods, arms, joints and knuckles that actually turn the wheels can become worn or damaged. A standard alignment service at includes an inspection of steering components.
If you notice any play in the steering wheel, that the steering wheel is off center, or a noise coming from your front wheels, especially when turning, have your technician do an inspection so the problem can be corrected. Waiting too long could cause uneven tire wear and may even lead to steering failure. Call today at .
Some car owners wonder why and other auto repair shops charge a fee for diagnostic services.
Think about it: When you hire a local HVAC technician to check out a problem with your air conditioner you’ll probably pay a diagnostic fee. When you visit your doctor for a health problem, you pay the physician to diagnose the ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.
So receiving a diagnostic charge at for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy interstate, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your engine, however, diagnosis may be much more involved.
Much of the car owners’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.
There’s a common misconception among , , and drivers that the trouble code tells the technician exactly what’s wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge – because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.
In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.
The computer’s trouble code just tells the technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the malfunction.
There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for customers. The service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.
service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These critical databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.
Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming, and difficult. Of course wants to figure out what’s wrong with your and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
Tires are a steep purchase so knowing when tires should be replaced is important for motorists. Tires will just wear out with normal use. The depth of the tread on your tire determines how well it will stop, start and steer – especially in wet conditions. 4/32th of an inch of tire tread is considered a safe amount of tread.
Uneven tread wear can be a symptom of other problems and simply replacing your tires will not prevent the same uneven wear from happening to the new tires. We can review your tires for excessive or uneven wear. Unusual wear may lead to further examination of steering, suspension or alignment problems. We can help with needed repairs and with getting you the right tires for your needs.
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