Monthly Archives: March 2016

Gas is cheap… but you can still save money!

Gas is cheap… but you can still save money!

Fuel economy, according to the Car Care Council, is directly related to vehicle care and driver behavior. Both can have a significant impact on how much motorists pay at the pump. •Underinflated tires can impact the vehicle's fuel economy. When tires aren't inflated properly, it's similar to driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon. •Dirty air filters also can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power. An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a "rich" mixture, which is too much gas being burned for the amount of air. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. •Worn or dirty spark plugs can cause misfiring, which wastes fuel. Vehicles can have four, six or eight spark plugs that fire as many as three million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. Spark plugs that are replaced per the ... read more

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fuel

Moisture from your brake fluid can cause failure

Moisture from your brake fluid can cause failure

Q. Over the past few years, I've had an auto repair shop tell me the brake fluid needed to be flushed in the car since the oxidation level was high. Is this something that needs to be done, or is really unnecessary? I've been tinkering with cars for about 35 years, and I don't ever recall this problem in cars of yore. A. Great question! You did not share what kind of car you have or how many miles it has on it, so I will speak to this generally. The brake fluid system of today's automobile is very complex, especially when equipped with traction control and anti-lock brakes. Even if you do not have these features, it is very important that the brake fluid be clean and free of moisture and other contamination. Brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means it attracts moisture. Over time brake fluid will accumulate a certain amount of moisture; a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 20 percent of the cars they tested had brake fluid with 5-p ... read more

Categories:

Brakes

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Brakes

Mild winters still play havoc with your vehicle

Mild winters still play havoc with your vehicle

Cold temperatures, snowy and icy road conditions and road salt all can be extremely hard on the many different systems of your automobile. While this mild winter may not have been severe enough to push some of these systems into failure, perhaps they are right on the edge. They may be vulnerable to the first hot spell that's sure to come our way. Cold and heat are equally hard on components such as batteries and electrical systems, belts and hoses, gaskets and water pumps. Our wonderful roads tear up the shocks, struts and other suspension-related components. As you drive around, pay attention to the sounds your car is making; it might be trying to tell you something. If you hear a squeaking or growling sound coming from the engine compartment, you may have a water pump, belt or another accessory bearing going bad. A screeching sound while rolling or braking could be an indication that you need to replace your brakes or perhaps a wheel bearing is on the way out. A clunking sound ... read more

Categories:

Winter

Can you tell when shocks, struts need replacement?

Can you tell when shocks, struts need replacement?

Q. My Impala has about 88,000 miles on it and it is not riding as well as it used to. I have noticed this lately, especially with how bad all these roads are right now. I was told I might need new shocks and struts to correct this problem. It seems like I don't have enough mileage to need such a major repair already. What do you think? A. Your car is right in the sweet spot for needing shocks and struts. In fact, most suspension manufacturers indicate that at 50,000 miles the performance of the shocks and struts is starting to degrade. This is not true for every car and every driver but it is possible they could need replacement that early. It's fairly easy to determine whether or not you need to replace the shocks and struts. Remember the job of the shock and or strut is to keep the tire in contact with the road and to control the bounce. There are seven handling characteristics that when present are a pretty good indicator. 1. Body roll. You would notice excessive leaning ... read more

Categories:

Shocks

Tags:

Shocks , Struts
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