Are You Ready For The Road?
An average of 13,000 Americans are killed between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, some as a result of unperformed vehicle maintenance, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Each year, neglected maintenance leads to more than 2,600 deaths, nearly 100,000 disabling injuries and more than $2 billion in lost wages, medical expenses and property damage.
Most mechanical failures can be traced to neglected maintenance. For example, the U. S. Department of Transportation reports the leading cause of mechanical breakdown on our nation's highways is overheating, a condition that is easily avoidable. Other deficiencies that are simple to detect include low antifreeze/coolant, worn or loose drive belts and defective cooling system hoses.
Checking tire pressure and inflating a tire costs nothing, yet an average of 21 percent of cars inspected in check lanes during National Car Care Month have under inflated tires. This can lead to a blowout and a serious accident.
Fuel Saving Tips
The Car Care Council offers these fuel-saving tips:
Vehicle Gas Caps
Even a seemingly small issue like a damaged or loose gas cap can have significant consequences. Approximately 17 percent of vehicles on the roads suffer from gas caps that are damaged, loose, or completely missing, leading to a startling vaporization of around 147 million gallons of fuel annually. Regularly inspecting and ensuring the proper sealing of your gas cap can prevent such unnecessary fuel loss.
Under Inflated Tires
Properly inflated tires are crucial for optimal fuel efficiency. Driving with underinflated tires creates a resistance similar to driving with the parking brake engaged, resulting in the loss of a mile or two per gallon. Regularly monitoring and maintaining the correct tire pressure can significantly improve fuel efficiency, ensuring a smoother and more economical driving experience.
Worn Spark Plugs
The spark plugs in your vehicle, be it four, six, or eight in number, endure an extraordinary amount of stress with each firing, occurring up to 3 million times every 1,000 miles. Such relentless use leads to a substantial buildup of heat, as well as electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty or worn spark plug can cause misfiring, leading to fuel wastage. It is essential to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for timely spark plug replacements to ensure optimal fuel efficiency and engine performance.
Dirty Air Filters
An air filter clogged with dust, dirt, and insects can significantly impede airflow, creating a "rich" fuel mixture where an excessive amount of gas is burned in relation to the available air. This not only leads to wastage of fuel but also causes the engine to lose power. By simply replacing a clogged air filter, you can witness a marked improvement in gas mileage, saving as much as 10 percent per gallon. This seemingly small maintenance step can result in substantial long-term savings while enhancing the overall performance of your vehicle.
Don't Drive Aggressively
Aggressive driving habits, such as sudden accelerations and abrupt stops, can significantly reduce gas mileage. In fact, aggressive driving can decrease gas mileage by up to 33% on the highway and 5% on city streets. Opting for smoother driving habits can substantially improve fuel efficiency.
Avoid Excessive Idling
Allowing a vehicle to idle for extended periods consumes fuel without yielding any mileage. Minimize unnecessary idling, and avoid letting the vehicle warm up for more than one to two minutes as excessive idling contributes to unnecessary fuel consumption.
Drive the Speed Limit
Maintaining a consistent speed and adhering to the speed limit can play a vital role in fuel efficiency. Gas mileage tends to decrease rapidly at speeds exceeding 60 mph. For every mile driven above 60 mph, you can expect an additional 10 cents per gallon in fuel costs. Utilizing cruise control can also help in maintaining a steady speed, thus enhancing fuel efficiency during highway driving.
A 10 Minute Pre-Trip Checkup Can Pay Off
Car Care Council offers three suggestions for a traveler's 10-minute pre-trip checklist:
Check All Fluids
The first part of our preventative maintenance program deals with your vehicle's fluids. Your car needs these fluids to keep running smoothly and prevent overheating. Most of our fluid change services are completed quickly so you can get back on the road in McDonald, TN.
Our technicians are happy to monitor and refill your engine oil, automatic transmission fluid, brake fluid, anti-freeze, power steering and wiper fluids. We also perform checks on your radiator to ensure there are no small leaks caused by stones and other road debris.
Check Hoses and Belts
Your car's timing belts are extremely important to examine during the course of preventative maintenance. There are a number of events that need to take place for one full revolution of your car's engine. These belts ensure that they all line up with each other, and occur at exactly the right moment.
Should the belts become damaged or break, the events can fall out of sync and happen at the wrong time, which can be seriously detrimental to the health of your engine and your car overall. Fausto's Power Garage ensures that all your car's belts are healthy, and that all of those events keep happening at exactly the right time.
Check The Tires
Regular tire maintenance is crucial for safe and efficient driving. Start by checking the inflation of your tires, as maintaining the correct tire pressure is essential for optimal performance. Under-inflated tires can lead to decreased fuel efficiency and uneven wear. Conversely, over-inflated tires can compromise traction and handling. Inspecting the tread pattern is equally important.
Look for signs of uneven wear, which may suggest the need for a wheel alignment. Proper alignment ensures that all four tires are making consistent contact with the road, extending tire life and improving fuel efficiency. Additionally, check for bulges and bald spots on the tire surface, as these can indicate structural damage or tire wear that requires immediate attention.
Not only can a pre-trip inspection help reduce chances of costly and possibly dangerous road trouble, it also provides an opportunity to have repairs made at home, with one's own technician who knows the vehicle. Especially important, it provides peace of mind. While no inspection can guarantee a car's performance, it's comforting to know proper precautions were taken.
"While a last minute checkup is better than no checkup, motorists should plan ahead to allow time to perform necessary maintenance themselves or at the local service facility. A properly maintained vehicle is safer and more dependable and will even save a few dollars at the gas pumps," said the Car Care Council's Executive Director, Rich White.
What our clients are saying about us
We have established longterm and stable partnerships with various clients thanks to our excellence in solving their automotive needs!
Last summer an auto repair shop on Little Debbie Pky as well as another auto repair shop close to Cleveland said their computer analysis revealed a need of AC compressor on my 2015 vehicle at tunes of a few K's. I was referred to Fausto's by a fellow at Auto Zone to get Fausto's analysis. Computer analysis revealed that the compressor was working fine but unit was overcharged with freon. Freon was put at proper level and oil put on compressor and issues were fixed! AC was cooling properly again. You could have told me I needed a new compressor and I would have believed you! Thank you Brianna and Fausto's and team for your concern, care, honesty and excellent service. I will be returning for ALL my car's needs.
I have been coming to Fausto's Power Garage for years, and have always found the service to be excellent. Saturn told me that my old Saturn would always burn a lot of oil. Fausto showed me what part needed to be replaced and fixed it. When my air-conditioning went out at 4:00 on a Friday, Fausto stayed late to get it fixed before the weekend. I can't say enough about the quality of their service.