Auto Maintenance Professionals
Full Service - Foreign & Domestic
State-of-the-Art Expertise /
Personal Neighborhood Service
Premature Fuel Pump Failure -- Fuel
injection systems operate at pressures as high as 90 psi.
pumps that achieve this performance are powerful, quiet and compact,
and packaged as an integral unit with the level sender and regulator
installed within the fuel tank. These fuel pump designs
utilize internal recirculation of fuel, as a means of cooling the
pump-motor, while in operation. When the fuel tank is
1/8 full, this cooling process is compromised, and the fuel pump runs
hotter than normal. While this condition will not immediately
damage your fuel pump, the cumulative effect of sustained operation at
less than 1/8 full fuel, will shorten the life of a very expensive
component. Always fully fuel your vehicle when the
level gets low.
Improving Fuel Economy -- This
is a popular topic these days. None of these points is
to address, however if they are neglected, you will see the result in
substantially increased fuel bills. In decreasing order of
Unpaved Surfaces --
If your circumstances permit, avoid regularly parking your vehicle on
unpaved or unsealed surfaces. Day to night temperature
fluctuations will cause moisture in the air to condense on the
underside of your vehicle, causing excessive corrosion to exposed metal
components. If you must routinely park on gravel or bare
placing a sheet of plywood or heavy cardboard under the car, will
minimize this dewing of the underside of your car.
of Tune --
Today's vehicles are guaranteed to stay in "tune" for 30,000 miles or
more, with a number of key components expected to last beyond 100,000
miles. After these limit mileages are reached, however;
performance tends to deteriorate quickly, with serious
in increased fuel consumption. This category can include
plugs, oxygen sensors, ignition wires, and related components, and can be worth 5mpg or more.
- Tire Inflation
-- Next to state of tune, the most powerful component for maintaining
satisfactory fuel economy is diligent attention to tire inflation
pressure. Tires tend to loose pressure through the rubber
at the rate of a pound or two per month. An under
tire will have greater rolling resistance and run hotter than a
correctly inflated tire. Greater rolling resistance requires
power to maintain speed, and can cost an additional 1-2mpg in fuel
Poor alignment, like under inflation, can cause and increase in rolling
resistance. This drag is caused by pavement scrubbing the
on the tire, when the tire is rolling in a slightly different direction
than the car, due to misalignment. 1-2mpg.
Not only will a clogged air filter will cause reduced power output by
strangling the engine of air, the engine also has to work harder to
overcome the resistance of a clogged filter. This extra work
shows up as additional fuel consumption. 0.5mpg
Drivetrain and Brake Friction
-- This should not be an issue with a properly maintained automobile,
however; poorly serviced drive train components can bind causing
excessive friction and drag on the vehicle. A
failure mode for brake hydraulic cylinders is to seize and cause drag
on the brakes. For these reasons regular inspections of these
components is recommended, and they should be serviced where these
inspections indicate. 5mpg.
heavier your vehicle, the more horsepower is required to accelerate to
highway speeds. By removing unnecessary payload from your
vehicle, you can use less energy every time you pull away from a stop.
This issue is particularly evident with high payload
like trucks, SUV's, and minivans. Most people don't realize
even 100 or 200 extra pounds is enough to increase fuel consumption by
Style /Driving Environment
-- If you find yourself in frequent stop-and-go traffic, your mileage
will suffer. Practically speaking, some of these situations
unavoidable, however; careful throttle control can go along way in
squeezing the most miles per gallon when the traffic slows.
reason is that even modest acceleration can use 2 - 3 times as much
fuel as steady cruising. The best technique is to depress the
accelerator as if there was an egg between your foot and the pedal,
'slow and easy'. This technique will also yield fuel savings
anywhere you drive.
Drive Your Car Weekly
you own a 'seasonal' vehicle (plow truck, sports car, etc.) or a
vehicle that can have extended periods of inactivity, you can avoid
substantial damage and future repairs by driving the vehicle on a
Long periods of inactivity can cause deterioration in a variety of
1) If the vehicle is stored outside, condensation
on the metal surfaces under the vehicle and cause serious corrosion of
the body, fuel, and brake lines. 2) Condensation
inside the engine block and contaminate the engine lubricant.
The lubricant film can drain from bearing races and allow a
damaging type of corrosion to occur at he point of contact in rolling
element bearings. It is recommended that all vehicles be
minimum of 10mi per week or a sufficient weekly distance to fully
warm-up the engine.
-- If you are unable to operate your vehicle on a weekly basis and are
contemplating extended storage, here are some key points: 1)
Block up the vehicle to take the weight off the tires and
bearings. 2) If storage is contemplated for 6mo or
add fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank. If storage is
for more than 6mo, empty the fuel tank. 3) Store
vehicle in a temperature controlled environment if possible.
Attach a battery tender to the battery and leave it plugged
24/7. 5) Once monthly crank the engine over for 30
or start the vehicle and fully warm it up. 6)
engine lubricant at the beginning of the storage period, and replace it
within 100mi of taking the vehicle out of storage. 7)
adequate precautions to prevent rodents and insects from taking up
residence in the vehicle.
Forget Chassis /Driveline Lube -- Although
manufacturers are making more use of 'lubed-for-life' chassis and
driveline bearings, many vehicles are still being built with
serviceable bearings. These items include drive shaft
suspension ball joints, and steering tie rod ends and arms. A
serviceable component will have a fitting for the periodic introduction
of 'chassis' lubricant or grease. Most 'lubed-for-life'
components don't really last more than 150,000 miles. On the
other hand, serviceable components will literally last for the life of
the vehicle if they are lubed on a regular basis. We include
complete chassis and driveline lube with each full service 'oil-change'.
A Solution to
Rodent Problems --
Here in our rural area, it is not unusual to find rodent damage under
the hood and inside the car. This damage can include; 1)
accumulation of nesting material, feces, urine, and food supplies, and
2) chewing of wiring insulation and plumbing components.
Obviously the first approach to eliminating this problem, is
effective pest control program in the areas where you park your car.
If a pest control program is not fully effective or
have found that strategically locating fragrant 'drier sheets' in the
car and under the hood, will frequently discourage aggressive rodent
for Diagnostic Service
-- You have a poor running vehicle or your check engine lamp has just
come on and your set up with an appointment to have the problem
diagnosed. What can you do to facilitate your technician's
efforts in diagnosing the problem and getting it repaired? Be
prepared to help!
- Know the driving circumstances when the concern first
if the concern appears intermittently, know the actions to
to reproduce the symptoms, if possible.
- Be prepared to discuss any other abnormalities or concerns
might have developed over the same time period; such as unusual noises,
changes in fuel consumption, unusual odors, warning lights, or fluid
- Expect that the diagnostic activity or repair will
include a test drive, and make sure that the vehicle is fueled
accordingly prior to your appointment.
- Be prepared to discuss any prior services or repairs on the
- Plan on your car being in the shop for a full day, so the
technicians can have ample time to complete diagnostic tests, and a
verification test drive. Intermittent problems that can't be
reliably reproduced in the presence of a technician will take
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