Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tips to Extend the Life of Your Car

You’ve worked hard, saved diligently, and have now purchased your new car! To help ensure your purchase was money well spent, car care and maintenance are necessary to prolong the life of your vehicle. We’ve put together a few great tips to help you extend the life of your car.

· Run your car’s A/C in winter

Run the A/C a few times throughout the winter to prevent moving parts in the compressor from seizing. Circulating the refrigerant will also help keep the seals soft and pliant.

· Patience is key during the break-in period

Typically during the first 1,000 miles, or break-in period- of a new car, car manufactures suggest you keep speeds under 55 miles per hour.

· Don’t fill up your gas tank while the tanker is at the station

Come back another day or go to a different gas station if you see a gasoline tanker filling the tanks when you need a fill-up. As the tanks are being filled underground, sediment can be stirred up into the gas and can clog fuel filters and fuel injectors, causing poor performance from your vehicle.

· Clean the inside of the car every time you clean the outside

Particles of dirt are abrasive and liquid spills, such as soda, can be corrosive. Vacuum and sponge interior surfaces clean every time the outside of your car gets a bath.

· Take excess weight off your keychain

The weight several objects on your keychain, combined with bouncing while you drive, can wear out the tumblers inside the ignition and may eventually lead to ignition switch failure. To help ensure your ignition switch works properly, shed some weight off your keychain.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fuel Efficiency Can be Maximized with Air Conditioning and Windows

A hot car can be remedied quickly by using the modern marvel of air conditioning, but is it more fuel efficient to roll the windows down instead? The answer to this question depends on the speed of your car. We have collected the following advice for drivers who want to cool down their car and save on gas.

When the car is already cool, the air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard. Car temperatures can quickly rise to over 140 degrees on a hot day. Parking in the shade or in a garage can help reduce the workload placed on the air conditioner. Window shades placed on the inside of the windshield can also help to deflect the sun’s rays. If a car is hot before it is time to go, drivers should open their doors to let the hot air out before cranking up the air conditioning.

When considering whether to ride with the windows down or the air conditioning on, the speed of the car will determine the savings on fuel. A car traveling as speeds over 40 miles-per-hour meets a fair amount of resistance, or drag, from the air moving around it. Like a parachute opening, the drag is increased when the windows of the car are rolled down. More resistance means the car has to work harder to get down the road. In these instances, it is better to ride with the windows up and the air conditioning on.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Simple Tips to Maximize Your Fuel-Efficiency

With price of gas constantly increasing, many drivers are trying to find ways to help their gas tanks stay above empty for as long as possible. Your vehicle knowledge and driving habits will be the main factors in determining how decent the fuel economy will be.

Here are a few tips to help you maximize fuel-efficiency when buying a new or used vehicle:

1. Be Smart, Buy for your Lifestyle – Keep in mind that a vehicle’s weight, power, and displacement (4, 6, or 8 cylinders) will be a big influence on its fuel consumption. If you’re not hauling a whole football team around town or don’t have a trailer to tow, then don’t buy a large, gas-guzzling SUV.

2. Choose the Right Transmission - As a general rule, a manual transmission is about 5-10% more fuel-efficient than an automatic, assuming you shift properly. For a typical driver, proper use of a manual transmission can save at least 100 liters of fuel annually. With an automatic transmission the vehicle becomes more fuel-efficient with a greater number of gears (for example 6 vs 4). This is because the extra gears are better able to keep the engine running at or near its most efficient level.

3. Be Careful of the Add-On Options - Using a remote starter allows for unnecessary idling, which wastes fuel and increases greenhouse gas emissions. A roofrack (loaded or not) increases aerodynamic drag, putting extra strain on fuel-efficiency. Additionally, the more available options you choose can weigh down your vehicle and make it use more fuel.

4. Fuel-Efficient Options - There are a few add-on options you can choose to help your vehicle in fuel economy. Some of these options are lightweight aluminum wheels, cruise control, and trip computers, which can simply help you understand how much fuel you use.

Not ready to buy? No problem! You can help stretch your dollar at the pump by following these tips with your current vehicle:

1. Keeping Maintenance Up-To-Date – Becoming familiar with your vehicle’s maintenance schedule and having the necessary work and repairs performed can help maximize your fuel economy.

2. Adopt Good Driving Habits – Implementing good driving habits, such as avoiding hard and fast accelerations, using cruise control, and shutting the engine off while waiting on someone, can really make a difference in the long run.