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Auto Car Care Repair Maintenance-PART II: Channel 11 KHOU TV-AAA APPROVED AUTO REPAIR HOUSTON FACILITY Auto-Car Talk With ASE Master Auto Technicians September, 16 2009

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Keep Your Auto Car Engine Properly Tuned
Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done.
Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.
Fuel Economy Benefit: 4%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.10/gallon

Keep Tires Properly Inflated

You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.

The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver’s side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner’s manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire’s sidewall.

Fuel Economy Benefit: up to 3%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: up to $0.08/gallon

Use the Recommended Grade of Motor Oil

You can improve your gas mileage by 1-2 percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by 1-2 percent. Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by 1-1.5 percent. Also, look for motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.

Fuel Economy Benefit: 1-2%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.03-$0.05/gallon

Replacing a Clogged Air Filter on Modern Cars Improves Performance but Not MPG
A new study shows that replacing a clogged air filter on cars with fuel-injected, computer-controlled gasoline engines does not improve fuel economy but it can improve acceleration time by around 6 to 11 percent. This kind of engine is prevalent on most gasoline cars manufactured from the early 1980s onward.
Tests suggest that replacing a clogged air filter on an older car with a carbureted engine may improve fuel economy 2 to 6 percent under normal replacement conditions or up to 14 percent if the filter is so clogged that it significantly affects drivability.
The effect of a clogged air filter on diesel vehicles will be tested in the near future.

Note: Cost savings are based on an assumed fuel price of $2.58/gallon.

Some leading maintenance companies keep this car maintenance interval program to themselves; now it’s revealed for you. This breakthrough method will couch you on how to keep a diligent maintenance interval schedule that can save you maintenance costs.

Preventive car maintenance interval program is an important solution to your vehicle maintenance problems. If you use the car maintenance interval scheduling, you can track your vehicle expenses and at the same time monitor the vehicle performance. To begin a car maintenance interval program, start by setting up your vehicle maintenance reminder parameters where you can record the vehicle fuel economy and performance. This can also include monitoring the dash gauges of every vehicles and equipment you want to maintain. A periodic check up can be set so the various vehicle maintenance functions can be monitored. As an example, you can include any warranty appointments that maybe needed by the vehicle dealerships. This can give you a guideline when to bring the vehicle to an authorized dealer for routine check ups which can ultimately help your over all maintenance cost.
It is worthwhile to mention that when car maintenance interval program is applied, there can be longer oil and filter changes when optimum gas is used, including keeping the tires longer, fixing break downs when they occur, replacing shock absorbers which can be used only when maintenance is needed. If you like, use also the synthetic oil as soon as the 3rd or 4th oil change is done. Parts like distributor cap, rotor, air filter, plug wires must be watched closer and only replaced when needed. For reference, you can use 24,000 miles for distributor cap and rotor for replacement schedule and 12,000 miles for air filters. For vehicle fluids such as your transmission, monitor it by checking the color of the trany fluid.
Car maintenance interval program should include changing the engine oil to performing engine tune ups including having the ability to set the desired schedule recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. When a maintenance work is done, it can be recorded and filed or archived as a vehicle maintenance history. This way, it can be access later and monitor what was done to a vehicle such as PM, repairs, parts and labor to determine over all operating cost. This will help calculate future vehicle problems to avoid repeating the same repairs which can be expensive. As a general rule, always follow the vehicle manufacture maintenance schedule recommendation.
When used successfully, car maintenance interval program can help you avoid major expensive engine repairs by doing routine maintenance jobs such as changing timing belts and oxygen sensors. Other parts required can be found by using the recommended parts suggested by the vehicle manufacturer. This is your insurance so you can get maximum amount of performance, reliability and extended service life from your vehicles. Including in this practice is the cleaning of the fuel injectors which is often over looked. When not done, it could plugged up the injectors and result in poor mileage and performance. Also, if the intake side of the engines are not regularly cleaned, it can lead to build up of dirt to collect in the throttle bodies which can fail later on. This will result to poor engine responsiveness and bad fuel consumption.
Still, some car maintenance interval program can warn you if the check engine light in the dash occurs. It can even recommend what parts to be used to hasten the fixing of the vehicle and prevent down time.
Click back to Car Maintenance

Discover the basic auto maintenance program for your vehicle and save in maintenance costs.

When evaluating that the cost of vehicle neglect, usually the cost is in the hundreds or thousands of dollars when you take them to a mechanic that is why it is important that we should know the basic auto maintenance. When doing this maintenance, start by using the vehicle maintenance owner’s manual to determine the best maintenance schedule for the vehicle you have. If the manual is not available, you can buy the electronic version usually found in the internet for reasonable fee.
Some important highlights of basic auto maintenance are:
Performing regular maintenance check ups will help prolong the life of your vehicle tires, parts, brakes and other vehicle components. When servicing the brakes, always ensure to gather the old brake parts for recycling. The brake fluids does not need to be replaced unless there is a presence of brake fluid contamination or if a brake leak is detected. On most newer brake system, a sensor is used to monitor the brake fluid level or determine if the brakes needs some work or not. This is usually activated in the master cylinder where the sensor is located.
Most newer vehicle has front wheel drive axle system and as such, has a CV joint used to transfer the engine torque to the front tires. This CV joints should be monitored and greased if possible. The most common failure for this part is the cracking or breaking the rubber cover. As soon as this is detected, the CV joint rubber must be covered to prevent dirt contact with the bearings.
Among common maintenance used are engine oil change, tires checks and rotations, belts inspection, brakes inspection, spark plugs and wires check ups and replaced if necessary including fuel injector servicing. A better way of getting a tune up is now done by having a complete engine analysis that can also checked the over all safety of the vehicle. Actually, an emission test is the best way to check engine performance by scanning all the engine sensors. Such sensors such as oxygen , tps, coolant, idle air control sensors can be tested by the scanner before they break down. This is the most important step necessary to make sure the engine parts are in top shape.
Under inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every drop of 1 psi of tire pressure. In essence, a proper inflated tires not only save you gas but give you safer driving environment.
It is a good practice to monitor the battery condition all the time. Check for signs of corrosion in the battery post and make sure to check it for cracks and boiling which shows that the charging system is over charging.
Always check your engine belts like the ones used for steering, water pump, alternators and crankshaft drive pulleys. When serpentine belt is used, monitor them for belt noise which shows that the belt tensioner is worn (serpetine belt is a multiple groove belt used to replaced the old multiple belt system).
Servicing the transmission is usually done by dropping the trany oil pan at suggested vehicle maintenance interval. When done, the trany can be checked for signs of trany oil discoloration or presence of debris in the old oil which suggest that the trany itself is failing. After inspection, a new trany oil filter should be installed to increase the life of the transmission. On some vehicle models, the trany solenoids can be tested whenever the trany oil pan is dropped.

Saving Money
Five Ways To Keep Your Car Running At Peak Fuel Efficiency
By Andrew Stoy, 9:00 AM on Sat Jun 21 2008, 53,192 views (Edit, to draft, Slurp)

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Back in the good ol’ days of $2.50-per-gallon gasoline, you could ignore simple car maintenance. After all, what was it costing you? A buck here and a buck there? But when prices hit the $4 mark, things changed. Now, every cent counts, and you can save a surprising amount of scratch by performing a few simple maintenance tasks yourself. We’ve put together a quick list of five basics from Jalopnik’s “How To” series, ranked from easiest to most difficult, that can help any vehicle owner squeeze a few extra MPG (Miles Per Gallon) out of their daily driver.

1. Fill Up Smart
It doesn’t get easier than this. Fill up your vehicle during the coolest part of the day. With older pumps that don’t have a temperature-compensating flow meter, fuel is denser when it’s cool, so you actually get more for your money when you pump gas in the early AM instead of filling up at 5:30PM on your way home from work. Also, if you really want to penny-pinch, and you don’t need to be using premium fuel in your car, ditch the premium gas and use the cheaper stuff. Finally, stay away from E85 — the ethanol-mixed fuel provides lower fuel economy than the pure stuff.

2. Keep Your Car Clean
First off, wash and wax your car — it doesn’t just look good, it actually lowers the wind resistance of your vehicle. No, not by much, but every little bit helps, remember? More importantly, clean out the inside of your vehicle, particularly any unnecessary boxes of heavy junk you have in the hatch/trunk/backseat. By removing weight, you can improve fuel economy. Just keep the baby seat installed.

3. Check Your Tire Pressure
Underinflated tires take more energy to push down the road so check your tire pressure often. Invest a few dollars in a good dial-type tire pressure gauge and use it to check your tire pressure once a week. Even if the pressure is only a couple PSI low, you’re burning a lot more fuel than you need to.

4. Change The Air Filter
If your engine’s wheezing and has to work harder bringing in the air it needs to burn fuel efficiently, it doesn’t complain to you. It simply burns more fuel. By replacing your air filter annually, or biannually if you live in a dusty area, you’ll ensure the engine can breathe freely. Consult your owner’s manual for filter changing instructions — it’s usually a straightforward process. While it won’t save you dollars per fill-up, it could save you at least the price of an air filter each year depending on your mileage.

5. Replace Your Spark Plugs
Worn spark plugs can’t ignite the air/fuel mixture in your engine as effectively, resulting in more fuel used for a given amount of power produced. Depending upon the vehicle you drive, your spark plugs may need to be changed as often as yearly or as rarely as once a decade or so. Again, consult your owner’s manual for details. Note that we’re now getting into “real work.” If you drive an older vehicle with an inline engine, changing plugs can be done in as little as an hour. A transverse V6, like that commonly found on minivans and domestic sedans, can be an entirely different story involving bloody knuckles, part removal, flex sockets, and extensive cursing. If your car is due for plug replacement and you’re not up to the task, a competent shop should be able to do the work for a reasonable fee.


Importance of Auto Car Care Repair Maintenance: Channel 11 KHOU TV-AAA APPROVED AUTO REPAIR HOUSTON FACILITY Auto-Car Talk With ASE Master Auto Technicians July 29, 2009

Friday, July 31st, 2009

The Importance of Car Maintenance

Car Maintenance Tips to Protect Your Investment:

Many people consider car maintenance to be a necessary evil. Fortunately, there are several things you could do to protect your investment and save some money. Like children, each vehicle requires different needs that the owner should consider. Car maintenance should be a top priority for any vehicle owner.

Oil Is Not Optional

Let’s start with the most universal car maintenance task: oil changes. Unless otherwise directed by the oil manufacturer, every car needs the oil changed around every 3000 miles or 3 months, whichever occurs earlier. Your two basic choices are to take your car to the dealer for service or use an independent service center. Looking at the bottom line, using an independent service center will be cheaper. However, your dealer may have specials that are not widely advertised. These specials typically are a fixed percentage off oil changes or when your bill goes over a certain dollar amount. Consider going to the dealer for you oil changes.

Tires Experience Wear and Tear

Another item that will wear out eventually is your tires. There are several places, including your new car dealer, that sell and install tires. Most new car dealers will perform some type of computerized tire alignment with the installation of the new tires. More likely than not, your cheapest place to buy tires will be at large discount chains, such as Wal-Mart, Coscos, Kmart etc. With tires, you must rotate them roughly every 6,000 miles to promote their longevity. Without tire rotation, your tires will not meet their expected mileage lifetime. If you skip getting your tires aligned, you might have to buy a new pair of tires much sooner. Make sure you take the time to schedule this necessary component of car maintenance.

Keeping up with car maintenance can really protect the money you’ve invested in buying your new car. Savvy consumers don’t neglect car maintenance and neither should you.

So far we’ve tackled the numerous ways by which you can easily conduct effective car/vehicle reparations and some ways on how you can easily maintain the various parts of your ride. Let’s take a break from the technicalities of repair and automobile upkeep to focus on the importance of vehicle maintenance.

While learning to repair your vehicle is a great way to cut costs, there are also a number of undeniably important reasons why it’s just as vital for you to conduct regular maintenance on your car, SUV or truck. The following are some compelling arguments on the value of vehicle maintenance.

By carefully maintaining your vehicle, you increase driving safety. You can be the world’s most effective and skillful driver, but with a rotten ride, you and your vehicle become accident-prone. Every year, thousands of accidents become a result of vehicle neglect. It’s not just bad driving that causes accidents, in fact when it comes to the majority of automobile accidents around the world, you have faulty brake systems, worn wiper blades and tires, exhaust buildups and leaking gas tanks to blame.

You help reduce pollution with vehicle maintenance. Most countries around the world have anti-smoke belching campaigns to help save the environment. Each year, your vehicle’s noxious emissions contribute directly to global pollution. A well-maintained vehicle will easily limit the amount of dangerous fumes and automotive fluids released into the air and local water tables.

Another reason why you should maintain your vehicle is it definitely lowers your cost of operation. It’s common sense, I know, but it never hurts to point out good advice, right? The point is a well-maintained car wouldn’t need too many repairs. Meaning, you won’t have to keep on heading to your car mechanic and ordering car parts or truck accessories if you keep your vehicle in excellent condition.

A hidden advantage behind careful maintenance is that in case you do decide to sell your used vehicle, you’re going to get a better price. Most buyers value excellent vehicle performance and condition over the car model. So it only follows that a well-maintained five-year-old vehicle is going to fetch a more handsome price compared to an ill-maintained and broken-down two-year-old car.

If you keep your vehicle well-maintained, expect it to perform better. You lengthen your vehicle’s great performance if you keep a careful eye on its vital fluids, oil and various parts. If you don’t maintain your vehicle well, expect it to quickly show signs of internal wear. Your car will also be more dependable if you make sure that it is always in good condition.

And lastly, a well-maintained vehicle will mean less roadside emergencies. There’s nothing more frustrating then having your vehicle break down in the middle of nowhere with no tools at hand. Lessen your chances of getting stranded due to a cracked radiator, bad tires or a malfunctioning battery by making sure your vehicle is in excellent condition prior to a long trip.

Remember, these are just some of the main reasons behind keeping your vehicle well-maintained. In the next few days, I’ll be featuring more vehicle maintenance tips to ensure that you get the best performance out of your ride.

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