Synthetic oil, myth versus truth

30 09 2014


Maybe your vehicle’s manufacturer requires synthetic oil, or you have a choice.  In either case, you should still learn why one type might perform better than another for your specific vehicle.  We recommend taking a closer look at this article from Vehicle MD regarding “The Truth About Synthetic Oil.”

For the record, we strongly support and recommend synthetic oil when applicable (Mobil 1, in most cases).  This topic of discussion has been sensationalized over the years, but these experts do a great job of cutting to the quick.  No conspiracy theories here.

In any event, you should always consult your vehicle’s owners manual when considering what application might work best for you.  Should you have any additional questions, we’ll be here to help you.


Save at the pump

1 08 2013

10 simple ways to save money on fuel for your vehicle

01. Keep consistent with regular maintenance – worn spark plugs, contaminated fluids, and dirty filters are just a few variables that can effect your overall fuel economy

02. Refrain from extended idle of your engine – rule of thumb, if you’re going to be stationary for longer than 60 seconds turn off your vehicle

03. Maintain proper air pressure in your tires – self explanatory, but the correct amount of inflation will go a long way in decreasing fuel consumption

04. Ride a bike, or take public transportation

05. Get involved with an office carpool/rideshare, or find comparable programs available within your community

06. Remove weighted objects – this may seem obvious (and it is) but it never ceases to amaze how some people will store unnecessary items in their trunk/back seat that they seldom use

07. Use your air conditioning with discretion – comfort is more important to some than others but often the same degree can be achieved by having windows down while traveling

08. Use controlled braking – in other words, don’t wait until you’re almost to the light before you begin slowing down – often times braking earlier will prevent you from having to make a complete stop because the light turns green before it’s necessary

09. Observe posted speed limits – we know this, too, is quite obvious but there’s still people wanting to go 80mph or more on the highway, just keep in mind the sacrifice you make in fuel economy each time you go this route

10. Replace your gas cap – yes sometimes it’s that simple – the smallest defect will allow adequate fumes to escape, all of which will effect the amount of miles you’re able to drive per gallon of fuel

Talks around the price of oil will continue, and until we make some proactive changes on our own, we should expect nothing to change.

These are very easy steps to help guide you in the proper direction.  Not everyone’s able to afford the latest hybrid technology, but we all can assure we’re doing our part to care for our vehicles, and the environment.

Feel free to give us a call or schedule an appointment online when we can help.

We’ll be here when you need us.

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Filters serve a purpose

12 03 2013


It’s that time of year again, where customers begin to notice a slight (or in some cases more significant) decrease in their fuel economy.  In many of these situations it boils down to using their climate control, particularly heat during the winter.  However, there also is one specific culprit often overlooked – filters.

You might think for a moment about the filters you replace in your furnace at home, provided yours is a model that requires attention.  The comfort you feel is made possible because the “elements” and debris are FILTERED out of the air.  The filter systems on vehicles are no different.  It’s simple logic, really.  Imagine any opening where there’s supposed to be a steady flow.  Now, picture impeding that progress with any number of obstacles.  OK, point made.

Filters don’t tend to be an expensive item to maintain.  In fact, they’re quite the contrary and often one of the cheapest parts to monitor.  The payoff can definitely outweigh the cost, let’s put it that way.  To that end, let’s answer the next obvious question – why should you pay attention to filters?

Best reason here, at least as it pertains to fuel and air filters, is that it takes an exact mixture of air and fuel to properly operate an engine.  If that ratio is skewed the vehicle may still run, but not optimally.  Here’s where the fuel economy issue becomes noticeable.  Makes perfect sense why a good majority of peoples’ attention is on fuel consumption, as we’ve started seeing some of the highest average gasoline costs in history.  Given the pinch felt all around the nation, it’s requiring us to think outside the box and focus on the root cause(s) of poor (or less than usual) “miles to the gallon.”

Dirty filters also may cause other systems in your vehicle to not work as designed.  Two of the usual suspects here are spark plugs and the O2 sensor, neither of which will be free of additional symptoms.  Once again, best practice is keeping a close eye on all common wear/tear, so there aren’t related issues.  Doing this will save a lot of money, not to mention add significant peace of mind.

Lastly, filters come in all shapes and sizes.  These range from cylindrical, square, cone, and circular, among others.  Import and domestic vehicles do not necessarily have the same location for filters, which is why it’s always wise to consult your owner’s manual.  If you’re looking for a step up to a higher efficiency filter line, K&N makes some great quality products.

General rule of thumb is to replace your filters at least once annually.  Should you have reason to believe you’re more susceptible to additional elements (construction, dirt roads, inclement weather conditions, etc) you should take notice more often.  Again, the manufacturer of your vehicle will have the recommended time intervals for replacement laid out in your owner’s manual.  (seeing a theme here?)

Sometimes it’s possible to make very inexpensive adjustments/improvements to your vehicle, to keep it in the best possible shape.  Filters tend to fall in this category, which is why we recommend you periodically evaluate the condition of the ones in your vehicle.  Of course, we’ll do this for you as a complimentary service during your next service visit as well.

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