Tag Archives: Car Care

holiday trip

Holiday Car Trips

  • Time with Relatives

    What could be worse than your car breaking down while you are visiting relatives during the holidays , perhaps hundreds of miles from home. Time with relatives and friends is a time for fun, not dealing with the stress of getting a car repair. To that end, please take these steps you can take to protect your vehicle, your trip and your family on holiday car trips. If you have a mechanic you usually deal with have him check/change the following or if you are DIY, you need to check these things:

  • Oil and oil filter
  • Air filter
  • Belts and spark plugs
  • Tire iron and jack are in the car along with the spare tire
  • Tire treads and look for signs of strain, bulges or other damage. Check tire pressure. Don’t over inflate.
  • Check that high and low beam headlights are in working order.
  • Windshield wipers and wiper fluid. When the rain falls, you don’t want to discover your wipers are useless. In addition, bug hits can really mess a windshield, so you’ll need a full fluid reservoir.
  • Check Coolant, Fuses and Horn.

Some additional advice:

  • Begin your trip with a clean car, both inside and out. It will help for you to be organized.
  • Try not to put luggage over the car. It creates air friction and slows you down – burning more gas. If it is unavoidable, cover with strong sheet and tie them very well.
  • Keep a small garbage bag inside the car.
  • Cover headlights and front of the car with a protective sheet to prevent bug clogs or other damage.
  • Pack a fire extinguisher.
  • Get a spare key for the car and keep it in your wallet or elsewhere on your person in case you lock your keys in the car.
  • Fix sun protectors for side windows and front windshield.
  • Stock up on CDs to cover the trip if you don’t have Sirius radio.
  • Have some games planned for the younger ones.
  • Bring a plastic funnel to add water or other fluids
  • Bring towels for cleaning dirty windshields, spills, etc.
  • Make sure your owner’s manual is handy.
  • Always fill your gas tank when it is half full. Don’t wait too long. Sometimes there can be miles and miles in between rest areas or service areas.
  • Be reasonable about how many miles you can cover in a day. Don’t push it, especially with young children.
  • Forget about high speeds. A steady driver can book more miles and enjoy more scenery. You’ll also save on gas over the long haul.
  • Leave the caffeine at home. If you get tired, pull over and rest. If it’s midway through the day, try a nap of about 30 minutes. If it’s getting dark, get a motel. It’s not worth risking your safety if your body is telling you it needs rest.
  • Learn to avoid boredom. For times like this, listening to your favorite music or a book on tape can prove invaluable.
  • Finally, stay away from trucks. Truck drivers dislike having anyone follow them.
  • With proper preparation before a trip, and a good attitude during a journey, you can make sure you not only survive a long trip – but also enjoy it.
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Environmentally Friendly Car Care

Keep your car properly tuned for optimum performance

Environmentally Friendly Car Care according to the Car Care Council – A properly maintained vehicle can improve its efficiency, reduce emissions and save you money. Regular engine performance maintenance will help you burn less gas, pollute less, and prevent car trouble down the line. This will include checking the spark plugs, replacing the fuel and air filters, replacing ignition system and/or emission system parts if needed and ensuring the onboard computer control system is working properly.

Improve gas mileage by 4% on a proper tune-up and up to 40% when fixing a serious maintenance problem such as a faulty oxygen sensor. Worn or fouled spark plugs can cause the engine to lose power or misfire and waste fuel.

Drive Smart

How you drive has a lot to do with fuel economy. Avoid sudden starts and stops and go the speed limit. Minimize unnecessary miles by combining errands in one trip. Drive wisely and minimize unnecessary miles by consolidating errands, getting good directions and avoiding excessive idling. Other guidelines to follow include:

  • When possible, use your vehicle’s cruise control features.
  • Use your air conditioning only when needed. Parking in the shade and using a reflective windshield shade can help your car stay cooler when parked, meaning it takes less to cool it off when you get back in.
  • Speeding and Aggressive Driving: Most cars lose fuel efficiency over 50 miles per hour (MPH) at a rate of about $0.24 per gallon for every 5 mph over 50. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) can also reduce gas mileage – as much as 33 percent on the highway and five percent on city streets.

Lighten the Load

Get the junk out of the trunk and the stuff out of your car, with the exception of emergency items such as a spare tire and a first-aid kit. Extra items weigh the vehicle down and cause an increase in gas usage.

Regularly check and replace dirty air filters

An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture that causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter will improve your car’s performance and acceleration, but not miles per gallon. The air filter should be inspected at each oil change, and replaced annually or when restricted, torn, water or oil-soaked.

Replace spark plugs if necessary

A vehicle can have four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as three million times every 1,000 miles. This results in a lot of heat, electrical, and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug also causes misfiring, which wastes fuel.

Maintain the cooling system

A cooling system thermostat that causes the engine to run too cold will lower the fuel efficiency of a car by as much as one or two mpg. There also are improved radiator caps on the market today that allow the cooling system to operate at a higher temperature before boiling over, increasing the system’s efficiency and reducing emissions.

Tire Checks

Proper tire pressure can improve gas mileage by 3.3 percent or 10 cents per gallon.

Tire pressure should be checked at least monthly, including the spare. Tires that are not properly inflated add rolling resistance that makes the engine work harder to move the vehicle. Remember, tires can lose pressure due to seasonal temperature changes. According to the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association, a tire can lose up to half of its inflation pressure and not appear to be flat. Optimal tire pressure for your vehicle is listed in the owner’s manual or on the car door sidewall.

Gas Caps

Check your vehicle’s gas cap. A loose, cracked or damaged gas cap allows gas to escape from your tank as a vapor, wasting fuel and increasing vehicle emissions. It’s also wasting your gas money!

Fill-Ups

When filling up your car, remember to stop when the nozzle shuts off! Topping off the gas tank can release harmful vapors into the environment and waste money.  Remember, your tank needs some extra room to allow the gasoline to expand. Some pumps engineered to protect the environment draw extra vapors back into the pump, meaning you pay for more gas than you are getting, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

A/C Maintenance and Use

The A/C system should be inspected annually, during which a technician checks pressures to test operation, refrigerant charge and outlet temperatures. Use the window to help keep the car cool.

Vehicle Fuel System

By properly maintaining your vehicle’s fuel system, such as replacing your car’s fuel filter every two years or 24,000 miles and having your fuel injectors flushed our every 30,000 miles, you will not only have a cleaner, ‘greener’ car, but you will save money at the pump.”

Emission systems

Emission Systems control a vehicle’s emissions, exhaust and pollutants using an array of sensors, computerized engine controls and the exhaust components. Emission systems substantially reduce harmful gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), unburned hydrocarbons (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and prevent harmful gasoline vapors from escaping at the fuel tank. Your car’s emission system keeps the engine running cleanly and efficiently in all sorts of operating conditions, and keeping it in proper working condition can save money and protect the environment. Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve gas mileage by 40%!

Maintain and repair your car – this is important for you, your car and the environment.

Reference: Car Care Council

 

Car care San Diego

Maintaining Your Car to Prevent a Car Glass Repair

Maintaining your car regularly is not just something to do to keep your car looking nice and clean. It is something that will keep it in its original condition. That means that your car will be less likely to malfunction, and that applies to the windshield too. When you are driving, you do not want your windshield to break. Thus, with these car maintenance tips, you will prevent a car glass repair: Continue reading

Car care San Diego

5 Car Care San Diego Tips to Adhere for Your Safety

Taking a good care of your car not only keeps your car looking nice but also protects you on the road. The better you preserve your car, the better it works. So, if you want to stay safe on the road, be sure to keep your car in the best shape. A couple of ways to do that is by following these amazing car care San Diego tips: Continue reading