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Common Maintenance & Repair Issues That Can Impact Your Gas Mileage

Common Maintenance & Repair Issues That Can Impact Your Gas Mileage

With gas prices averaging over $5.00 a gallon across the Bay Area, it’s little wonder that many drivers are looking for ways to save some money at the pump. Although gas mileage is dependent on many factors, including the type of vehicle you drive, one of the simplest ways to make sure you’re getting the most mileage for your money is to make sure your car is up to date on its regular maintenance. Here are some of the most common issues that can impact your fuel efficiency—and your wallet. Under-Inflated Tires Tire pressure plays a significant role in fuel economy, as well as your safety on the road. Several studies, including one conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy, found that for every 1-psi drop in tire pressure, gas mileage decreases by 0.4%. That might not sound like a lot, but it does add up over time. Tires can lose pressure from regular driving as well as cold temperatures—so it’s important to monitor your tire pressure regularly. A good ... read more

9 Commonly Overlooked Auto Maintenance Tasks

9 Commonly Overlooked Auto Maintenance Tasks

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your vehicle running smoothly and avoid potential breakdowns. Neglecting your maintenance can affect your car's performance and lead to expensive repairs—especially when critical parts like the engine or transmission are involved.  While oil changes and tire rotations are important, there are several other maintenance tasks that often slip under the radar. Here are 9 commonly overlooked maintenance tasks and how they play a role in your vehicle's performance and longevity.  Transmission Fluid Maintenance While most drivers know to get regular oil changes, the transmission fluid often gets forgotten. Much like engine oil, the transmission fluid keeps the various gears in the transmission cool and lubricated. Over time, the transmission fluid can become dirty and contaminated, which reduces its effectiveness.  Transmissions are expensive to repair, so it's important to have yours serviced according to your manu ... read more

Filter Replacement: An Important Part of Vehicle Maintenance

Filter Replacement: An Important Part of Vehicle Maintenance

Although you may not think about them very often, your car’s filters play a large role in how your vehicle performs. Most vehicles have four types of filters: the engine air filter, oil filter, cabin air filter, and fuel filter. When these filters become clogged, they can affect how your car runs—or, in the case of the cabin air filter, your cabin air quality. To help you understand why it’s important to replace these filters on a regularly, here’s a look at what each of them does. Engine Air Filter Just as we need clean air to breathe, car engines require clean air for the combustion process. The engine air filter plays a vital role in capturing dust, dirt, insects, and other debris from the air, and preventing them from entering the engine. It also ensures the engine receives the correct air-to-fuel ratio. Contaminants entering the engine can damage essential parts, like the cylinder walls and piston rings, which can be very expensive to repair. Clogged eng ... read more

Top Tips for Extending the Lifespan of Your Car's Brakes

Brakes play a crucial role in keeping you and your passengers safe on the road; thankfully, brakes are durable and capable of lasting tens of thousands of miles. However, there are many things you can do to make them last even longer. From simple maintenance tasks to smart driving habits, here’s some practical advice that can make a real difference in preserving your brakes and saving you money in the long run! Take it Slow Driving at high speeds can cause a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on your brakes. If you’re driving fast and need to stop, the friction and heat generated can quickly deteriorate your brake pads—and in some cases, it can even warp your rotors. To prevent this, it’s best to drive at lower speeds, especially in heavy traffic, and avoid sudden braking. Not only is this safer, but it reduces the strain on your brakes when you need to come to a stop. Allowing your car to coast and naturally decelerate before applying the brakes can also help m ... read more

Synthetic vs. Conventional Oil: Making the Right Choice for Your Car

Synthetic vs. Conventional Oil: Making the Right Choice for Your Car

Choosing the right type of motor oil for your vehicle is crucial to ensure optimal engine performance and longevity. Although synthetic oil is often regarded as superior, conventional oil continues to be a popular choice due to its affordability and availability. But which one is best for your car. Conventional Oil and Its Advantages Conventional oil, which is made from refined crude oil, has been a primary lubricant for internal combustion engines since the late 1800s. It costs less than synthetic oil and is widely available, which is why it’s an attractive option, especially for older or worn-out engines. Conventional oil has a slightly slower flow that provides additional lubrication over time, which reduces the risk of gear-grinding in older engines. For brand-new cars that come with manufacturer-specific break-in oil, sticking with conventional oil initially allows the engine to continue running on the same lubricant it was built with. Disadvantages of Conventional Oil W ... read more

What’s Included in a Tune-Up?

What’s Included in a Tune-Up?

A common question many drivers have is “What’s included in a standard tune-up?” Unfortunately, there’s no universal definition of a “standard tune-up” because every auto shop has its own range of services are offered with this type of maintenance. In addition, manufacturers provide recommendations for tune-ups, so even at the same shop, your car’s tune-up may be very different than another vehicle’s. However, one thing remains the same across the board: tune-ups are a type of preventive maintenance that focuses on enhancing your engine’s performance. Typical Services Included in Tune-Ups There are various services that may be performed during a tune-up, including: Engine diagnostics Ignition system check Replacing spark plugs, spark plug wires, or coil boots Adjusting the ignition timing Throttle body cleaning Fuel system cleaning Engine air filter replacement Fuel filter r ... read more

The Telltale Signs: How to Identify Automotive Fluid Leaks

The Telltale Signs: How to Identify Automotive Fluid Leaks

Fluid leaks are often one of the first signs of car trouble. Left unaddressed for too long, fluid leaks can lead to serious problems ranging from braking and steering issues to total engine failure—which is why leaks should always be repaired as soon as possible. Knowing how to identify a fluid leak and the type of fluid that’s leaking is a useful skill for any driver. To help you do this, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common and important fluids you might encounter and how to tell which is which. How to Identify Automotive Fluids The easiest way to identify which type of fluid is leaking from your vehicle is to look at the color and consistency of the fluid. Red Fluid There are two types of red fluids that are commonly used in vehicles: automatic transmission fluid and power steering fluid. However, some vehicles use automatic transmission fluid instead of power steering fluid for their power steering systems. Fresh power steering fluid starts off re ... read more

Are Your Brakes Trying to Tell You Something? Common Brake Sounds & What They Mean

Are Your Brakes Trying to Tell You Something? Common Brake Sounds & What They Mean

When it comes to unusual sounds vehicle sounds, few are as alarming as brake noises. As one of the most important safety features of your vehicle, your brakes are one of the last things you want to be worried about while you're driving down the road! But the good news is that not all brake noises are signs of trouble. In fact, some of them are completely normal. To help you distinguish between the harmless and the hazardous, we've compiled some of the most common brake noises you might hear and what they mean. By the end of this post, you'll be able to tell the difference between a harmless squeak and a warning sign that your brakes need attention. Grinding Noises When Starting Your Vehicle in the Morning Grinding noises are often a bad thing—but before you panic and start budgeting for a brake replacement, there's a chance that this sound is completely normal, especially if you park your car outside. When your car is p ... read more

Don’t Sweat It: Get Your Auto Air Conditioner Ready for Summer

Don’t Sweat It: Get Your Auto Air Conditioner Ready for Summer

Don’t Sweat It: Get Your Auto Air Conditioner Ready for Summer Summer’s just around the corner, so this is the perfect time to ensure your car’s air conditioning system is in good working order! After months of disuse during the winter months, your AC may need some maintenance or repairs to get it ready for the warm weather ahead. A malfunctioning AC system can turn what should be a comfortable drive into a sweaty, uncomfortable ordeal; fortunately, there are some simple checks you can do at home to determine whether your system is ready to beat the heat—or needs a little attention. 5 Steps for Checking Your Auto Air Conditioning System Here are five simple steps you can take to check how well your car’s air conditioning is working: Test the settings Check that your AC fan is working properly at different speeds. Start your AC on the lowest setting ... read more

The Importance of Tire Rotations

The Importance of Tire Rotations

Tires are constantly “rotating” as they travel down the road, but tire rotation refers to a type of maintenance where the position of each tire is changed periodically. Although tire rotation intervals can vary based on your vehicle, they’re typically recommended about every 5,000 miles.    Why Are Tire Rotations Needed? Tire rotations are necessary—and important—for several reasons. First, the front tires wear more quickly than the rear tires. This is because it’s the front wheels that do the turning, which means they’re exposed to more friction. Rotating your tires helps to spread the rate of tread wear more evenly, maximizing their road life. Fresh new tire tread tends to wear more unevenly, so it’s especially important to rotate new tires by the time they hit 5,000 miles.    Another reason to rotate your tires is that it keeps the t ... read more

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