18/09/03 BY GERRY
Car Salesman says …. “You know, when it comes to maintenance you don’t have to worry about anything for the first 100,000 miles but change the oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.” NOT!!!!
That’s the spill I got when I bought my new vehicle a few years ago. Unfortunately, in my opinion it’s just not true if you live in Houston.
If you look in your owner’s manual there are two maintenance schedules, one for “Normal Driving Conditions” (which is your 5,000 to 7,500 mile oil changes) and one for “Severe Driving Conditions”.
If you start your car get it up on the freeway immediately, reach your destination where you shut it off and then repeat; then you fall into the normal maintenance schedule. Oh, I almost forgot it has to be about 75 degrees outside and the air has to be clean with very few pollutants, dust, dirt or sand. Sounds like San Diego to me, not Houston.
We drive in realistic conditions, short trips, stop and go driving, not very clean air, temperatures way above and way below 75 degrees. These conditions are defined as “Severe Driving Conditions” which drop the maintenance interval mileage dramatically for your vehicle. I think the real reason for the different maintenance schedules is to give the appearance of having lower ownership costs.
Don’t forget, changing your oil is about replacing the oil before it breaks down. Engine oil carries metal that has worn away, dirt and moisture from the air and combustion gasses that get past the piston rings and sludge from chemical processes. These materials increase friction on metal parts and seals and causes seals and gaskets to harden. The oil will start to break down and lose its lubricating capability. This is when the problems start.
Which would you rather do;
So, which would you rather do?
Extend your oil changes and let the old contaminated oil damage expensive moving parts in your engine to where you will have to drop $4,000 to repair, or investing $1,500 over 10 years to keep your vehicle purring like a kitten.
I recommend oil changes every 3000 miles not because I want to sell more oil changes, in fact oil changes are not big money makers, but because everyday I see the difference in vehicles that have been serviced regularly and those that haven’t. Plugged oil passages or oil pump inlet screens, lifter or other engine noises, stuck piston rings, loss of oil pressure, premature engine wear or failure – all symptoms of extended oil changes.
It breaks my heart when I have to tell a single mother that her engine has been damaged because of lack of oil changes and I know she doesn’t have the money to repair it. I don’t like going through that, so I recommend oil changes every 3,000 miles so your car will last, and I don’t have to go through that.
18/09/03 BY GERRY
There are many popular car accessories that you can purchase to customize your vehicle. Many of these items can be installed by the buyer, but in some cases, they should be installed by a professional.
Some of the accessories that can be purchased include a new radio that has a CD player, a GPS system, and an MP3 docking station. If you are not interested in changing out your factory radio, you can purchase an FM transmitter that plays the music from your MP3 player onto a specific radio station.
You can also purchase a stand-alone GPS navigation system that is affixed to your windshield by using a suction cup. This unit is powered by plugging it into a cigarette-lighter socket. You can even purchase a radar detector to save you from a costly speeding ticket. Not that you speed, because being our client you know that driving the speed limit saves fuel. There are also multi-media packages that can be installed into headrests and visors that contain TV’s and DVD players, and that also allow you to play video games.
There are many gadgets and accessories that can be purchased to customize your vehicle to your personal preferences.
18/09/03 BY GERRY
Here’s a misconception everyone talks about.
Your car manufacturer suggests regular maintenance on your vehicle just to get you back into the dealership to spend more money.
Well, that’s not true.
While cars are lasting longer and require less maintenance than cars from 25 years ago, they still do require maintenance.
If you want to keep your vehicle buying cialis without prescription for more than 100,000 miles than you need to maintain it. One smart thing to do is to keep up with your 30, 60 and 90,000 mile maintenance services.
Your vehicles fluids are very important; they’re the life blood of your vehicle. You must have these fluids replaced or flushed out at their recommended intervals (if you don’t want to have a major problem later). The fluids are; Transmission, Power Steering, Brake, Rear Differential Fluid and Antifreeze or Coolant as some of you may know it as.
If you have a four wheel drive truck then you can add Front Differential and Transfer Case Fluids to the list.
You want to do these things not only because the manufacturer recommends you to but because it can help avoid a major component failure on your vehicle.
Not to mention it will make your car or truck safer, more dependable, last longer and more economical to drive.
And, you don’t even have to go back to the dealership to have these maintenance items performed, we can do them for you here at Auto World West Loop.
18/09/03 BY GERRY
Dirty Radiator or a Clean Radiator
Why An Engine/Radiato
Coolant/Antifreeze can degrade over time. Rust and scale deposits can build up in the radiator and the entire cooling system which can lead to poor coolant circulation, poor performance, overheating and possible vehicle breakdown.
Your radiator helps protect your engine from overheating. The efficiency of the radiator affects the efficiency of your engine.
Don’t wait for your cooling system to let you down.
The Department of Transportation has stated that cooling system
failures are the leading cause of mechanical breakdowns on our
nation’s highways? When cooling system failures occur, they can
result in very expensive repairs.
The vehicle’s coolant plays a very important role in the performance
and durability of your vehicle. It is the main way in which the engine
rids itself of damaging heat. When that heat is not properly removed
it can lead to diminished performance and eventually to a mechanical breakdown.
That’s why flushing out the cooling system will help prevent the cooling system from doing any damage to the engine from the inside out.
Let one of our certified technicians perform this service today.
18/09/03 BY GERRY
When gas prices go up, opportunists come out. Dozens of internet sites are currently advertising gadgets and additives that claim they improve gas mileage. However the government says most of these things don’t even work.
At $4.00 a gallon I will spend about $2900.00 on gas this year for one car. I had to figure out a way to up my miles per gallon (mpg) without it costing me a lot of money. I’ve been testing and tweaking for about six months and have finally come up with a plan on how to save money on gas.
O.K. let’s start. I drive a 2007 Chevy Cobalt with a 4 cylinder engine and it has 104,000 miles on it. When I started this the car was getting 26 mpg.
First I changed the oil and put our Synthetic Blend Oil in it and made sure all the tires had the proper air pressure in them.
Then I tuned it up. I replaced the spark plugs (cause they had over 100,000 miles on them) and changed the air filter (cause it was dirty).
I emptied the trunk except for the spare tire and the jack. I had been carrying stuff in there for months that had no business in there. If you play golf only once a month, don’t carry your golf clubs with you all month. It’s costing you money!
I also started paying attention to my driving habits. Were my starts and stops jerky? Was I waiting to the last second to stop?
Once I discovered I was driving sort of aggressively, I changed my driving habits. Aggressive driving can dramatically lower your fuel economy.
I started to anticipate merging traffic. I accelerated and decelerated smoothly to keep with the flow of traffic.
I stopped all those jack rabbit starts from go lights and stop signs. Yes, stop lights should be called go lights because that’s what they do, they keep traffic going. Just look at what happens when one is broken.
I started looking ahead for go lights and stop signs and took my foot off the accelerator long before I had to step on the brakes (this will also help to preserve your brake pads). I coast a lot more now.
Well all those things worked very well. They took me from 26 mpg to 30 mpg. I thought that was it. There’s no way I could get more than 30 mpg from this car.
But, there was one thing I hadn’t tried yet.
And that one thing got me an extra 3 mpg. It was so simple and had heard it time and time again that I kick myself for not doing it sooner. It’s just no one had actually done it and could tell me how much better gas mileage I could get.
What is that one simple thing that I already knew (and you probably already know it too) but didn’t want to do?
Drive 60 mph on the highway!
I started driving 60 mph on the highway. Yes, I know I should be driving 60 mph anyway because that’s the speed limit but I’m a 70 mph guy myself and have the tickets to prove it.
Once I started driving 60 mph my mpg shot up to 33.
It wasn’t easy though, I couldn’t stand people passing me up. It takes a little getting used to but the reward is well worth it.
There you have it. That’s all I did. And the good part is that the only thing that cost me any money was the oil and air filter change and the tune up. All the other stuff is free.
By doing these things I can save $720.00 over a one year time span. And basically it just means that instead of filling up every 6 days I’m filling up every 8 days. By extending my fill up by 2 days I save $720.00 a year.
With today’s high gas prices it’s well worth taking a few moments out of your day to make minor adjustments that will improve your gas mileage.
Let me know what you drive and how many miles you get to the gallon.
18/09/03 BY GERRY
When is it no longer worth repairing your existing car? There is no
formula for answering this question, however here are some important
things you should consider:
• Repairing a vehicle will always be cheaper than buying a new car, especially if it’s paid for
• Look up the trade-in value of your current vehicle
• How much of a down payment can you afford
• Visit dealerships, check the paper, and look at automotive websites to find out the price of the car you are considering buying
• Go to your bank to see what interest rate you’ll qualify for
• Calculate your monthly loan payment based on the cars price, down payment amount, interest rate and length of the loan
•A newer car usually means a higher insurance premium. Call your agent to see what the rate would be on the vehicle you are considering buying
• And if you buy a pre-owned vehicle, it may come with it’s own set of problems
How much longer can my car go on? That depends on several factors,
• The age and the mileage of the vehicle
• The dependability of the model you have. You can expect to get 200,000 miles from some cars, if well maintained. Although some models may only last half that mileage.
• Is your vehicle well-maintained? Have you done the oil changes and tune-ups, maintained proper fluid levels, and replaced worn parts as needed?
• Has your car been reliable until now, or has it been in the shop every month?
• Stay away from upside-down loans and the problems they cause! If you are still paying on your car, don’t sell it if the amount you owe is more than the car is worth.
18/09/03 BY GERRY
Auto Repair Rip Off – Something Offered For Free
Some auto repair facilities advertise a FREE “Check Engine Light” Check.
They will check to see what codes are in the computer and tell you that the light is on because there is a code P0401 stored in the computers memory. They will tell you that the code has something to do with the evaporative system.
When you ask how much it will cost to fix, they say they don’t know because they haven’t diagnosed it to see what the actual problem is. And for them to diagnose it, it will cost $98.00
They’re using the old “Bait and Switch” technique. They bait you in with that “FREE” check and then switch it on and say, ”Oh no, if you want to know exactly what will fix your car it will cost you $98.00.
Let me explain how the whole “Check Engine Light” system works.
When the light comes on there is a problem with the emissions system of the car.
The computer then records what’s called a “code”.
We hook up a code reader to the computer and it tells us the code that’s making the light come on. It does not however tell us what the problem is.
There are upwards of 175 reasons why a check engine light may come on. The code only tells us what system has failed. In order to properly diagnose the problem we need to go into that system and sometimes check every component in that system to determine which part has failed.
That’s why we charge a diagnosis fee to determine what the problem is with your car.
So don’t get caught up in this rip off.
If you see someone advertising something for free, call and ask questions.
What does this check include?
Will they tell you exactly what’s wrong with your car?
Will they tell you how much it will cost to fix?
Don’t get taken in by the “Bait and Switch” technique.
IF you want quality car care you can trust come to Auto World west Loop in Houston, Texas.
18/09/03 BY GERRY
Auto Repair Rip-Offs: Unbelievably Low Price
Auto Repair Rip-Offs: Unbelievably Low Price
Have you noticed some big box chain stores advertising a very low price for services such as brakes, mufflers, tune ups, tires etc.
Such a low price it may seem too good to be true. Well, it is too good to be true.
Once you get there some of these stores will pull what we call a bait and switch on you. Meaning, they use a low price to bait you in and then switch it on you once your there.
They’ll say things like: this is only for a certain tire size, a certain type of vehicle or you need more than just a basic tune up or brake job so they hike the bill up several hundred dollars.
Not to pick on anyone in particular but let’s take brakes for instance, since that’s the one I hear the most complaints on.
My neighbor took his three year old, 30,000 mile pick up to a place that specializes in brakes. He went there because they advertise a very low price for brakes. He left it, they looked at it, and they called him and said he needed a lot more than just an ordinary brake service.
He needed brake calipers, brake lines, rotors and drums resurfaced, wheel bearings packed and the brake wheel cylinders replaced also. All this to the tune of about $650.00.
He asked why all the extras if his truck was only three years old and only had 30,000 miles on it? They told him these are wearable items and they need to be serviced at every brake job.
He told them he didn’t have the money for all that and to just do what they’re advertising he’d appreciate it. Well guess what. They told him NO! They could not perform any work on his truck unless he authorized the full repair. Their reasoning was that if something happened later with his brakes they would be liable.
So the gentleman asked, “Who gets this low brake job price if a three year old truck with only 30,000 miles on it can’t get it”?
There was no answer to his question!
Of course the gentleman brought his truck into our facility and a little reluctant to tell me what happened – him being my neighbor and all – we determined all he needed was a basic brake service and nothing else.
The brake specialists claim that these parts are wearable items and need servicing every time you have a brake job performed. While the manufacturers of the parts state that these parts should last the life of the vehicle.
In my opinion I think the manufacturer is correct. Although there are instances where these parts do fail and need replacing, I would say that only about 10% of our brake services need additional parts than what comes with a traditional brake job.
If someone is quoting you a very high price for a brake service, get a second opinion. If you’re in Houston our second opinions are FREE. Oh! And some of the things that other shops charge extra for on a brake service, we include in ours for free.
If you want quality car care you can trust, come to Auto World West Loop in Houston TX.