16410 Midway Road
Addison, TX 75001
8:00am - 6:00pm
Car Care Tips
How do I save on gas?
- Use Regular Unleaded Gasoline
Unless your vehicle requires Premium Unleaded Gasoline, filling up your car with high-octane gas is a waste of money. The premium gas doesn't boost your gas mileage or performance. If you're not sure what grade works best for your vehicle, your owner's manual will tell you. You can also ask your mechanic what grade to use. Using Regular Unleaded Gasoline over High-Octane Gasoline could save you hundreds of dollars a year.
- Don't top off
Don't top off when filling your car's gas tank. Any additional gas is just going to slop around or seep out. Stop pumping at the first indication that your tank is full when the automatic nozzle clicks off.
- Tighten up the gas cap
Gas will evaporate from the gas tank if it has an escape. Loose, missing or damaged gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate each year, according to the Car Care Council. So be sure to tighten up that gas cap each time you fuel up your car.
- Go for the shade
The hot summer sun that makes the inside of your car feel like a sauna also zaps fuel from your gas tank. So park your car in the shade of a building or tree whenever possible. And buy a good windshield shade. A windshield shade blocks sunlight and helps to keep heat out of the inside of your car.
- Pump up your tires
Don't get caught driving on under inflated tires. Under inflated tires wear down more quickly, and they also lower your car's gas mileage. Your car's gas mileage may plummet by as much as 15 percent. Driving on under inflated tires may also reduce the life of your tires by 15 percent or more.
- Check your tire pressure once a month
Buy a digital gauge and keep it in your glove box. Compare the pressure in your tires with the recommended pressure listed in your owner's manual and on the placard located in your car door. Then inflate your tires as needed. Be sure to check tire pressure when your tires are cold. A good time is early in the morning after your car's been idle overnight.
- Keep your engine in tune
Fixing a car that is out of tune or has failed an emissions test can boost gas mileage by about 4 percent. So be sure to give your car regular tune-ups. You'll also want to watch out for worn spark plugs. A misfiring spark plug can reduce a car's fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent. Ensure your mechanic checks for them.
- Replace air filters
When the engine air filter clogs with dirt, dust and bugs, it causes your engine to work harder and your car becomes less fuel efficient. Replacing a clogged air filter could improve your gas mileage by as much as 10 percent and save you 15 cents a gallon. It's a good idea to have your engine air filter checked at each oil change. The Car Care Council recommends changing your car's air and oil filters every three months or 3,000 miles or as Specified in your owner's manual.
- Use the right oil
You can improve your vehicle gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. Use motor oil with the words "energy conserving" on the API (American Petroleum Institute) performance label. This oil contains additives to lower the friction.
- Don't skimp on maintenance
Your car's performance depends on it being properly maintained. The owner's manual of your vehicle will tell you what maintenance is needed and when. If you have any questions, your auto repair shop will be able to show you the recommended maintenance for your car. Follow the car care guidelines outlined in your owner's manual. Not only will they improve efficiency, they will also save you money on costly repairs in the long run.
Do I have to go to the dealership for repairs or scheduled maintenance?
No. In fact there are laws that require the factory to honor your warranty as long as you have proper documentation of the appropriate maintenance being done.
Just have any legitimate mechanic do it, and hold onto your records and receipts. If you have a maintenance schedule book, have the mechanic sign it.
How often should I change my oil?
For maximum protection, most oil companies say to change the oil every 3,000 miles or three to six months regardless of what type of driving you do unless the Interval is Specified in your Owners Manual.
Should I get a flush?
In the last few years a new service started to be recommended by quick lube places and some dealerships. This is the engine or transmission flush. So I am often asked if this is needed or not. Well, let me explain what a flush is and then answer the question.
- What is a flush?
An engine or transmission flush is basically done by forcing cleaning fluids through the engine or transmission. Yes, I did say forcing. This is done with high pressure machinery.
- Does a flush improve performance?
No, a regular oil and filter change or an oil change with a flush give about the same results in performance yet one costs about 1/4 of the other.
- Does a flush increase the life of your engine?
Keeping the engine clean does increase the life of the engine, that much is true. So in theory, flushing the engine would increase its life, but there is one problem with this: the moment you start forcing solvents under high pressure through anything, you risk damaging it and if it does get damaged, would you have increased its life? Probably not. The truth of it is that a simple oil and filter change done regularly accomplishes the same end result (a clean engine) without risking damage.
- Do car manufacturers recommend engine flushes?
Well, Honda, Ford, GM, Nissan and many others actually don't recommend it and in many cases they advise against it. Anything that your car manufacturer recommends is covered in the owner's manual of your car. If it's not in there, it's not recommended. So the next time you get told your car manufacturer recommends a flush, pull out the owner's manual of your car and ask them to show you where.
Winter weather automotive tips
When winter is upon us, there are some tips that can help you prepare for the changes in the weather that can surprise any of us. Taking some basic actions to be prepared will make it easier for you to be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at us. When using your heating system, there are some tips to help keep you warm and your windows clear. When using your defroster, make sure you are using the fresh air from the outside of the car. Have you ever seen someone driving down the road and all the windows are fogged up? The reason is the car is using the inside air in the car and the system can't get rid of the moisture in the air. And that's why the windows fog up. Also, using the air conditioning in this mode helps too since one of the things the A/C system does is remove the moisture from the air and with the heat on you will keep the inside of the car warm. In fact some of the newer cars automatically turn on the A/C and use fresh air in defrost mode. If you don't know about your vehicle, look in your owner's manual, or just drop by and we will be glad to show you how it works.
Your wipers are also key to keeping your windows clean. Making sure you have the proper washer fluid that is ready for the cold weather will also help you do this. Having a snow brush in the car with an ice scraper will keep you prepared for whatever happens.
Keeping your tires inflated properly and make sure you have good tread will help you with traction and control. A lot of the newer cars have great things like anti-lock brakes and traction control which help with the bad weather. But these systems work much better when you have the most grip you can with good tires.
All of these things mentioned above are checked every time we service your vehicle because we want you to be safe while driving, especially during this time of year. If you would like to stop by we would be glad to check these things for you.
Summer weather automotive tips
Summer can be tough on cars, especially during high temperatures when heat can destroy batteries and stress the cooling system and tires. As a precaution, these vehicle components should be checked periodically during summer to help avoid breakdowns and car problems, according to the Car Care Council.
- Life of your Battery
Excessive heat and overcharging shorten the life of a battery. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which then damages the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate, which will eventually destroy a battery. To get the most life out of a battery, the council recommends having the electrical system checked to make sure it is charging at the correct rate. If your car's battery is the type that needs to be topped off, check it often, especially in hot weather and add distilled water if necessary. Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt can become a conductor, which drains battery power. If corrosion accumulates on battery terminals, it becomes an insulator and inhibits the current flow.
- The Cooling System
The cooling system also works harder during hot temperatures to prevent overheating of the engine. To keep the cooling system working effectively, the coolant and distilled water mixture for a vehicle's radiator should be 50:50. As a reminder, never open a hot radiator cap when checking the coolant level in the reservoir. As a rule of thumb, the coolant should be changed annually on most vehicles. This will keep the cooling system fresh and clean inside, which helps prevent corrosion and assures that the coolant has the proper boiling point and protection. A pressure test, thermostat test, a cooling fan test and a visual inspection for leaks and corrosion should also be done annually. Hoses and drive belts should be checked for cracks, bulges or frayed edges. The radiator should be kept clean by periodically using a garden hose and a soft brush to carefully remove bugs, dirt and debris.
- Tire Care
Tires also need special care in warmer weather as high temperatures put added stress on them. To maximize tire life and safety, check the tire condition and inflation pressure monthly, and have the tires rotated every 6,000 miles. Summer heat will cause the pressure within a tire to rise, therefore, it's important to check the pressure when tires are cold. The owner's manual includes the recommended air pressure for your vehicle's tires.
"It takes very little time and money to make sure your car runs properly during summer, and although breakdowns happen, they can definitely be minimized by taking a few extra preventive maintenance steps," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
How Do I prepare for a long trip?
- Have your regular maintenance done
A week or so before you leave, have regular maintenance done, like oil and filter change, or routine maintenance. Specifically, ask the shop to check the air filter and change it if necessary. Changing the air filter is an inexpensive way to enhance fuel economy and performance. Also have them check the tires again. If the pressure has gone down since the last check, you may have a leak that can be fixed on the spot.
- Have your repair shop check the tire pressure and adjust it if necessary
If the pressure is too low, it can cause a blowout at high speed. Also have them check the tread on the tires for excessive wear. (You can also do this yourself by placing the head of a penny into the tread of the tire. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, you probably need new tires.) Be sure to have your repair shop check to see that the spare tire is inflated and the appropriate tools are available to install it if necessary.
- Have the auto repair shop check the coolant
Are you going somewhere with a warmer or colder climate? Let your repair shop know so your mechanic can adjust the mixture of water and antifreeze to ensure the car is protected against temperature extremes.
- Fill the gas tank
Might as well get it out of the way now. Besides, gas is often more expensive on the road.
Enjoy your trip!
Is my car safe to drive?
This is a very important question. There are several things that could make a vehicle unsafe to drive as well as things that could damage it more if it were driven. The best thing to do if there is any question in your mind is:
- Call your auto repair shop
Your mechanic will be able to assess the situation enough to let you know if it's safe for you to drive or if it needs to be towed.
- Don't under any circumstance drive an unsafe vehicle!
If there is any question on the safety of your vehicle, we will help you arrange to get it towed to our shop.