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  • Mon 8:00AM - 5:30PM
    Tue 8:00AM - 5:30PM
  • Wed 8:00AM - 5:30PM
    Thu 8:00AM - 5:30PM
  • Fri 8:00AM - 5:30PM
    Sat 8:00AM - 12:00PM
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HELPFUL INFO

Are You Ready For The Road?

An average of 13,000 Americans are killed between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, some as a result of unperformed vehicle maintenance, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Each year, neglected maintenance leads to more than 2,600 deaths, nearly 100,000 disabling injuries and more than $2 billion in lost wages, medical expenses and property damage.

Most mechanical failures can be traced to neglected maintenance. For example, the U. S. Department of Transportation reports the leading cause of mechanical breakdown on our nation's highways is overheating, a condition that is easily avoidable. Other deficiencies that are simple to detect include low antifreeze/coolant, worn or loose drive belts and defective cooling system hoses.

Checking tire pressure and inflating a tire costs nothing, yet an average of 21 percent of cars inspected in check lanes during National Car Care Month have under inflated tires. This can lead to a blowout and a serious accident.

Fuel Saving Tips

Condition Effect MPG Penalty up to
Under inflated tires Increase rolling resistance 1-2mpg
Dirty air filter Causes excessively rich fuel/air mixture 2.0mpg
Worn spark plugs Cause inefficient combustion, wasted fuel 2.0mpg
Worn O2 sensor Unable to detect and adjust air/fuel mixture 3mpg
Dirty or substandard engine oil Increases internal engine friction 0.4mpg
Loose gas cap Allows fuel to evaporate 2.0mpg
Potential loss in fuel economy if all of the above were neglected
11.4mpg

The Car Care Council offers these fuel-saving tips:

  1. Vehicle gas caps -- About 17 percent of the vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
  2. Under inflated tires -- When tires aren't inflated properly it's like driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon.
  3. Worn spark plugs -- A vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced as recommended by the manufacturer.
  4. Dirty air filters -- An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a "rich" mixture -- too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving about 20 cents a gallon.

Fuel-saving driving tips include:

  • Don't be an aggressive driver -- Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets, which results in 10 to 66 cents per gallon.
  • Avoid excessive idling -- Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.
  • Observe the speed limit -- Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mpg driven over 60 will result in an additional 10 cents per gallon. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.

WIPERS - In the 2001 National Car Care Month vehicle check lanes, 21 percent of participants had wipers that smeared, streaked or chattered across their windshields. Although climates vary, wipers generally need replacing every six months. An easy reminder is to change wiper blades in the spring and fall when you change your clock. Be sure the windshield washers are working properly, too, and keep the reservoir filled with solvent.

LIGHTING - Another important pre-trip check should be exterior and interior lighting. Vehicle check lanes revealed an overall failure rate of over 25 percent in the lighting category. The Car Care Council reminds motorists to check their lights monthly. Other suggestions from the Council include turning on headlights both day and night. This helps define your car's position on the road, and its distance from other drivers. When your vehicle's lighting is defective, other motorists may not get the message that you intend to stop or turn. The end result could be disastrous.

10 Minute Pre-Trip Checkup Can Pay Off

Car Care Council offers three suggestions for a traveler's 10-minute pre-trip checklist:

  • Check all fluids. There are several fluids, in addition to antifreeze, that require attention, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids and windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  • Check hoses and belts. A belt that fails can affect the electrical system, air conditioning and power steering, as well as the cooling system. Cooling system hoses may be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps in marginal condition might need to be replaced.
  • Check the tires. Check tire inflation and inspect the tread for uneven wear, indicating the need for wheel alignment. Also look for bulges and bald spots.

"While a last minute checkup is better than no checkup, motorists should plan ahead to allow time to perform necessary maintenance themselves or at the local service facility. A properly maintained vehicle is safer and more dependable and will even save a few dollars at the gas pumps," said the Car Care Council's Executive Director, Rich White.

Not only can a pre-trip inspection help reduce chances of costly and possibly dangerous road trouble, it also provides an opportunity to have repairs made at home, with one's own technician who knows the vehicle. Especially important, it provides peace of mind. While no inspection can guarantee a car's performance, it's comforting to know proper precautions were taken.



NAPA Service Assistant


What Our Customers Are Saying

Early Saturday morning, we were heading home to Minnesota and our car started making grinding noises. Called Tim and he said bring it in. Discovered we needed a new air conditioner compressor and he installed it and had us back on the road right away. It was a 12 hour drive home and we felt happy, cool and comfortable. Thanks Tim!


-Sharon Snyder

Extremely trustworthy and knowledgeable, with fair rates. Absolutely recommend this shop! You won't be disappointed.


-Jennifer Holman

My family has always gone to Northwest Automotive. We enjoy their great work, great deals, and friendly staff. I needed an alternator on an emergency. The shop owner found me an alternator after hours and willingly installed it to get us back on the road at a reasonable price. Always my first choice when recommending professional automotive repair.


-Sarah Doeden

Thanks so much for making our car safe, and doing it for an afforadable price.


-Madalyn Hasselschwert

Great service!


-Kevin Kaskel

The guys here are awesome! The fuel pump in my 99 Firebird went bad. They had my car towed to their place, diagnosed the problem, and had the fuel pump and the serpentine belt fixed within a few days. Will be recommending this place to all my family and friends!


-Jillian Graham

My daughter's car was making a horrible clacking noise from the engine. I trailered it to Northwest Automotive, and they took one listen and knew it was mechanical in nature. The worked really hard to quote a good price, find a used engine, and even offered to arrange financing. We chose not to repair the car at this time, and they didn't charge us for the effort they put in. I would definitely recommend these guys for any auto repair need.


-George Schaffer

My experience at Northwest Automotive has always been good. They have always gotten me in quickly and fixed whatever I needed for a reasonable price! I would definitely recommend doing business there. Specializing in engine repairs and all your other needs!


-Cassy Jennings

Our van's check engine light came on Friday evening. We planned to leave Sunday after church for vacation. So, Saturday morning I call up Northwest Automotive to see if they could fit me in. They said come on in. When I arrived, they ran the standard diagnostic test to find what tripped the light. It turned out to be an extremely simple fix, and they had me back on the road in 10 minutes, which was fantastic because I had two toddlers in tow. The best part? They charged me nothing! At dealerships, I've paid $50+ for them just to run this test.


-Eric Moquin

Great service and great guys that know what they're doing. And, they get it done fast and right!


-Justin Reed

Awesome work! These guys know automobiles and have all the professional tools to do any job, big or small. Take your vehicle in or give them a call. OUTSTANDING WORK!


-Troy Nussbaum
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  • Call Us For Service: 419-782-7827