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:
Fuel-saving driving tips include:
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:
"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.
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!
Extremely trustworthy and knowledgeable, with fair rates. Absolutely recommend this shop! You won't be disappointed.
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.
Thanks so much for making our car safe, and doing it for an afforadable price.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Great service and great guys that know what they're doing. And, they get it done fast and right!
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!