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10 Minute Pre-Trip Checkup Can Pay Off

A properly maintained vehicle is safer and more dependable and will even save a few dollars at the gas pumps. Motorists should plan to allow time to perform necessary maintenance themselves or at the local service facility.

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

  1. Check all fluids - Several fluids require attention: Engine Oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids, windshield washer solvent, and antifreeze/coolant.

  2. Check all hoses and belts - A belt failure can affect the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering, and cooling system. Cooling system hoses may deteriorate from within, so old hoses and clamps in marginal condition must be replaced.

  3. 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.


Follow these tips to maximize fuel efficiency of your vehicle:

  1. Vehicle gas caps - about 17% of the vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose, or missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize yearly.

  2. Under-inflated tires - when tires aren't inflated properly, it's like driving with a parking brake on. It can cost a mile or two per gallon.

  3. Worn spark plugs - A vehicle can have four, six, or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in electrical and chemical erosion from heat.

  4. Dirty air filters - A clogged air filter creates a "rich" mixture - the proportion of gas to air is incorrect. This wastes fuel and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%.

  5. Don't drive aggressively - Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33% on the highway and 5% on city streets.

  6. Avoid excessive idling - sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.

  7. Drive the speed limit - Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mile driven over 60 results in an additional 10 cents per gallon. Increase fuel efficiency by using cruise control.

Preventative maintenance is the best way to ensure your vehicle stays reliable, and lets you avoid major repairs as well as the expenses that come with them. At Affordable Automotive Repair, we provide a complete preventative maintenance program, and carry all the necessary parts and expertise to take care of the little jobs that let you avoid the big ones.

Choose from a comprehensive range of the fluids, oils, filters, and belts that your vehicle needs to keep running happily and healthily. Relax while your ride is inspected by our highly-trained technicians, and rest assured that it'll keep running smoothly for miles and miles.

A properly maintained vehicle is safer and more dependable and will even save a few dollars at the gas pumps. Motorists should plan ahead to allow time to perform necessary maintenance themselves or at the local service facility.

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

Check all fluids - There are several fluids that require attention: Engine Oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids, and windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.

Check all hoses and belts - A belt failure can affect the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering, and 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 along the tire's surface.

Follow these tips to maximize fuel efficiency of your vehicle:

Boost your vehicle's fuel efficiency with these simple yet effective tips. From regular maintenance checks such as monitoring tire pressure and replacing worn spark plugs to cultivating mindful driving habits like avoiding aggressive maneuvers and excessive idling, these strategies can help you optimize fuel usage and save on costs in the long run.

Vehicle Gas Caps

Regularly checking and ensuring the proper sealing of your gas cap is crucial. Surprisingly, approximately 17% of vehicles on the roads today have gas caps that are either damaged, loose, or entirely missing. This seemingly small issue leads to the vaporization of around 147 million gallons of fuel each year.

Under Inflated Tires

Maintaining proper tire pressure is crucial for optimal fuel efficiency. Driving with underinflated tires is akin to driving with a parking brake engaged, resulting in a notable reduction in mileage, often costing a mile or two per gallon. Regularly checking and maintaining the correct tire pressure can significantly improve fuel efficiency.

Worn Spark Plugs

The spark plugs in a vehicle, whether four, six, or eight in number, endure an incredible amount of stress, firing up to 3 million times every 1,000 miles. Such persistent use can lead to both electrical and chemical erosion from the generated heat. Regular inspection and timely replacement of worn spark plugs are essential for maintaining fuel efficiency.

Dirty Air Filters

A clogged air filter can disrupt the ideal air-fuel mixture, leading to a "rich" mixture where the proportion of gas to air is imbalanced. This not only results in fuel wastage but also causes the engine to lose power. The simple act of replacing a clogged air filter can enhance gas mileage by as much as 10%, making it a crucial maintenance step for fuel efficiency.

Don't Drive Aggressively

Aggressive driving habits, such as sudden accelerations and abrupt stops, can significantly reduce gas mileage. In fact, aggressive driving can decrease gas mileage by up to 33% on the highway and 5% on city streets. Opting for smoother driving habits can substantially improve fuel efficiency.

Avoid Excessive Idling

Allowing a vehicle to idle for extended periods consumes fuel without yielding any mileage. Minimize unnecessary idling, and avoid letting the vehicle warm up for more than one to two minutes as excessive idling contributes to unnecessary fuel consumption.

Drive the Speed Limit

Maintaining a consistent speed and adhering to the speed limit can play a vital role in fuel efficiency. Gas mileage tends to decrease rapidly at speeds exceeding 60 mph. For every mile driven above 60 mph, you can expect an additional 10 cents per gallon in fuel costs. Utilizing cruise control can also help in maintaining a steady speed, thus enhancing fuel efficiency during highway driving.

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What our clients are saying about us

We have established longterm and stable partnerships with various clients thanks to our excellence in solving their automotive needs!

I had been having issues, check engine light (CEL) had been coming on for some time, didn't seem to effect engine performance, boy was I wrong. The issues started out with the notorious "loose gas cap", I did a little on line search and saw where it was an easy fix, so I replaced the gas cap. Well, wouldn't you know it; that didn't fix the problem. The next "code" that popped up was "small evap leak". I figured I'd find the leak myself and bought a smoke machine. Well, long story short, I never used the smoke machine, I'm getting to old to crawl around on my truck searching for some small leak in the evap system. The easy fix was disconnect the battery, problem fixed, for a while. The problems went from loose gas cap, small evap leak, to misfire on #2 cyl. It seemed that every time I disconnected the battery, the truck seemed to run fine, for a while. I've been taking my vehicles to Affordable Automotive for years for inspections, I took my 2015 Ram 1500 in and told them the story, seems that the issue was the injectors were starting to fail, James called me and gave me the diagnosis, James and the people at Affordable Automotive are the greatest, can't say enough about them, my truck runs like new! I will definitely be bringing my vehicles to Affordable Automotive in the future! quotes-image
, 11/28/2023
Great customer service! This is what I remembered from previous visits in the past to Affordable Auto Repair. They are friendly and courteous. They take the time to explain everything up front and answer all your questions. Matthew handled everything concerning my service from beginning to end. James also followed up to make sure things were right and was a great listener. Just good people to deal with. Oh what did I have done? Had my 2007 Toyota Highlander inspected there today. Inspections are always a necessary pain and I hate it when it comes around. I was there when they opened at 8am and they took my car in right away. I had a couple of items that needed to be fixed to pass which Chris the inspector explained to me and showed me. Matthew, who checked me in, said if I got these fixed, they would slip me back in to verify the fixes, remove the Rejection and replace it with a new inspection sticker. Done deal! Just as they said! I couldn't have asked for more. Thanks Matthew, James, and Chris! quotes-image
, 07/28/2021
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