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.
I just met Augustin, and he really took good care of me. Replaced the damaged parts that were causing a vibration in my Dodge Ram. He took it for a test drive and made some recommendations for service. Great service, honest, friendly, and very reasonably priced. Thank you! I highly recommend this shop.
We were very thankful to have found Cruz Auto Repair on a late Saturday afternoon after the heater hose in our car sprung a leak on the interstate and leaked engine coolant everywhere. Augustin was able to fit us into his shop immediately and replaced the components right there while we waited, staying late past his normal closing time to ensure we'd be able to get home that evening. He was very down-to-earth, knew what he was doing, and charged a very reasonable rate for the work performed.
I had a master cylinder replaced on my Toyota. Efficient and honest service. It is my newly discovered, go to garage, when I do not have time or the place to work on my own car.
Great customer service! Honest guys. Very reasonable prices! They explained everything to me before signing any papers or performing any work. They are very professional. Highly recommend this shop without hesitation.
I got a great deal with Cruz Auto Repair. They were fair, honest and fast. I'll definitely recommend these guys to my family and friends.
Reasonable price and the best auto repair with diamond certified warranty!
Allow me to start by saying that we chose this shop because my wife is the Extended Care Director and a part-time substitute teacher at the school the owner (Cruz) has his son in. The owner and I spoke during and after the process, and it seemed like it was important to him to do a good job. They back their work with a full 180 day warranty - good in all 50 states! That's hard to beat!
Great turn around time for a last minute appointment. The receptionist was very friendly and helpful. My only critique, help the receptionist with the calls regarding diagnosis. She did the best she could, but wasn't able to answer technical questions. Overall, great shop. And we will be back.
Great Shop and Great work! Thank you Mr. Cruz and staff for always taking care of our vehicles! Thank You Much!
A truly honest, reliable professional. I went in for a transmission overhaul and payed for this major project upfront, IN CASH. To my surprise I get a call back that they were able to find the real issue and refunded me over $2,000!! Any other unethical mechanic would have easily kept the cash and do the unnecessary work. He's a good and honest mechanic; a rare find indeed!