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 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.
Follow these tips to maximize fuel efficiency of your vehicle:
- 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 every year.
- 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.
- 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 electrical and chemical erosion from heat.
- 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%.
- Don't drive aggresively - Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33% on the highway and 5% on city streets.
- Avoid excessive idling - sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.
- 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.
what our customers say
I am absolutely helpless when it comes to cars. But after taking my car to the service department of the dealership I got it from multiple times over 2 years, I was fed up. I'd been bringing it to them for regular 5k oil changes, and repeatedly told them that the engine (or so I thought) was incredibly loud, and the steering column rattled when breaking. The slip indicator light came on randomly. I was ignored every time, and made to wait ridiculous hours for minor things, like changing a tire. So I found this place based off the great reviews across all platforms, and I am SO happy I did. I couldn't find anyone who would fit me in the week I called, and most places weren't open after Hurricane Ian. But they were! The owner, Danny, answered the phone himself and was so nice and efficient about booking me an appointment just two days away. I even had a concern with one of my lights that he looked at for free that same day in case he needed to order a part. Every time I have come in, Danny has either been in the office or on call to come in. Stand up guy, refreshing to see a service place that has management that cares. I came in to drop off, and the Service Advisor, Chris, listened to my concerns and noticed a "clunk" when turning that even I hadn't really noticed all that often, as well as excessive play in the wheel. This had been noticed previously by my prior mechanic, but had been brushed off as "No big deal." She said it shouldn't matter if I'd been driving it with that for this long. Meanwhile, Chris offered to run diagnostics, and I was desperate to have someone tell me what was wrong, so I agreed. Turns out, there was a LOT wrong! The serpentine belt, the pinion (where the noise was coming from!), the battery, all things any real mechanic should have spotted. My prior mechanic made no effort to inform me of how dangerous my car was, or that any of these things could have been a problem. And they diagnosed this ALL without me having remembered to tell them about the indicator light. When I asked for pictures, they were able to bring the parts to me and show me the damage first hand! Wow! Driving out of that lot felt like I had bought a new car, it handled so differently. Better than it did when I bought it. I'm furious at my previous mechanic (Toyota of Pinellas Park, be ashamed!) for putting my life and the stability of my car at risk. The repairs weren't cheap, but I consulted with my dad (a prior race car mechanic) and he agreed they were giving me a fair price for labor and parts. They also offered multiple financing options, and went to great lengths to make sure I could afford these repairs to make my car safe again. Danny came back in just to help me get my financing settled. Oh, and the decorations in the lobby were so nice. Not your standard run down mechanic lobby. Anyway, tldr: Go here! Their service was so good, Chris, Danny, Mic, and everyone else at the shop were so nice and put up with my rambling and freaking out and constant calling, and they WILL fix your car even if no one else could figure it out! With a 2 day turnaround, no less! I'll be back in 5k!
The staff at Beilers took good care of me a couple weeks ago. They got me in quickly and replaced my battery. Chris took good care of me. He made the extra effort to come out to my car and let me know if my light comes back on, give him a call. I highly recommend Beilers!
These guys are 'straight shooter's,' and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone. Fair pricing. Honest. They even provide for (possibly) a loaner (when available). I could go on and on. They're been around for decades. They're smart guys who function well as a team. They're what exactly you're trying to find, at least as it relates to auto repair. Hopefully this nice post will get me a small discount of some sort on my next tune up(?). <-----Just kidding! Thank you(s) all (again)!!