Don't drive angry

It doesn’t matter if the vehicle you’re driving is new or old, big or small. There are preventive maintenance steps every vehicle owner can take to make sure their car is as “green” or environmentally friendly as possible.

By following a few simple preventive maintenance steps, you can help protect the environment by improving gas mileage, which in turn saves money at the pump.

  1. Keep your car properly tuned for optimum performance

    A properly maintained vehicle can improve its efficiency, reduce emissions and save you money. Regular engine performance maintenance will help you burn less gas, pollute less, and prevent car trouble down the line. Improve gas mileage by 4% on a proper tune-up and up to 40% when fixing a serious maintenance problem such as a faulty oxygen sensor.

  2. Don’t drive angry

    How you drive has a lot to do with fuel economy. Avoid sudden starts and stops and go the speed limit. Minimize unnecessary miles by combining errands in one trip. Drive wisely and minimize unnecessary miles by consolidating errands, getting good directions and avoiding excessive idling. Most cars lose fuel efficiency over 50 miles per hour (MPH) at a rate of about $0.24 per gallon for every 5 mph over 50. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) can also reduce gas mileage – as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets.

  3. Get the junk out of the trunk

    With the exception of emergency items such as a spare tire and a first-aid kit, get the junk out of your trunk. Extra items weigh the vehicle down and cause an increase in gas usage.

  4. Have spark plugs checked and replaced

    A vehicle can have four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as three million times every 1,000 miles. This results in a lot of heat, electrical, and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug also causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Wasting fuel is expensive.

  5. Check tire pressure

    Proper tire pressure can improve gas mileage by 3.3 percent or 10 cents per gallon. Tires that are not properly inflated add rolling resistance that makes the engine work harder to move the vehicle. Remember, tires can lose pressure due to seasonal temperature changes. According to the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association, a tire can lose up to half of its inflation pressure and not appear to be flat. Optimal tire pressure for your vehicle is listed in the owner’s manual or on the car door sidewall.

  6. Stop topping off your fuel

    When filling up your car, remember to stop when the nozzle shuts off. Topping off the gas tank can release harmful vapors into the environment and waste money.  Your fuel tank needs some extra room to allow the gasoline to expand. Replacing your car’s fuel filter every two years (or 24,000 miles) and having your fuel injectors flushed our every 30,000 miles will not only have a cleaner, ‘greener’ car, but you will save money at the pump.

Give L & T Auto Repair a call at 269-858-3008 about keeping your car or truck green and save at the pump!

Driving in the Polar Vortex

Well folks, we are right in the middle of the Polar Vortex, and in true Michigan fashion, we can’t be sure if next week is going to be a false spring or colder than the North Pole. Just to be on the safe side though, if you haven’t already giving your vehicle some special attention this winter, here are a few tips from L& T, the best local auto shop near you:

  1. Check your tire pressure– including your spare. To avoid that TPMS light going on in the midst of a trek out of town, or worse, sliding around an icy back road, get your tire pressure checked frequently. If salting the road just isn’t keeping you from slipping all over the place or getting stuck in the snow, consider bringing your vehicle in today to get new winter tires.
  2. Keep your gas tank ½ full– To avoid those gas lines from getting frozen over, keep that ½ tank full.
  3. Get your battery checked– Is the battery in your winter-worn Dodge nearing its third or fourth birthday? If it is, there’s never a better time to replace your truck battery. Unfortunately, batteries don’t always warn you when they’re about to fail, so to be on the safe side, get it checked and replaced before it becomes a problem.
  4. Make sure your brakes work well– There is nothing more terrifying than feeling your car spin out on the ice. If you have any doubts about the condition of your vehicle’s brakes, bring it in today and our mechanics will service them for you.
  5. Drive slowly and safely– Running late for work? Don’t risk your safety by going above the speed limit in the winter weather! Go the speed limit, stay safe, and drive with extra caution as Michigan weather fluctuates between sunny and freezing rain.