5 Tips to Save on Gas

Don’t let the gas pump take all of your money!

Follow these 5 easy tips to save on gas.

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  1. Use cruise control
  2. Don’t accelerate or brake hard
  3. Keep tires properly inflated
  4. Avoid high speeds
  5. Service vehicle on a regular basis

 

 

 

To Drive or Not to Drive?

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For those of us who drive each day, it’s no secret that the prices at the gas pumps are making us think twice about making any unnecessary outings in our cherished automobiles. We have all either silently or vocally grumbled about the high cost of gasoline.  What are we doing about it?  What can we do about it?  Walking or bicycling quickly comes to mind, but for most folks these options aren’t alwaysfeasible.  If you must drive, consider these tips to save some money when it’s time to refuel.

Vehicle Maintenance

Maintenance is a key player in the world of fuel economy.  Make sure that the proper weight and grade of motor oil is being used when the oil is changed.  The wrong weight of oil can change your economy by one to two miles per gallon. Air filters must be checked and changed when dirty.  A dirty air filter will “choke” your engine of the air it requires and will use more fuel to meet the power demands of the engine.  Tires must be at the specified inflation, suspension alignment within specification and your engine must be tuned properly.  Also, if your “Check Engine” light is on, have the system checked.  A faulty oxygen sensor can lower your economy by as much as 40 percent.  Yes, 40 percent!

Drive Sensibly

Hard acceleration consumes a lot of extra fuel and should be avoided.  Remove any excess weight from the vehicle and avoid loading the roof rack if your vehicle is equipped with one.  Consider rolling the windows down in lieu of using the air conditioner.  Avoid excessive idling and drive at reasonable speeds.  Any highway speed above 60 mph will rapidly decrease fuel economy.  In fact, for every 5 mph above 60 mph you drive, it’s like spending approximately $0.15 per gallon more at the pump.  Also, use your cruise control to keep a consistent, steady speed, and be sure to utilize your overdrive gear if your transmission has it.

Planning Your Trip

Plan a route and time of day that will help you avoid “stop and go” traffic.  Consider carpooling to school or work.  Keep in mind that colder weather will markedly decrease fuel economy.  Take a look at the vehicle you’re driving.  Is it larger than what you really need?  Perhaps a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle may help save money in the long run.  Hybrid (often referred to as gas/electric) vehicles are excellent commuter vehicles and are actually more efficient in city driving conditions and well-suited for “stop and go” driving.

So… to drive or not to drive?

If everything we needed was right in our neighborhood, the answer would be easy.  Since most of us will need to continue to drive our vehicles, it could only help us to seek ways to minimize our fuel expenses.  As with any purchase that you make, the decision is ultimately up to you.  Hopefully this information will help you to better decide on ways you can manage your fuel expenses. Consider this: with today’s fuel prices, if you put the average 12,000 miles on your vehicle averaging 15 mpg, you will have spent $2,536 on gasoline for the entire year!

 

Legal Window Tint

Make sure you check the window tint regulations in your state if you are wanting window tint on your vehicle.  There are different percentages of window tint that are legal and illegal.  There’s nothing worse than spending the money to have dark window tint, only to pay a fine and have to remove the tint.  The darkness of tint is measured by Visible Light Transmission percentage (VLT%).  This amount refers to the percentage of visible light allowed to pass through the combination of film and the factory tint of the window.  In Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, and Missouri, the front side windows must allow more than 35% of light in and in Iowa the front side windows must allow more than 70% of light in.  Always ask for the legal tint in your state!

Window-Tint

 

 

 

Wiper Blade Tips

It is important to have decent wiper blades so your view of the road ahead doesn’t become compromised.  In order to determine if your vehicle needs new wiper blades, there are a few things you should do first.

  1. Visually inspect the wiper blades for tears, especially on the ends of the blade.
  2. If there is any visible streaking (not a clean windshield, or leaves lines), then this is also a indication it is time for new wipers.

At each of our Woodhouse dealerships, we sell multiple kinds of blades, mainly supplied by the manufacturer.  However our wiper blades fit many different makes of vehicles.  Prices start at $10.95 each and the prices vary based upon what your specific vehicles requires.  Sometimes it is good to price shop and determine the best brand and fit for your vehicle.  There are many types of wipers, the biggest two differences are winter blades and summer blades.  There are also many different styles of wiper blades, specifically the different adapters that snap on to the arm of the blade.  Check your vehicle to see if you have a beam blade or metal blade.  Make sure you get the proper wiper blade for your car so they don’t malfunction while it is raining.  If you plan on buying your own wiper blades there are also a couple things you should do to insure you get the proper size for your vehicle.

  1. Check the length of the wiper blade on each side of your vehicle because they could be different lengths.
  2. Take your old wiper blade in with you to measure just in case. Compare the size and length of your current wiper blade with the new one.

Naturally we recommend what we sell, however there are other good brands out there.  Price check the blades, but keep in mind some of the cheaper brands may not fit as secure with the adapters.  When a customer brings their vehicle in for service, we do check the condition of the wiper blades and our service teams are familiar with wiper blades required on different makes and models.

WiperBlades

When Should I Rotate My Tires?

That is a great question.  Normally vehicle manufactures recommend a tire rotation at 5,000-7,500 miles, or every 6 months, depending on the vehicle. The owners manual will tell you what mileage interval your vehicle requires a tire rotation and all other maintenance schedules.

The rotation pattern is typically moving the front tires to the back and the back tires to the front. Another way to determine when your tires are ready to be rotated, is to look at wear on the edge of the tires, if it is square or rounded.

You can rub your hand back along the tire to look and feel for feathering or choppiness.  If there is too much indication along the tire, the tires would need to be rotated, or your vehicle could need an alignment. Even tire wear is desirable to maintain consistent performance in the vehicle and to extend the overall life of a set of tires.  Turning the vehicle will cause uneven tire wear as well.  The weight on the front of your car is different, which also causes uneven wear.  Since most cars are front-engine cars, the front axle usually carries most of the weight.

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Have You Checked Your Air Filter?

If you suffer from allergies, don’t forget to have your cabin air filter replaced in your vehicle. Not all vehicles have this option, but the next time you have your oil changed, ask to have it checked out and replaced if needed.

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5 Spring Driving Tips

1. Spring brings wet driving conditions.  Be sure to allow more following distance and slow down on slick roads.

2. Share the road with motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

3. Go around potholes if at all possible.

4. Keep your tires properly inflated.  Tires full of air can decrease the damage caused by potholes and other road hazards.

5. Avoid driving through large puddles.  Driving through water can impair your brakes, cloud your vision, or cause you to hydroplane.

Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Forest, Virginia

Can My Tire Be Replaced If…?

Can my tire be repaired if there is a nail or screw in the sidewall?

The answer is no.

You need to replace the tire.  Smaller holes can be repaired in the thread area of a tire, but not the sidewall.  Attempting such a repair, would compromise the integrity of the tire.  On high speed rated tires, repairs of any kind are dangerous and should not be attempted.  Just replace the tire if it needs to be, for your own safety.

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Have You Read Your Owner’s Manual?

Did you know that your vehicle comes with an owner’s manual? Have you read it? Just because you have been driving your vehicle for a while, doesn’t mean you can’t learn something. Your owner’s manual is full of valuable information-don’t be afraid to learn something new! 

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