Nice Wheels

Ok, so have those great looking aluminum wheels, but now they get black dust all over them—it’s brake dust from braking and it’s ugly. So what can you do—well you can continue cleaning them or replace the brake pads and use ceramic brake pads. Ceramic pads don’t create as much dust and tend to be quieter as well—they do cost more though. Is it worth it—you decide!

Get rid of loose items

Don’t plan on an accident, but do take some steps to be safe.  Put loose items that you have lying in the vehicle into the trunk or tie them down.  In a crash loose items can cause injuries or death even though you have your seat belts on.  Can you imagine a bowling ball bouncing around inside your car during a crash?  Scary, so either secure those items or put them in the trunk.

Don’t forget to wash your car this winter

Just because it’s been cold and messy out side should not be an excuse to not clean your vehicle.  Along with the cold and ice comes all the sand and salt which certainly helps us drive safe, but the sand also chips the paint and the salt causes rust to start where the paint was chipped.  So keep your vehicle clean and inspect for the paint chips.  Where you find the paint chips use touch up paint to help prevent the rust.

Diesel Fuel Additives

Diesel fuel additives can be used year round depending on the additive.  Never use additives that contain alcohol or methanol. An additive that contains a cetane booster can help improve performance and economy.  Generally speaking, the better the fuel is the less the additive is needed, however there is a point where depending on how bad the fuel is an additive won’t help and the fuel will need to be replaced.

Air Filters in Winter

Just because its winter doesn’t mean your air filter can’t get plugged.  It can get packed with snow just as easily as dirt causing poor performance and poor fuel economy.  Driving behind someone after a fine fresh snow can cause snow to be sucked up into the air filter, another good reason to give some distance.  If you use your vehicle for plowing snow you really need to check it after every use.

Tire Pressure Tips

Tire pressure is a measure of the amount of air in a vehicle’s tires in pounds per square inch.  Proper tire pressure will maximize tire life and wear, and it will affect fuel economy as well due to less rolling resistance in the tire.

A common misconception when determining tire pressure, is to go off of what the tire says itself.  When the manufacturer actually has their own specifications for tire pressure settings.  It is located inside the door on the drivers side inner door wall.  It will give you front, rear and spare tire pressure settings.  The number on the tire is actually the maximum allowable tire pressure, not the recommended tire pressure.

You should check the tire pressure in your vehicle monthly to ensure safety.  Under inflation will cause the tire to wear rapidly on the outside edges, it will also cause the side wall of the tire to bulge which creates excess heat in the tire and potentially cause the side wall to blow out.  Almost all tire blowouts can be traced back to under inflation.  Over inflation will cause the center of the tire to wear rapidly, because the tire is shaped more like a doughnut.

Tire pressure can be affected 1-2 PSI for every 10  degree temperature change.  For example, going  from 90 degrees to 40 could cause as much as a 10 PSI drop in tire pressure.

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.

5-tips-to-save-on-gas

  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?

ToDriveOrNot

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