Monday, June 22, 2009

Gas Mileage Tips

It's always nice to save a little bit of gas if you don't actually need it right?
Here are a few tips that help reduce gas consumption when traveling.
  • Drive safe and steadily, not aggressively. This is not only for your own personal safety but instead of revving constantly, drive at the indicated speed limits, and this will also be less harsh on your engine and also cut back a little on gas consumption.
  • Take out extra weight out of your vehicle. If you're a golfer like myself, you might have your clubs in the trunk of your vehicle. Whatever extra weight you have back there, if you can take out even 50 lbs this will help cut back on fuel consumption.
  • When possible, close windows at highway speeds because of the increased drag on the vehicle, and use your a/c instead. When driving at slower town speeds open the windows instead of using your a/c, because your a/c does create more engine load on your vehicle.
  • Carpool with others to work or school.
  • Try to drive on smoother surfaces instead of dirt or gravel roads; this is just basic physics as your car will have less resistance to roll.
  • When getting fuel during the summer months, try to go when it is a bit cooler out (early mornings or at night) The reasoning for this is because you pay for fuel in volume instead of density, and fuel is more denser when it is colder.
  • Try to keep the suggested stock tire size on your car. When you upgrade your tires and rims for the look of your vehicle and if they are wider tires, it can help for handling, but the wider tires also increase the amount of friction because of the surface area.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

How to Perform an Oil Change

For many people this is a task left alone, as they just get their oil changed by a local technician. It is actually easier than most people think! Here are the following essentials you will need before attempting to change your own oil: An oil filter, approx 5 liters of oil possibly more if you have a larger vehicle or truck. You will need different size wrenches usually 13 mm up to 17mm, a few rags, an oil collection pan for gathering old oil, a jack and 2 jackstands, or a ramp designed for auto use, and finally some blocks or chocks for the back tires.

The first step is to secure the vehicle and lift up the front part of the vehicle allowing you to access underneath. You want to be able to comfortably go half way down the vehicle when underneath. Once the vehicle is secure and the front is lifted to a desired amount; now place the wheel chocks or blocks behind the vehicle so it doesn't run loose on you. Once you get under you must identify the oil filter, as well as the oil plug...the oil plug is on the bottom of the oil pan. Note* not all oil filters will look the same because of the different companies who produce them, just make sure you are not taking out the transmission filter or drain will know right away because the fluid is reddish.

Unscrew the oil filter counter clockwise, it might be tight so use a rag to assist or if you want you can purchase a tool designed to take off oil filters. Once the oil starts dripping from it slowly place the oil pan underneath to collect the oil...remove fully and let drain. Once satisfied, lubricate the new oil filter with some of the new oil just around the rubber gasket..note* make sure the old gasket is not left behind or else you will not have a secure connection when putting on the new one, and oil will go everywhere when starting your engine. Put on the new filter, and hand tighten, once that is done you must locate the oil plug and loosen it, then take it will get a steady stream of oil so try to place the oil pan underneath ready for action. Let it drain for a few minutes then put the oil plug back on and tighten. Now you can get out from underneath, and start pouring in the new oil from the engine, you might need a funnel for pouring. Add about 3 liters, and then put the cap back on ans start your engine...let run for about 30 seconds, the reason for doing so is for the oil to go through the car's system and oil filter. Now pull out the dipstick and check what level you are at....pour and check until you have reached the appropriate level. That's it!! You're Done

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tire Tips "Save some money"

If you are a car owner and during the winter months get a tire changeover; a helpful tip for you would be to get some standard steel rims for your winter tires. This way it is actually cheaper in the long run to do the seasonal switchover. The technicians do not have to take the rubber off, they just switch tire for tire. See what your options are when you go to your local tire shop, and ask them if it would be better for you to buy rims for your winter tires.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Healthy Cars Depreciate in Value Less

Here are just some general tips on how to keep your car, truck, van, or SUV in good running condition besides the outer body looking good with washing and waxing.

#1. I can't stress this enough, I don't know how many people understand that having new and a sufficient amount of oil for their vehicle is crucial to their engine wearing less, and overall a smoother running vehicle. (I worked for a period of time doing just oil & tire changes, and the number of people coming in with little to no oil, or sludge build up from inconsistent changes were unbelievable!) Do yourself a favor and change your oil regularly... suggested time for change would be every 5,000 km's or every 3 months. I personally like changing my own oil because some people in the business do not care for your car like it was their own, but if you don't know how to do one (which I will post instructions on the how to do later on) or you just don't have the time to do one, then find a reliable place and stick to it try to see the same person over and over. If you get to know them in a shop, and you are nice to them, they will do the utmost for you in return.

#2. Keep your tires bloated! Well not literally, you don't want to overfill but usually the recommended will say on your door panelling, the rule of thumb we went by was 32 psi (pounds per square inch) for light cars and 35 for trucks or heavier vehicles. It also depends on where you drive... In my city there are alot of potholes, and you tend to hit them a bit harder and it is hard on your struts...otherwise I would put in 35...36 psi for my car if it was smoothe roads all along. Keeping your tires inflated to their proper amount will also help keep your engine running a bit less and save you on your vehicles gas consumption.

#3. This one is simple enough, find out how to open your hood and actually look at your engine! Wow and you thought it somehow magically operated with a few lepricons and fairies inside of that thing eh?? Ok ok...Check your fluids, you will see as you go from left to right or right to left little plastic caps, or level indicators which are your vehicles essential fluids... and yes even your washer fluid is essential... maybe not for the car running correctly, but for your visibility when a semi splashes you with a bunch of mud. Anyways, check your oil level with the dip stick indicator, make sure the vehicle is not running while checking it. All dipsticks should have indicator lines on where to keep your oil level usually keep it to the highest point of the criss cross pattern, or between the | | bars indicated. Check your transmission fluid instead of me posting the procedure just click this link to get there
Other fluids to check regularly are your brake fluid, and power steering fluid, which will most likely be in a plastic container with that look like the pictures indicated here. They will have level indicators that let you know if you need to put some additional fluids in, make sure you read your owners manual to know how much and where to add them.
#4. Check your air filter, basically your car needs a mix of air, and gas to cause ignition and get the cylinder pumping, for clean air intake your car has an air filter that usually has clamps along a plastic encasing, or screws that hold the case together... find out where your air filter is and take it out, a way to see if it is still good it to hold it up to light and if you can still see the light coming through sufficiently then it is still good...if not you can clean it a bit, but be careful not to damage the fibers, just smack it lightly with your other hand and let some of the dust out....eventually though it will have to be changed, and they are inexpensive to do so... usually around $7 - $10 This will not only keep your vehicle in better running condition, but also again help with fuel consumption from your vehicle.


I've heard multiple times from friends and family to buy a Toyota, or say a Honda... "They last up to 300,000 km or more right??" Well what about my Pontiac? I guess I better sell it as scrap metal as soon as the odometer hits 170,000, or at least that's how I felt from all of these rumors.

In fact this is not entirely true, yes Japanese vehicles seem to have their engine running until the end of time, and yes I found duct tape used to hold my stereo wires together from the manufacturer for my GM...but that's not the point... The point of this blog is to tell you, The People that with the little bit of know how, you can make your vehicle whether it's from Japan, or the moon last just a little bit longer for you... and if you are selling later on, your car's value will be substantially that much higher.