RESOURCES

FAQs, Tips, and Ways to Keep Your Car Efficient

Auto Symptoms / Answers Section (FAQ)

Question: What Does My "Check Engine, Maintenance Required" Light Mean?
Answer: This light can actually have several meanings, its priority and having its symptom checked out is important. A warning light such as this indicates that one or more faults have been detected by your vehicle's computer system. An example; common problems include; misfires, emission faults, mechanical problems or temperature problems.

Question: Do I Need to Have My Timing Belt Changed and When?
Answer: Yes!!!! This service is crucial to have done at the specified time indicated from the manufacturer. If this belt loses its integrity or breaks it can cause severe engine damage and possible engine replacement. Manufacturers vary in terms of when the timing belt should be changed. Please review your owner’s manual or contact us for this information.

Question: Is Maintenance Work Really Necessary?
Answer: Maintenance work is crucial for all vehicles on the road today. Several studies have been documented which prove maintenance not only saves money (compared to waiting until failure), but also keeps your vehicle running at an optimum level. It is important not only to see your owner's manual for a description of services, but to also check with your Repair Center Specialist (Angelo Townline). As professionals, we can suggest and recommend services not only based on the manufacturer's guidelines, but also based on your style of driving. 
Gas prices go up and down - you can never tell! Even when gas prices are down, it is always a good idea to have the best fuel savings tips to save even more money! Along with saving money, these gas savings tips can also improve the performance of your vehicle!
Tips

Tips

Here are some tips to help you reduce the amount of gas you use. If you are already following these tips, you are probably getting the best gas mileage your car can deliver.
  • Drive more efficiently
  • Keep your car in shape
  • Plan and combine trips 
  • Choose a more efficient vehicle
Drive More Efficiently:
  1. For every 5 mph, if you reduce highway speed, you can reduce fuel consumption by 7%.
  2. Accelerate and decelerate smoothly. Potential gas savings is 33% on the highway and 5% around town.
  3. Driving with your foot on the brake increases fuel consumption.
  4. Avoid excessive idling – you are getting 0 miles per gallon.
  5. During the cold winter months, warm up your vehicle for only 45 – 60 seconds before putting it into gear – that’s all the time that is necessary.
  6. For every extra 100 pounds in the trunk, you lose 1% to 2% in fuel efficiency.
  7. Use the highest gear possible – lower gears use more fuel.
  8. The A/C uses more fuel, but open windows can be even worse due to drag on the vehicle. Use open windows for slow driving and the A/C for highway driving.
  9. Several short trips begun with a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a single, longer trip of the same total distance.
  10. Cruise control can improve mileage only if you are driving on mostly flat terrain.
  • Keep Your Car in Shape:
    Don't forget, the simple things too! Check your tire pressure frequently and keep up on your regular maintenance schedule, such as your oil changes, air filter replacements. These items alone will not only improve your gas mileage but will also keep your vehicle running its best!

  • Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned:
    Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.

  • Check and Replace Air Filters Regularly:
    Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car's gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. Your car's air filter keeps impurities from damaging the inside of your engine. Replacing a dirty air filter not only saves gas, but also protects your engine.

  • Keep Tires Properly Inflated:
    You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.

  • Use the Recommended Grade of Motor Oil:
    You can improve your gas mileage by 1-2 percent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by 1-2 percent. Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by 1-1.5 percent. Also, look for motor oil that says "Energy Conserving" on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.
Drive

Plan and Combine Trips

Combining errands into one trip saves your time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Trip planning ensures that traveling is done when the engine is warmed-up and efficient.

With a little planning, you can avoid retracing your route and reduce the distance you travel as well. You'll not only save fuel, but also reduce wear and tear on your car.

Commuting
If you can, stagger your work hours to avoid peak rush hours, you'll spend less time sitting in traffic and consume less fuel.
If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets the best gas mileage whenever possible.
Consider telecommuting (working from home) if your employer permits it.
If possible, take advantage of carpools and ride-share programs. You can cut your weekly fuel costs in half and save wear on your car if you take turns driving with other commuters. Many urban areas allow vehicles with multiple passengers to use special High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes.
Consider using public transit if it is available and convenient for you. The American Public Transit Transportation Association has links to information about public transportation in your state.

Traveling
A roof rack or carrier provides additional cargo space and may allow you to meet your needs with a smaller car. However, a loaded roof rack can decrease your fuel economy by 5 percent. Reduce aerodynamic drag and improve your fuel economy by placing items inside the trunk whenever possible.
Avoid carrying unneeded items, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 lbs in the trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by 1-2 percent.
 
Chose a More Efficient vehicle
Let's face it, we all just can't afford to run out and buy a new car! Using the previous tips from Angelo Townline will not only save fuel, but will help protect the investment of your vehicle.
Should you be in the market for a newer fuel economy vehicle, the www.fueleconomy.gov has gas mileage estimates and more information for 1985-2009 model year cars.

Selecting which vehicle to purchase is the most important fuel economy decision you'll make. The difference between a car that gets 20 MPG and one that gets 30 MPG amounts to $665 per year (assuming 15,000 miles of driving annually and a fuel cost of $2.66). That's $3,325 extra in fuel costs over five years!

Use www.fueleconomy.gov's Find and Compare Cars section to find the most fuel-efficient vehicle that will meet your needs.

Maintenance is such an important part of protecting your investment, keeping you on the road and obtaining the highest resale value for your vehicle!
Schedule

Maintenance Schedule

Angelo Townline has provided below a glimpse chart for regular maintenance, maintenance inspection, adjustment, repair and replacement. It’s our goal to keep you running smoothly!
Mileage Schedule
Tire inflation

Monthly Maintenance Tips From the Experts at Angelo Townline

Tip: Keep Tires Inflated!
Keep your tires inflated to their proper pressure. This will increase your gas mileage and life of your tires.

Tip: ABS Anti-Lock Brakes
Does your ABS system work? Is your ABS light on? These are important questions considering the season which we are in. Icy and slick road conditions are often the norm during winter. ABS assists your braking system from losing control during braking.

Tip: Should I Buy a Warranty for my Car?
Although the offer may sound intriguing at first, let's first look at the basics of a car warranty purchase. There are various warranty companies out there which are more than happy to sell you a warranty. But, what is actually going to be covered under this warranty? For example, warranty coverage will never include: maintenance, tires, brakes, and most often diagnostic related fees. In addition, warranty companies may have restrictions or caps on the amount of money they are willing to pay towards labor or parts. This, in turn, may cause you to pay toward repairs which are technically under warranty! It may benefit you to save the money you would invest in the purchase of a warranty and apply that to future repairs or maintenance. 

Tip: Safety Inspections No Longer Required? Where's the Benefit? 
Perhaps the thought of one less requirement for state inspection may sound great! But what are we as the motoring public really gaining by a "No Safety" State Inspection? Keeping the "earth" safe is a viable goal, but keeping ourselves and families safe is certainly as important! Please don't allow a short-sided goal, such as No Safety Inspections, to influence your decisions in keeping your vehicle from safely driving. Spread the word to friends and family that a safe driving vehicle means safer driving conditions for all of us.

Typing

Find and Locate Links Related to Your Vehicle

We hope this page finds to be useful to you.

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The replacement interval information contained within this publication has been gathered from various automotive sources and is to be considered only as a maintenance recommendation. When no recommendation is stated, usual industry practices call for inspection and/or replacement of the timing belt and timing belt components at 60,000 miles. It should be taken into consideration however, that belt and/or component failure is dependent upon several factors including driving conditions, temperature conditions, and vehicle maintenance. For more detailed information regarding timing belt and/or timing belt component replacement recommendations for your specific vehicle, always refer to the owner's manual.
  
View your repair and service records "Online." Now you can check your maintenance records from your home or work by simply accessing this website and logging into your account. Follow instructions for first time login
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