Monthly Archives: September 2011

Think “Safety First” for Young Drivers

One of the most frequent questions I hear from parents is, "what kind of car should I get for my children when they reach driving age"? Most parents have the same thing in mind: "hand me down" vehicles. The thinking goes, "as soon as my kid turns 16, I’m going to give him my old car and I’m going to get a new one." Or, maybe a father wants to get his child a vehicle he had or wanted when he was younger, like a Volkswagen Beetle or an old BMW 2002. Those are great old cars in many ways, but there is a very serious thinking flaw happening here. When children reach driving age, they have very little experience behind the wheel. Many also have an attitude of invincibility. Nationally, driving accidents are one of the leading causes of death for teens. The newer a vehicle is, the more safety equipment it will have. Newer features such as anti-lock brakes (ABS) and stability control will even help control a vehicle so an accident doesn’t happen. Front and side air bags and engineered ... read more

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Replace All Four Tires At Once On AWD Vehicles

Save Money By Thinking Ahead One of my friends, Dan, who owns another auto shop, asked me to remind people that any all-wheel-drive vehicle must have tires replaced as sets of four, rather than in pairs. The rolling diameter needs to be the same on every tire for AWD cars, and if the diameter is different, there is the risk of ruining the transmission and differential unit. He had a customer who replaced only two tires and as a result had to pay for more than $3,000 worth of repairs. Front and rear tires usually wear at different rates, so by rotating them every 5,000 to 10,000 miles, all of your tires will wear out at the same time. This will make replacing all four tires less frequent and save you money. -George Rode

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The Benefits of Direct Injection for Fuel Efficiency

The Benefits of Direct Injection for Fuel Efficiency

In the next few years, the average fuel economy will increase as required by the federal government. An engine with direct injection gets about 10 percent more power, uses about 10 percent less fuel and emits fewer pollutants. The CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) will double in the next 15 years. Many innovative fuel-saving, power-boosting technologies will be used on the next generation of power trains. One of the most intriguing is direct injection. This type of system injects fuel directly into an engine’s combustion chamber under very high pressure. Injection pressures vary between 22,000 and 30,000 pounds per square inch. As a comparison, the water pressure in an average home’s plumbing system is about 80 PSI. The advantage of this system is much more control of the combustion process. An engine with direct injection gets about 10 percent more power, uses about 10 percent less fuel and emits fewer pollutants. So why don’t all engines include direct injecti ... read more

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