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Winter Driving: Fuel Economy Tricks

winter-fuel-economy-tricksFuel economy tricks are helpful to anyone who cares to save money and use their vehicle as efficiently as possible. Your fuel economy is affected by a number of different things, including your vehicle condition, driving speed, acceleration, traffic, road conditions, and even weather. As you most likely already know, vehicles tend to use more fuel in the winter.

Because vehicles run on many different fluids, the drop in temperature means your vehicle has to work harder to keep the changes to these fluids as minimal as possible. As a result, your vehicle ends up burning more fuel. Not to mention that driving during the winter time often means driving in harsh temperatures and conditions that also affect your fuel economy. So how can you help your vehicle use fuel most efficiently this winter? Let’s talk about a few helpful fuel economy tricks.

Letting Your Car Run While Idle

In the first of our fuel economy tricks, it’s necessary for us to debunk a myth. Many people are under the impression that it is necessary to warm up your car for some time before you drive off in the winter. While it’s certainly more comfortable to step into a warm car, this is not necessary. Your vehicle actually does better warming up while driving. According to most manufacturers, your car only needs about 30 seconds to warm up before you drive off slowly. Allowing it to run while sitting idly will only waste fuel.

Park Your Car in a Warm Garage

Hopefully, you can avoid having to drive off in a miserably cold car. Parking your car in a warm garage will help keep the various fluids in your vehicle closer to operating temperature. Your vehicle will use less fuel because it will take less time to warm up. When your car is parked in the garage, you won’t be as likely to use your remote start and leave it running idly for too long. If your garage is currently too full for your car, you’ll find it a worthwhile task to clear it out and make space. Not only will your car warm up faster, but you won’t have to scrape away ice early before work!

Drive Wisely in the Stop and Go Traffic

Depending on where you live, you may experience stop and go traffic all the time. However, winter can bring even more of it with adverse weather conditions. Always give yourself plenty of time to slow down and speed up. This will help you save fuel and keep you and the drivers around your safer. Fast accelerating and hard braking are a sure way to harm your fuel efficiency, no matter the weather conditions.

inflate-tires-for-winterKeep Your Tires Properly Inflated

Properly inflated tires mean better traction and because of that, better fuel economy. Remember that in cooler temperatures, the pressure in your tires will go down. Make sure you consistently check your tire pressure and have them inflated to the right amount of air.

Combine Your Trips

It takes more fuel to start a cold engine. That’s why, if possible, you should combine errands in your day so that you are not continually starting up a cold car.

Get Rid of Extra Weight

If you have traveling containers on top of your car but are not currently using them, remove them. Remove any unnecessary items that have collected in your car. The less weight your vehicle has to pull, the less fuel it will have to burn.

Maintain Your Vehicle

Of course, proper maintenance of your vehicle will help you any time of the year. Make sure you have consistent engine checks to ensure everything is running smoothly. Change your oil consistently. Use the oil recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. A poorly maintained vehicle is sure to suffer in the area of fuel economy.

If you have not had your vehicle tuned up for this winter, be sure to contact your trusted mechanic to schedule your appointment.

We hope these fuel economy tricks help you run your car more efficiently this winter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Ways to Prevent Auto Breakdowns

auto mechanic greeley co
Breaking down on the open road is a common fear for anyone who’s been on a road trip. Sure, breakdowns happen often on long road trips, but they can also happen when you’re going to the store or to work, and they are just as common and costly. Cars break down for many reasons, but there are a few typical car parts that fail more often for most car owners and cause breakdowns. There are several factors that make your car more likely to break down on the highway, costing you a bundle in towing and emergency repair fees.

Common Reasons For Automotive Failure

First, let’s look at a few car parts and systems that tend to fail more often than others:

  • Batteries—Problems with the battery can cause failure on shorter trips, especially in cold weather. You could have a poor electrical connection from your engine to your battery due to corrosion on the battery terminals, which can interrupt the electrical current and shut your engine down.
  • Damaged tires or wheels—Getting a flat tire isn’t technically an engine breakdown, but you’re still stuck on the side of the road. Most cars have spare tires, of course, and while you could learn how to change your tires yourself (it never hurts), you should also make sure that your wheels are aligned properly. If you notice uneven wear on your tires’ tread, this is a telltale sign of misalignment.
  • Starter motor—Most starter motors are very durable, but even the toughest of them fail eventually, usually near the end of a vehicle’s life.
  • Spark plugs—Corrosion can also interrupt the electrical current in your spark plugs.

mechanic near university northern colorado

Preventative Auto Maintenance

These are common problems that leave thousands of cars broken down on the highway. Let’s take a look at three ways to prevent damage and corrosion of these parts and systems:

  1. Get your car checked regularly. You don’t need to take your car in every week, but visiting a mechanic is recommended certainly before you’re about to head out on a long road trip, if you’re experiencing any kind of problems driving, or every 3,000 miles or so. All of the above systems that tend to fail and cause breakdowns can be easily and inexpensively checked out and corrected before they become problematic.
  2. Change the oil. An oil change isn’t a panacea for all your car’s ills, but helping the engine run smoothly with the proper amount of oil heads off many common breakdown problems before they get out of control. Dirty, overused oil can cause corrosion on many parts of the engine and contributes to poor fuel economy.
  3. Fill your car with the proper gasoline. 150,000 drivers put the wrong kind of fuel in their car every year. Putting the completely wrong kind of fuel in a car (i.e. diesel in an unleaded tank, etc.) can cause serious problems as soon as you start the engine (and you’ll know there’s a problem), but putting the wrong octane fuel in your tank can cause long-term adverse effects for your engine, too.

A good rule of thumb is to visit your mechanic and make sure your oil and all your systems are working at optimal levels to prevent breakdowns. There will always be an element of uncertainty with breakdowns, but if you keep up on your maintenance, you’ll greatly reduce your risk of costly emergency breakdowns.

16 Tips to Prepare Your Car for Autumn and Winter

tips for cold weather car preparation in Colorado

16 Tips to Prepare Your Car for Autumn and Winter

Cold weather car preparation. Four words that should be at the top of all Greeley and Northern Colorado driver’s lists as the start of autumn is just around the bend. Leaves are starting to turn and we’ve already begun to experience a few nights and days with cooler temperatures. Fall is the perfect time to begin thinking about and preparing your car for colder temperatures and the coming winter months.

To help you adequately equip your car for cold weather, snow, ice, and those howling winter winds, we’ve provided a checklist with 16 tips that will help you be prepared.

An excellent way to start is by giving your car a good cleaning.

Wash off all the bugs and anything from your windshield that could hinder visibility. It’s a great time to also clean out the inside because you may be less motivated to do it when the weather turns.

Wax your car.

Before the snow ever comes and the roads need to be treated with salt or sand, it’s a good idea to wax your car to protect the paint from all the elements it could encounter this fall or winter.

Check your windshield wipers and replace them if necessary.

Your wipers need to be replaced every 6 months to a year. Older wipers will tend to make less contact with your window and may squeak as they’re going and only end up smearing your window. In that case, you’re actually decreasing visibility instead of improving it.

Make sure you test your heater before the cooler temperatures arrive!

If you find that your heater is not working properly, you’ll want to make sure you have your mechanic address those issues before you have to deal with cold and freezing temperatures. Also be sure to make sure your defroster is working correctly.

Check your belts and hoses.

Have your mechanic check for and replace worn and torn belts and hoses.

Change your oil to keep your car running as efficiently as possible.

Ask your mechanic what type of oil is the best for your car in the winter.

Make sure to replenish your fluids: antifreeze, washer fluid, etc.

You will want to be prepared with sufficient antifreeze, washer fluid, etc for the coming winter weather.

Check your tires.

Do you have the appropriate tires to handle potential winter hazards? Are your tires in good enough condition? Neglecting your car’s need for good tires could be devastating. Tires that are losing their tread are going to be extremely dangerous in rain, snow, or ice. If your tires have less than 3/32 inches of tread, make sure you replace them as soon as possible.

tire-pressure

Check your tire pressure.

The amount of tire pressure will affect the traction and handling of your car. Because cold weather will cause the pressure in your tires to contract, you want to be monitoring them to make sure they’re properly inflated. Check your spare tire to make sure it is also sufficiently inflated.

Make sure your car is aligned.

This will help your tires last longer and provide for safer handling as you drive. It can also help improve gas mileage.

Check your brakes!

You know how vital good brakes are any time of year, but they’re especially important when cooler temperatures bring the potential of rain, snow, and ice. If needed, have your mechanic replace rotors and brake pads to ensure your safety this winter.

Check the condition of your battery.

Make sure its posts and connections are free of corrosion. Have it tested to see how much charge it can hold, especially if it’s more than a few years old. You do not want to end up stranded in the cold with a dead battery if you can help it. Replace your battery if needed.

Make sure your headlights and brake lights are in good working order.

Especially in heavy fog or snow, you’ll need all the light you can get. If the plastic on your headlights has become hazy, it’s a good idea to have them buffed and polished to ensure that they’ll be shining as bright as possible.

Always make sure you have sufficient fuel in your car.

While it’s never good for your fuel pump to run it too low in any season, driving with low fuel especially in the winter is not safe. Should you end up stranded somewhere in the winter, having sufficient fuel would keep you warm longer as you wait for help.

You may consider investing in rubber floor mats if you don’t already have them.

That will protect your carpet from everything your shoes will be tracking in this winter.

Make sure your car is equipped with the proper emergency materials.

Here are some of the key items you should consider including in your car:

  • Ice scraper
  • First aid kit
  • Flares
  • Jumper cables
  • Small shovel
  • Basic tool kit
  • Spare tire and tire changing equipment
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Water
  • Candles
  • Lighter
  • Gloves, extra boots, warm clothes, blanket

We hope this list gives you a jump-start into getting your car winter for this fall and winter.

If you’re looking for a dependable mechanic in Greeley, we would love to hear from you. Give us a call at 970-353-3401.

 

 

 

The Top Five Auto Maintenance Apps

top vehicle maintenance apps of 2017 for your iPhone or AndroidFind yourself glued to your smartphone or tablet these days? Then this article is for you (and your car)! Read along with us as our team of repair experts reviews the BEST vehicle maintenance apps available for download today!

With so many moving parts that require proper maintenance to work in conjunction with each other, your car needs regular tune-ups and checks to run efficiently for thousands of more miles. Without keeping track of all the things that need to be replaced, serviced, oiled, greased, etc., you’ll increase your risk of breakdowns and other hazards that make it much harder to operate your vehicle safely.

In the past, if you owned a car, you typically had to record all the maintenance costs and reminders in a little notebook in your car to keep track of everything that needed work. You had to record your gas mileage to calculate how many miles you’re getting per gallon and more. Today, there are hundreds of smartphone apps that help you record and track all the maintenance information you need, as well as gas costs, how to deal with a collision and more. Here are five of the best auto maintenance apps out there today:

  1. aCar. If you’re looking for a good auto maintenance app, it’s best to start with this one. aCar is an incredibly user-friendly app that houses all your car’s maintenance information in one place. Once you put in your car’s information into the intuitive interface, it can make useful calculations for you. If you put in your car’s mileage and the price of gas when you fill up, the app will tell you the cost of running your car per day, per mile. It can also predict when you’ll need your next fill-up and chart your gas efficiency. You can also record maintenance costs and dates to see how much your car is costing you and when your next tune-up should be. Available on Android.
  2. Gas Cubby. A fast and easy way to record your gas mileages and costs. Gas Cubby can send you reminders to change your oil, where to find better gas prices, and much more. You can compare your gas mileage with similar vehicles using its data from Fuelly, a community of other auto-minded individuals. Although this is not a free app, the $1.99 price tag is budget-sensitive and well worth its utility. Gas Cubby is available on iOS.
  3. iWrecked. This app streamlines the information gathering process you have to go through after a collision. iWrecked allows you to store every pertinent detail about your auto accident in one place for later use. It conveniently stores this information in four succinct categories: “accident information,” “other driver,” “police information,” and “miscellaneous.” With these four categories, you can put in the time and location of the accident, the other driver’s insurance information, and any police information or references you need. iWrecked also allows you to upload pictures of the car damage, locate towing or police services near you using GPS, and call your emergency contact right from the app. iWrecked is a free app and is available for both iOS and Android.
  4. Waze. While Waze is more of a navigation and traffic app than a maintenance app, but it’s extremely useful for getting around and making the most of your car’s fuel efficiency. Waze is a community-based app that gathers user data in real time and makes adjustments to its traffic and navigation services quickly. If you and another Wazer slow down in traffic, the app knows to mark the area as slow or heavy traffic. You can be a passive or an active Waze user, either letting the app gather information while you’re driving with it to help other users, or by going even further to report speed traps, road conditions, gas prices, and more. This community approach leads to faster updates on traffic and road conditions than a standard Google Maps app. Free for both Android and iOS.
  5. Openbay. This app is incredibly useful for scheduling maintenance and tracking the services you need to have completed. Openbay lets you search for automotive service providers near you and compare maintenance quotes. You can schedule maintenance appointments right there on the app and pay for services as well using it’s secure and safe payment system, which lets you earn rewards for your completed services. If you know you need maintenance, but you don’t know where to turn, download Openbay. It’s free for iOS.

These apps are all effective at helping you keep track of your car’s maintenance needs and schedule. Depending on what kind of car you have and how often you use it, some of these apps may be more useful than others for your situation. For example, if you need road conditions for your commute every day, Waze is an excellent option. For a car that needs more regular maintenance to stay on the road than others, an app like aCar is for you.

Winter Service & Auto Repair For Your Vehicle | Autotailor in Greeley Can Help!

Winter auto repair and car service in Greeley COComplete Your Winter Auto Repair Or Maintenance Before The Cold Hits In Greeley, CO

Another Northern Colorado Winter is rapidly approaching and you know what that means: the necessity of a winter auto repair may creep up on you when you’re least expecting it! Extreme drops in temperature, subzero wind chill, snow and ice are just some of the challenges we as Colorado drivers face during the upcoming season and your vehicle takes the brunt of it all. If you’re due for routine maintenance or repair, it’s imperative that those items be completed before the weather gets worse as Front Range weather conditions and drastic weather changes can cause that small issue in your car to rapidly magnify into a much bigger issue. It’s also a good idea to complete a simple self-prep to your vehicle to ensure it’s in tip-top condition all winter long. Check out these auto service tips from the experts at Autotailor.

Tires Service Center & Sales

Check your tires for thread depth and air pressure. Overtime your tires become worn out and the thread depth becomes uneven. It’s important to check the depth to make sure your tire can keep traction and avoid slips on wet and icy roads. Air pressure is just as important! When the temperature drops by 10 degrees your tires drop a pound of air. Check your tires and spare tires when the temperature changes drastically. Need or replace the tires on your car, truck or van? Autotailor provides a complete line of brand name tires all competitively priced. Call us today to schedule your winter auto repair tire service appointment!

Car Battery Service

A battery tends to last up to 3 years. If you’re nearing that life cycle you should bring your car to our auto repair center in Greeley, CO to ensure it’s fully charged. If the battery isn’t fully charged it can freeze and die when the temperature drops. One of our certified Greeley Autotailor technicians can check if you need to recharge or buy a new battery.

Automotive Oil Change

You should regularly bring your vehicle in for routine auto repair services and an oil changes. However, if you haven’t kept up with it, the time to change it is now! The oil is what keeps your car running smoothly and efficiently! When first placed in your car it’s thin and a light honey color. Overtime the oil becomes contaminated, which causes it to thicken and become sticky. This makes the engine in your car work harder, and may lead to expensive auto service repairs.

Heating System Repair

When you have to get up early on cold mornings you want make sure you’re at least warm in the car. Now is the time to make sure that the air system is working properly and that your filters are changed. Not sure what to look for or think your car may be having issues? Give us a call or contact us online today! Autotailor in Greeley, CO can help!

Headlight Replacement

Cold and snowy weather can bring foggy, freezing visibility to your drive. Check and replace your bulbs and headlights at our Greeley auto service center. We even provide headlight restoration services to ensure you have clear sight of the road.

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