Archive for September 2020
Free Money (Almost) (Fuel Saving Tips)Posted September 27, 2020 1:20 AM
You spend a lot of money on a vehicle, probably the most money you'll spend on anything except a house. But the spending doesn't stop after you've bought it. It goes into things like insurance, repairs and fuel. One good piece of news is that you can cut down the amount you spend on fuel if you follow a few tips.
Keep your speed under 50 mph/80 kph. Anything over that and your fuel economy will go down quickly the faster you go. Sure, you can legally drive faster than that, but practice this one tip and it can save you from 7%-14% on fuel.
Use cruise control. The steady speed increases fuel economy by avoiding unnecessary braking and accelerating.
If your vehicle is carrying unnecessary weight, unload it. If you can save 100 pounds/45 kilograms, it can save you 1% of your fuel.
Don't idle. Let's say you're sitting in a parking lot with your engine running for 10 seconds. Any more and you're wasting fuel. Turn off your engine and start it when you have to get going. You may have noticed that many newer vehicles automatically turn the engine off when the vehicle stops.
Avoid using a roof rack. A cargo box strapped on the top of your vehicle can reduce your fuel economy by 2%-8% in city driving, by 6%-17% on the highway and by 10%-25% at highway speeds over 65 mph/105 mph.
Also, if you have roof rails on your vehicle with crossbars, you can save 1% of fuel simply by storing them somewhere else. Some vehicles like Chrysler's Pacifica minivan allow you to store the crossbars inside the roof rails to reduce drag.
Keep tires at their recommended inflation. It can save you 3% of your fuel bill.
Use the right motor oil for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can cost you 1%-2% more money on fuel.
Sure, many of those savings are small on their own. But add them up and you'd be surprised at how much you can save. Also, keep in mind that a well maintained vehicle will also save you fuel, so make regular maintenance trips to your vehicle service facility.
Madison Automotive Automotive Tips: Diagnostic ServicePosted September 20, 2020 12:41 PM
Imagine waking up one morning with a stomach ache. You pick up the phone, call the doctor’s office and say, “I’ve got a really bad tummy ache. How much will it cost to make me feel better?” Of course you wouldn’t do that. You know that there could be a lot of reasons for your symptoms and that the doctor will have to examine you, ask some questions and probably run some tests before she can tell you what’s wrong and give you treatment options.
This same scenario plays out every day at TN auto repair facilities. When the cause of the concern isn’t obvious, the car will need to undergo a diagnostic examination. The typical car has about 30,000 parts, including several networked computers and miles of wiring. Finding exactly what is wrong can be very complicated and take some time. The most experienced technicians at Madison Automotive in Memphis are the ones who tackle the difficult diagnostic jobs. Once they have determined the cause of the trouble, they can work out the plan for how to fix it and tell you how much it will cost.
Positive and Negative (Battery Care)Posted September 13, 2020 9:12 AM
You notice when your smartphone's battery starts to go weak on you. It runs out of juice faster than it did when it was new. Bet you pay attention to that pretty closely.
Unfortunately, many of us don't pay the same attention to the battery in our vehicles. If your battery got you through the cold-weather months, you might be thinking you're all set until next winter. But you might be surprised to learn this: Hot weather is harder on a battery than cold weather. (Note: we're talking about a conventional vehicle here, not an all-electric, plug-in one.)
The way your vehicle's battery holds a charge is that it has chemicals inside it, and they react with each other to produce electricity. A vehicle battery discharges electricity and then needs to be recharged. Unlike your smartphone that you plug in each night to charge, the way a vehicle's battery gets recharged is by using the mechanical energy of the engine. It's a pretty cool system that's been around for a while. An alternator changes the mechanical energy into electricity that then charges the battery. And your vehicle is designed to charge it just the right amount with a voltage regulator. If your battery constantly gets too much voltage, it could stop holding a charge.
Another way a vehicle battery loses its ability to hold a charge is when it gets hot. In warmer weather, some fluids in your battery evaporate which can damage some of its internal components. Then, you've got a dead battery.
Back to your smartphone for a second, it probably has a little indicator or maybe an app that shows you how healthy it is or how much charge it's holding. Well, your service repair facility has equipment that can test your vehicle's battery for the same things. If that test shows you need a new battery, then it's probably time to replace it.
A technician can also check to see your battery is being charged at the correct rate. If you have a battery that is not sealed, a technician can check to see it needs more water added to it. The technician will also make sure dirt or other contaminants aren't acting as electrical conductors and discharging the battery. Plus, your battery's terminals may need cleaning.
Most people just forget about their vehicle's battery until there's a big problem with it. Here's one rule of thumb: expect a battery's life to be about 5 years. Just like you wouldn't want your smartphone to leave you without any way to make phone calls or send texts, you wouldn't want your vehicle to leave you stranded with no way to start it, would you?
When it comes time to make that new battery choice, your service advisor can offer you some good options, taking into account the climate you drive in, what you use your vehicle for and what your budget is. Hey, your smartphone's battery is all charged up. How about calling your service advisor for an appointment right now?
Keeping Your Engine Cool in Memphis, TNPosted September 6, 2020 8:13 AM
Your vehicle manufacturer has also specified a cooling system service interval. With a cooling system service at Madison Automotive in Memphis, the old coolant is replaced with correct clean fluid that contains the additives required to prevent corrosion. The additives are depleted over time and you need fresh fluid for adequate protection. Your radiator pressure cap should be replaced at this service as well.
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