Category Archives: Driving

Fuel Miser? Be Wiser!

Tips on choosing the right octane for your vehicle duty.

The cost of gasoline is on the rise again. Why you ask? We won’t go into that, but what we will go into is fuel octane versus vehicle duty. With the rising cost of fuel many consumer are switching back to lower octane fuel to help offset the price. This is a more economical way to get you from point A to point B but can lead to costly repairs in some cases.

Higher octane fuels have more additives in them for cleaning and providing your engine with the potential to make more power. A more even and controllable flame front in your engines combustion chamber is what enables it to produce power well beyond the limits of standard unleaded fuel.

Before you fill you gas tank with low grade fuel the vehicle and the conditions under which it will be driven should be considered. Heavy duty towing vehicles should always use a higher grade fuel, without it costly internal engine damage can occur when the engine is under load. Light duty trucks and passenger cars should use a higher grade fuel whenever they are used under load conditions. Extra weight in the vehicle and steeper road grades can put a tremendous power demand on the engine, which makes it vulnerable to internal damage.

Here are some driving tips to help with your fuel economy:

[Actual fuel mileage is best determined by calculating the fuel consumed and mileage driven over three tanks of fuel or more.]

  • Fill your tank fully each time, get your fuel at the same station each time (if possible) and use your normal driving habits.
  • Cold weather and the use of oxygenated fuel will increase your vehicleÕs fuel consumption on a seasonal basis.
  • Taking short trips of three miles or less will decrease your fuel mileage.
  • Prolonged engine warm up periods and excessive engine idling will increase fuel use.
  • Stop & go city driving will decrease fuel mileage appx. 17% below freeway driving.
  • Freeway driving over the posted speed limit will decrease average fuel consumption by appx. 2.4 MPG for every 10 MPH increased above 40 MPH.
  • Loading down your vehicle with extra passengers or weight will decrease fuel mileage, especially if you are driving on hilly terrain.
  • Increasing the frontal area of your vehicle with even a light load will increase wind resistance, which will decrease fuel mileage accordingly.
  • Installing bug deflectors and other add-on items increases wind resistance and decreases fuel mileage by approximately 1 to 2 MPG. Faster speeds have a greater effect on mileage when these components are installed.
  • Driving your vehicle with the Check Engine Light in the instrument panel illuminated will cause poor fuel mileage and driveability issues.
  • Driving with your left foot resting on the brake pedal even lightly will cause decreased fuel mileage and premature brake lining wear.
  • Under-inflated tires will increase rolling resistance and cause a loss of up to one mile per gallon.
  • Tires should always be inflated to manufacturer’s specifications.

Remember, with the high price of fuel even a small change for the positive in your driving habits could make a significant difference in your fuel bill each month.

Don’t Get Burned

Did you know? Your exhaust system can start fires.

When you are on your summer outings, don´t forget that your car’s exhaust system is equipped with a catalytic converter that has internal temperatures exceeding 2,000 degrees F. Although it’s well insulated and shielded, it’s still extremely hot externally.

If your exhaust system comes in contact with any combustible material, it will almost certainly catch on fire. Take care not to park anywhere that weeds and tall grass will touch your exhaust system.

Car Trouble Along the Way…

When you’re on the road and your car acts up, it’s often stressful to know who to call.

In September, two of our good customers were traveling in California when the engine in their Suburban died and they coasted to the side of the road.
Luckily they had two things in their favor: they had a cellular phone and they had read our traveling tips in the previous newsletter.
They immediately called our office when problems arose. Within fifteen minutes we had located the nearest A.S.A shop, called that shop for an immediate appoint-ment and had a tow truck on the way. Our customers received prompt courteous service at a fair price with only a small interruption in their vacation. We can provide this service for any of our customers no matter where they may be driving. Who ya gonna call if you have a breakdown while on the road? A Street Automotive and Collision! Keep our phone number and newsletter in your glove box.

Recently two of our long-time customers were traveling in California. The engine in their Suburban died and they coasted to the side of the road.

Luckily they had two they had cel-phone service, and had read our travel tips in a recent newsletter. They immediately called our office. Within fifteen minutes we had located the nearest A.S.A. Certified shop, arranged for an immediate appointment and had a tow truck sent their way.

Our customers received prompt courteous service at a fair price with only a small interruption in their vacation. We provide this service for any of our customers no matter where they may be driving. So what to do if you have a breakdown while on the road? Call A Street Automotive and Collision! Keep our phone number (or latest newsletter!) in a convenient location in your vehicle in case emergencies arise while you are traveling.

Winter Wise Driving.

Getting ready for bad conditions.

Winter driving can be a very stressful and dangerous task. Perhaps the best scenario is don’t drive at all if you don’t have to. Unfortunately, many of us have no choice. For those inevitable times when you must drive in cold, slick, winter conditions, here are some basic tips and facts that may give you the edge.

  • Don’t let your vehicle warm up for more than five minutes. Any more time will waste a great deal of fuel.
  • Always keep the tire manufacturer’s specified amount of air pressure in your tires and make sure that your tires are appropriate for you driving habits and conditions.
  • A cellular phone can be the best safety insurance policy while in your automobile. You may be surprised at how affordable basic cellular service is.
  • Items to keep in the car are: warm gloves, ice scraper, lots of extra blankets, tire chains, flashlight, and cellular phone if you have one.
  • Make sure your vehicle has been inspected for cold weather driving.
  • Keep your fuel tank as full as possible. Condensation will be at a minimum and the added weight will help maximize traction and handling on slick roads.
  • Don’t use your windshield wipers until your windshield has been scraped or defrosted. This will greatly increase the life of your wiper blades.
  • Keep at least 3 times normal driving distance from other cars on slick roads.
  • When braking on slick roads always pump your brakes lightly. This will stop your vehicle faster than steady pedal pressure.
  • If you have never installed tire chains don’t wait until you need them to find out how. Do a trial chain-up with someone who knows how or call us and we will demonstrate the proper procedure.
  • If you have a four wheel drive don’t wait until you need it to try it out.
  • Always keep the tire manufacturer’s specified amount of air pressure in your tires and make sure that your tires are appropriate for you driving habits and conditions.
  • A cellular phone can be the best safety insurance policy while in your automobile. You may be surprised at how affordable basic cellular service is.
  • Items to keep in the car are: warm gloves, ice scraper, lots of extra blankets, tire chains, flashlight, and cellular phone if you have one.
  • Make sure your vehicle has been inspected for cold weather driving.
  • Keep your fuel tank as full as possible. Condensation will be at a minimum and the added weight will help maximize traction and handling on slick roads.
  • Don’t use your windshield wipers until your windshield has been scraped or defrosted. This will greatly increase the life of your wiper blades.
  • Keep at least 3 times normal driving distance from other cars on slick roads.
  • When braking on slick roads always pump your brakes lightly. This will stop your vehicle faster than steady pedal pressure.
  • If you have never installed tire chains don’t wait until you need them to find out how. Do a trial chain-up with someone who knows how or call us and we will demonstrate the proper procedure.
  • If you have a four wheel drive don’t wait until you need it to try it out.

ABS Braking

Anti-lock Brakes do not require pumping to bring you to a safe stop.

Fall and winter weather bring a natural feeling of caution for most motorists. Slick roads and poor visibility are a given. In the past it has always been a safe procedure to pump the brakes lightly on slick road surfaces.

Any vehicle that is equipped with anti lock brakes will not require pumping for a safe stop. This is because the brake system pulses several times per second all by itself. Simply applying the brake pressure that is required for a safe distance will provide a much safer braking than any manual braking system could.

Fall and winter weather bring a natural feeling of caution for most motorists. Slick roads and poor visibility are a given. In the past it has always been a safe procedure to pump the brakes lightly on slick road surfaces.
Any vehicle that is equipped with anti lock brakes will not require pumping for a safe stop. This is because the brake system pulses several times per second all by itself. Simply applying the brake pressure that is required for a safe distance will provide a much safer braking than any manual braking system could.