Advantage Auto Repair

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Advantage Auto Repair
3155 N. Stone Ave.
(Intersection of Ft. Lowell and Stone Ave.)
Tucson, AZ 85705

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Automotive Repair Blog

October 2013

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Service to Improve Fuel Economy

Posted: Oct 30, 2013

The price of gas in AZ has got people in Tucson talking. It seems that Tucson folks who need a bigger vehicle to carry family and gear, or provide four wheel drive, are hit especially hard. That is why we thought it would be good to review some things that anyone can do to improve fuel economy.

First let's start with how we drive around AZ. People in Tucson may not realize that they can really save on gas by just changing a few driving habits. One of the biggest is jackrabbit starts - you know, flooring the gas as soon as the light turns green. That really wastes a lot of fuel. Building up your speed at a slower pace uses less fuel and is easier on your engine and drive train. And don't drive with one foot on the brake. That's also a drag on fuel economy, and it wears out your brakes faster, too.

Another thing Tucson drivers can do is drive more slowly - but only when it's safe. Sometimes on the freeway we drive an extra five ... ten . . . twenty ... over the speed limit. We do it to save time, but it only saves a few minutes out of maybe an hour long drive, and we may use 10 to 15 % more gas. Just leave a little bit earlier, save some money and arrive more relaxed.

Tucson drivers can also try and combine all of their errands for the day into just one trip, rather than several. If you can put off a trip today that can be combined with one tomorrow, you can save some time and money.

Using your cruise control can save money too. Driving in AZ at a constant speed really improves fuel economy. Be sure to only use your cruise control under safe conditions; you can look in your owner's manual for some good tips on using your cruise control.

Did you know that reducing the weight in your vehicle saves gas? Clean out the trunk or back seat from time to time so that you are not paying to carry a lot of stuff around Tucson that you do not need in the vehicle. If you live in AZ where there is snow and ice, clear it off your vehicle; it adds weight and messes with aerodynamics too.

Another tip is to avoid long idle times, which includes warming it up when you start. Modern engines do not require a long warm up to get going;  just take it easy for a few minutes.

Be sure to get a new gas cap if yours leaks or is worn.

Now, let's start talking mechanical. Bottom line - the better you maintain your vehicle, the less fuel you will use. It all adds up in a big way. For example, replacing your dirty engine air filter will pay for itself in improved fuel economy before your next oil change - and will keep saving you after that.

A clean, well-maintained fuel system really pays big dividends. A clogged fuel filter wastes gas. So does a dirty fuel system, grimy fuel injectors and plugged up PCV valves. A fuel system service decreases the gas you use, and increases the power, so drivers in Tucson can't go wrong with that.

Some of us ignore our Check Engine light. But fixing the problem that caused the light to come on will usually save some fuel as well. It may be a bad oxygen sensor that can really rob your fuel economy.

And, it may be time for a tune-up. Tune-ups should improve your fuel economy. Don't overlook the routine maintenance items, like scheduled oil changes, transmission and cooling system service. Dirty or low fluids actually use more fuel. Just look at your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended service intervals in the owner's manual, or ask your Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson service advisor for the schedule.

Don't forget your tires. Underinflated tires waste gas. And if your wheels are out of alignment, you won't get the fuel economy you need.

None of these things are very complicated or expensive for people in Tucson to stay on top of. When you maintain your car properly, you save gas today and prevent repairs tomorrow.

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com

 


Getting New Tires in Tucson?

Posted: Oct 25, 2013

There are so many tire choices in the Tucson area that selecting the right one can be a bit overwhelming for drivers. And even though it's kind of fun to have new tires on your vehicle, they're a significant investment for most Tucson area folks so you want do it right.

Tip: talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson tire professional. He'll help you sort through the choices.

Here are some of the issues you'll talk about: One is size – you know, all those numbers on the side of the tire. The right size is . All new vehicles are required to have stability control which, along with other important safety systems, is calibrated to work with specific tire sizes. Your Tucson tire professional can help stay within manufacturer's specifications or program a different tire size into your vehicle's computer.

And you'll want to discuss how and where you drive to determine the type of tire you need: summer, winter,  all season tires or all-terrain. There are tires for every Tucson auto owner's needs.

Like we said, tires are a big investment, so you want to get a good value on tires. Now that doesn't always mean the cheapest tire. A top tier tire from Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson will last a long time and give Tucson drivers good performance throughout its life. Tires sold in Tucson bargain tire shops may not live up to that promise. Again, your friendly and knowledgeable Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson tire professional can give you options that offer the best long-term value within your immediate budget.

Last, with a 2-wheel drive vehicle, it's to always replace both tires on an axle. Modern sensors and computer safety systems for vehicle brakes, stability and traction control need both tires to have the same amount of wear to work properly. And always put the new tires on the rear so you don't fishtail in a turn. With all-wheel drive you should replace all four tires at the same time.

Schedule a tire inspection at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson to see how much life is left in your vehicle tires and seek the help of a professional when choosing new shoes for your vehicle.

Give us a call.

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com


Fuel Saving Tip: Car Weight and Your AZ Driving

Posted: Oct 16, 2013



Weight is the enemy of fuel economy. Everyone from Tucson knows this makes sense.

Some of us in the Tucson area carry a bunch of unnecessary weight, and I'm not talkin' what you see in the mirror.

Guys: sports equipment and tools. Ladies: well, just take a look around the passenger compartment and trunk. I think my car has about 45 pounds of french fries on the floor.

All that extra weight wastes gas as you drive between here and there, and everywhere else.

Lose the junk and save some money.

...And you really only need one of those spare tires.

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com


Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson: Good Service and Good Fuel Economy

Posted: Oct 09, 2013

Most Tucson auto owners want to save on gas and seek our advice on improving economy. At Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson, we are frequently asked, however, if it is really worth the extra effort. Just how much money can Tucson drivers actually save?

In today's Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson article, we're focusing on the things you can do to improve your vehicle’s economy driving around AZ. We'll tell you the potential savings per gallon of gas at $3.50, and we'll show a chart that also shows the savings at $3.00 and $4.00.

 

DOLLARS PER GALLON $3.00 / $3.50 / $4.00

TUNE UP 4%.12.14.16

The next item is replacing a clogged engine air filter. Your engine needs enough air to burn fuel efficiently for the best mileage. A clean air filter means you get plenty of air. The fact that the air's clean protects your engine. That can save you up to 10 percent or 35 cents a gallon.

 

DOLLARS PER GALLON$3.00 / $3.50 / $4.00

AIR FILTER 10%.30.35.40

Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve economy by up to 40 percent. That's a whopping $1.40 in savings per gallon. Bring your car to Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson in Tucson and we'll check your oxygen sensor.

 

DOLLARS PER GALLON$3.00 / $3.50 / $4.00

FAULTY O2 SENSOR 40%1.201.401.60


Chances are that if your oxygen sensor is kaput your Check Engine light will come on. Now, there are any number of things that could cause your Check Engine light to come on besides oxygen sensor problems. But if it's on, get it checked out as soon as you can at Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson.

Here's an easy one for Tucson auto owners. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. That could save you three percent or 11 cents a gallon. Even a little drop in pressure will bring down your economy, so check your tires every week.

 

DOLLARS PER GALLON$3.00 / $3.50 / $4.00

TIRE INFLATION 3%.09.11.12

Your vehicle has recommended a specific weight of motor oil. The recommendation is based on engine design and will give you the best protection. Using a heavier weight could cost one to two percent in reduced economy, or up to seven cents a gallon.

Another thing Tucson vehicle owners can do to improve that costs nothing is to toss the junk out of our trunks. In other words, clean out the car and stop hauling around non-essentials. Don't treat your vehicle like a storage locker. Dumping 100 pounds of extra weight adds up to a 2% savings at the pump.

So when you tell someone you were going somewhere anyway and they're welcome to come along, that's okay. But if someone tells you they need to come along and it's no harm to you since you were going anyway—well, now you can tell them, “Sorry, dude, but you're an extra fifteen cents a gallon!”

All joking aside, let's all do ourselves a favor and fatten up our wallets by practicing good car care and better driving habits in AZ.

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com

 


Keep Your Cool in Tucson: Air Conditioning Service

Posted: Oct 01, 2013

Most Tucson drivers don't even think about their air conditioner.

Now here's a tip for Tucson vehicle owners: Run your air conditioner every so often during AZ winters. This circulates the lubricant to help keep the seals from drying out.

The air conditioner actually removes some of the moisture in the air. So if you have trouble with fogging on your vehicle windshield during AZ winters or during a rain storm, running the A/C on the defrost setting should help. Now on some Tucson cars you can't run the A/C at the same time as the defroster. Don't ask me why, but I suspect lawyers were involved.

Also, air and water can get into the A/C system. That can reduce the efficiency of the system and also lead to corrosion that causes damage. Tucson drivers should periodically purge the system and replace the refrigerant to remove the air and water.

AZ drivers would be wise to learn the early warning signs of A/C trouble: 1) The air's not as cold as it used to be. 2) It makes unusual noises when the A/C cycles on. Those are signs to get your vehicle into Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson in Tucson before the damage gets worse.

By following the recommended service intervals in your vehicle owner's manual, you can help prevent mechanical failure of your air conditioning system. Your A/C system contains some components like the compressor, condenser, dryer, etc. Anything Tucson car owners can do to lengthen the life of their A/C is well worth it. 

Advantage Auto Repair & Transmisson
3155 N. Stone Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
520.807.5555
http://www.advantage-autorepair.com


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