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Archive for January 2012

Are There Blind Spots in Oshkosh?

Posted January 31, 2012 12:00 PM

 

All Oshkosh drivers have blind spots – and no, I'm not talking about the fact that you really don't sing like Adele. I mean the areas of the road that you can't see when you're driving around Oshkosh.

First let's talk about our own blinds spots, and then we can talk about others...

To begin, we can greatly reduce blind spots by properly adjusting our mirrors to give the widest coverage possible. Make the adjustments in your vehicle before you start to drive.

First, Oshkosh drivers should adjust their rear view mirrors to give the best possible view directly to the rear of their vehicle. Oshkosh folks don't need it to get a better view of either side of the car, the kids in the back seat or their dazzling smile. It's pretty obvious, the rear view mirror should reflect the rear.

Next, lean your head until it almost touches the driver's side window. Adjust your side mirror so that you can just barely see the side of your car. Now, lean your head to the middle of the car and adjust the outside mirror so that you can barely see the right side of the car.

When Oshkosh drivers adjust their mirrors this way, they'll have maximum coverage. Of course driving is a dynamic process – things change every second on Wisconsin roads and busy highways. So it's wise to take a quick look to the side when passing to make sure that another vehicle hasn't moved into an area you couldn't see in your mirrors.

As you drive around the Oshkosh area, avoid staying in others' blind spots. You can't count on them to be watching their mirrors and looking out for you.
Here are some tips for passing a heavy vehicle on Wisconsin roads:
Avoid the blind spots. If you can't see the drivers face in one of his mirrors or in a window, he cannot see you!
Don't follow too close. If you can't see one of the truck's mirrors, you're too close.
Make sure there is plenty of room to pass. Trucks are long and take time to get around. If you're on one of our local two-lane highways, wait for a passing zone.
Don't linger when passing. Because the blind spots are so big on the sides, you want to get through them quickly. If you can't pass quickly, drop back.
Pass on the left whenever possible. A trucks' blind spot is much larger on the right.
The team of automotive professionals at Auto Authority LLC want you to watch those blind spots – but feel free to sing in the shower all you want.

Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
920-231-1016
http://www.autoauthorityoshkosh.com



Economics of Maintenance for Oshkosh Auto Owners

Posted January 24, 2012 12:00 PM

Buying a new car in Oshkosh is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape? How do you decide?

People in Oshkosh who've been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty?

For purposes of our discussion, let's assume you live right here in Oshkosh and have a five year old vehicle. It's now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there'll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don't know what to expect. For help we turned to maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs for a particular make and model. They're able to use manufacturer's maintenance schedules and repair histories for the projections.

Of course, these projections can't predict what will happen to your vehicle in Oshkosh, but they do give you information to use in your decision.

Let's look at the numbers for a five year old Toyota Camry V-6. In this example, the combined maintenance and repairs for the five year period is $5,748. This works out to an average of $96 a month. The year-by-year averages range from a low of $49 a month to $124 a month.

So compare $96 a month with a new car payment. And it's actually better news than that; you would still have maintenance expenses with a new car, so the repair element could be less than half that figure.

Here are numbers for some other five year old vehicles from around Oshkosh:

  • Ford Escape - $116 a month
  • Chevy Silverado - $131 a month
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee - $138 a month
  • Hyundai Accent - $85 a month.

Now, if your vehicle is older than five years, have a chat with your Oshkosh service advisor at Auto Authority LLC. We see hundreds of vehicles through our bays every month and we know your car. See if there's any particular problem in common with your vehicle that you might see over the next couple of years.

And of course, the best way to keep future repair costs down is to take care of all your scheduled maintenance. This is especially important in older vehicles that have had time to accumulate some deposits.

There are special motor oil formulations that help clean older engines and protect and recondition their seals and gaskets.

We hope this eliminates some of the unknowns in the decision to keep or trade.

Give us a call if you have any questions.

Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
920-231-1016
http://www.autoauthorityoshkosh.com



Fuel Saving Tip: Tire Pressure Saves Fuel in Oshkosh

Posted January 19, 2012 12:00 PM



Underinflated tires waste gas for lots of folks in the Oshkosh area. Think how hard it is to walk in sand – you just have to work harder because of the resistance. When your tires don't have enough air in them, their rolling resistance is dramatically increased and it simply takes more gas to get from here to there.

Always check your tire pressure when you gas up at one of our local Oshkosh service stations. If they're low – even just a little bit – bring them up to proper pressure. There's a sticker on the inside of your driver's door that gives the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure.

And don't rely on your tire pressure monitoring system to alert you to when you need more air. The TPMS system is set to warn you when pressure drops 20 percent below recommendations. That's severely underinflated and you needed more air a long time ago. And if you have a slow leak – get it fixed right away at Auto Authority LLC.

Get some air and save some gas.

Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
920-231-1016
http://www.autoauthorityoshkosh.com



Oshkosh Road Trip Preparation

Posted January 12, 2012 12:00 PM

People from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, love their cars. And nothing goes with cars better than a Wisconsin road trip. Freedom from daily schedules, new sights and the open road – it's great! But there's nothing like car trouble to bring the fun to a grinding halt.

You can't always avoid problems, but you can take steps to reduce the probability of getting sidelined on your trip.

Heading out on a Wisconsin road trip? Stop by Auto Authority LLC before you head out to make sure everything is in good repair.

Let's look at some of the auto maintenance related problems you might encounter on a road trip in Wisconsin and what you might do to avoid them.

The most common vehicle component to fail is the tires. Of course, you can't always avoid a road hazard that leads to a flat, but you may be able to head off some maintenance-connected tire problems.

A good tire inspection at Auto Authority LLC will start with looking over the condition of the tire itself. Are there signs of uneven tire wear? Are the tires properly inflated? Is the tread worn to the point that the tire should be replaced? The answers to these questions may lead to a recommendation to balance or rotate your tires. It may also be time to have an alignment service.

Your brakes should be inspected for function as well as to determine how much life is left in your brake pads. You'll also want to know if it's time to service your brake fluid. Over time, water and contaminants make their way into your brake fluid and the system needs to be flushed, cleaned and filled with fresh fluid.

While you're out seeing the sights, you'll want to make sure you can see the sights. Replace your windshield wipers if they aren't working well. And don't forget your headlamps. They gradually lose their brightness and you don't even realize it. Many people replace their lamps once or twice a year.

All the items mentioned are part of any good vehicle maintenance plan. These are things that you want to take care of anyway, but they all come into focus as you plan for your trip. They'll always save you money in the long run and may prevent inconvenient delays on your trip. After all, you wouldn't want to miss the world's largest ball of string, would you?

Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
920-231-1016
http://www.autoauthorityoshkosh.com



Keeping Your 'Old Faithful' Auto Running

Posted January 5, 2012 12:00 PM

At Auto Authority LLC we've had a lot of Oshkosh customers asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that's been building for several years in Wisconsin. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles (120,000 km) on them. It looks like it's going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices, a lot of Wisconsin folks are putting off buying a new car. 

So let's say you're one of the average in the Oshkosh area; you've got a nine-year-old car with 80,000 miles (130,000 km) on the odometer. What can you do to make it last another year or two?

Let's start with the premise that there's no reason that a modern car can't run for 200,000 miles (320,000 km) with proper care in Oshkosh. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.

Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there's no reason for a catastrophic meltdown if Oshkosh drivers stay on top of their recommended car maintenance. The maintenance schedule in some vehicle manufacturer's owner's manuals runs out at 60,000 miles (100,000 km) or so: how do Oshkosh vehicle owners know what to do when they're way past that?

It is a challenge, for example: If a service is recommended every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) for the first 60,000 miles (100,000 km), you can just keep getting it done at least every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) after you hit 60,000 miles (100,000 km). But, it gets more complicated because older engines lose some efficiency, are dirtier inside and are just more stressed. That means it's very important to not miss any scheduled services. Skipping just one oil change at Auto Authority LLC in Oshkosh, for example, leaves an opportunity for sludge to build up. Talk to your service advisor at Auto Authority LLC for more details.

So all the usual things like oil changes, transmission service, coolant service, brakes, power steering, fuel system cleaning – all that stuff needs to be maintained. People responsible for fleet vehicles around Oshkosh are sticklers for scheduled maintenance. They know that money spent on maintenance saves them three ways:

  1. it keeps efficiency from decreasing;
  2. it prevents repairs, and;
  3. they can postpone purchasing new vehicles.

Having the oil changed may be the most important thing Oshkosh drivers can do. A full-service oil change at Auto Authority LLC means that all of your other fluids get topped off so they are never low enough to cause damage. It also gives your friendly and knowledgeable Auto Authority LLC service advisor a chance to spot problems in the early stages so that you can fix them before they get worse. And it gives you a touch point with an automotive professional along the way to remind you of things that aren't scheduled as often – things like differential service and timing belt replacement.

If you live in the Oshkosh area and have an older vehicle, you may need to follow the severe service maintenance schedule. Check your owner's manual and talk with us at Auto Authority LLC. Conditions inside an older engine, transmission and cooling system can arguably be considered severe – so shorter intervals could well be called for.

And, the team at Auto Authority LLC strongly encourages Oshkosh drivers to consider using high mileage formulation fluids. They're fluids like engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant that are formulated for older engines. They have special additives to clean deposits, and to condition and restore seals and gaskets that dry out with age. Some Oshkosh auto owners start using higher mileage formulations at around 50,000 miles (80,000 km) as a preventive measure.

Of course you also want to still look marvelous in your older car as you drive around Oshkosh. Salt and road grime wreak havoc on your paint job and can lead to body rust – so regular washing is very important. Also, a good quality waxing is recommended at least twice a year.

Give us a call for more information:

Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
920-231-1016
http://www.autoauthorityoshkosh.com



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