The price of gas in Wisconsin has got people in Oshkosh talking. It seems that Oshkosh 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 Wisconsin. People in Oshkosh 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 Oshkosh 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.
Oshkosh 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 Wisconsin 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 Oshkosh that you do not need in the vehicle. If you live in Wisconsin 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 Oshkosh 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 Auto Authority LLC 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 Oshkosh to stay on top of. When you maintain your car properly, you save gas today and prevent repairs tomorrow.
Everyone in Oshkosh Wisconsin does our best to budget for scheduled vehicle maintenance. What's hard is unexpected repairs. The truth is that our vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before with proper maintenance. That's because of improved vehicle design and manufacturing quality. But some of those same improvements also lead to higher repairs costs.
Let's take the fuel pump. Previous generations were often stranded by the side of the road by vapor lock. This occurred when the gas vaporized between the gas tank and the fuel pump. Fuel just stopped flowing.
You had to sit and wait until the car would start again. To alleviate the problem, fuel pumps are now located inside the gas tank. This is a great solution, but when the fuel pump fails, it's a much more expensive proposition to replace it.
Sealed wheel bearing assemblies are another example. These wheel bearings can't be serviced – you just have to replace the entire assembly when it starts to fail. That costs several times as much as service on non-sealed bearings.
So we all benefit in Oshkosh Wisconsin from design improvements, but we need to plan for repairs down the road.
There's a tool that can be found on Edmunds.com that you can use to prepare your service and repair budget.
Let's suppose you have a 2003 Toyota Camry – a very popular car in Oshkosh Wisconsin. It's now paid for and you'd like to keep it running for the next three years. You can go to Edmunds' True Cost to Own calculator and enter your vehicle's data. The calculator will provide estimates of what it'll cost to service and repair your vehicle over the next five years. The estimate is based on where you live in or near Oshkosh Wisconsin, manufacturers' recommendations and repair experience for your particular model.
Of course these are just estimates – there's no way to predict what'll actually happen to the car in your driveway, but it's a good starting point.
The calculator also has estimates for depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fuel costs.
Let's focus on maintenance and repair. This table shows that the average monthly cost of maintenance and repairs is eighty-three dollars. That may sound like a lot, but compare it to a new car payment.
So if you set aside eighty-three dollars a month, you'd go a long ways towards taking care of routine maintenance and being prepared for the unexpected repairs that arise.
Of course, you can't predict when something will go wrong or what it'll cost, but at least you have a reasonable target to shoot for.
Some people around Oshkosh Wisconsin are afraid of what can go wrong with their older car so they buy a new one. That's fine if you really want a new car, but if you properly maintain your older vehicle, you'll save a lot of money on new car payments and insurance. It just makes good economic sense.
Get with your Oshkosh Wisconsin service advisor at The Auto Authority LLC and work out a plan for keeping your vehicle on the road.
You can visit The Auto Authority LLC at 804 Witzel Ave in Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902 or just give us a call at 920-231-1016.
Oshkosh Exhaust and Emissions Service
Posted September 13, 2013 12:00 PM
Many Oshkosh residents don't realize that there is more to exhaust system maintenance than just tailpipes and mufflers, if you can see smoke or if it's too loud. Exhaust service at a full-service automotive center like Auto Authority LLC is really a lot more comprehensive these days.
For example, in the U.S., the federal government required catalytic converters for all cars in 1976 and on-board emission control computers in 1990. Wisconsin and federal emissions requirements have forced manufacturers to come up with much more sophisticated ways to comply with environmental laws. This also goes for cars sold in Canada.
So, exhaust service has really become exhaust and emissions service. High-tech computer-controlled emissions devices are now necessary. And because it's so sophisticated, we recommend having your emission system checked out by a qualified technician, like the ones we have at Auto Authority LLC, regularly to make sure everything's working right – which is usually every six months or 6,000 miles/10,000 kilometers.
If your 'check engine light' comes on while you are driving around the Oshkosh area, especially if it's flashing, then you need to bring your car into Auto Authority LLC ASAP. Chances are it's an emission related problem. Signs of exhaust or emissions trouble include difficulty starting, engine noise or smoke.
We hope this hasn't been too 'exhausting' of a discussion. Remember that a properly functioning exhaust system is for Wisconsin’s health and safety. Talk with your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Auto Authority LLC in Oshkosh if you think you might need your exhaust system checked. A quick look can sure save a lot of pain down the road.
All those automotive fluids can be confusing for Green Bay drivers. Recent years have brought new grades of engine oil, types of transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid. The right fluid protects your vehicle and helps it perform at its best. The wrong fluid won’t work as well for Oshkosh drivers and could even cause damage.
In addition to new grades of engine oil, many sedans now leave the factory with synthetic oil. Green Bay drivers should always use the recommended grade and type of oil in their engine.
All coolant, also called antifreeze, used to be green. Now there are several other colors of coolant sold at The Auto Authority LLC in Oshkosh. Each type is designed to protect the cooling system components that are particular to your vehicle. The wrong stuff can void your sedan cooling system warranty and could even cause engine damage.
Most passenger vehicles on Oshkosh roads today use either DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5 brake fluid. Your sedan power brake system is specifically designed to use ONE of these types – you need the right one. Higher numbers do not necessarily mean a higher, upgraded fluid.
Now, the important thing is knowing that your vehicle requires specific grades and types of fluids and that using the right fluids is good and using the wrong ones is bad. Once you’ve got that down, it’s easy to remember to check with your friendly The Auto Authority LLC technician or sedan owner’s manual to find out which automotive fluids to use.
Give us a call
The Auto Authority LLC 920-231-1016 804 Witzel Ave Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902