Archive for March 2012

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair: Good Service and Good Fuel Economy

Posted March 30, 2012 12:00 PM

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

In today's Economy Transmission and Auto Repair article, we're focusing on the things you can do to improve your vehicle’s economy driving around Connecticut. 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 Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol 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 Economy Transmission and Auto Repair.

Here's an easy one for Bristol 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 Bristol 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 Connecticut.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255

 



How to Know When to Change Your Oil at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair

Posted March 21, 2012 12:00 PM

Today in the Economy Transmission and Auto Repair auto care blog, we're going to talk to Bristol drivers about oil change intervals. It seems that as engine technology advances, oil change intervals become longer for Economy Transmission and Auto Repair customers. For example, recently four of the world's largest vehicle manufacturer's shortened the published intervals for several of their engine models. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers).

In real world Bristol driving, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance: quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This goop was clogging vehicle small engine passages so the oil wouldn't flow to some parts of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. We see it too often at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol.

The vehicle manufacturers began to offer an extended warranty to cover sludge damage. But there was a catch: the vehicle owner had to follow a new, lower service interval and provide proof of oil changes in order to make a warranty claim.

So here's the bottom line for Bristol vehicle owners: with longer oil change intervals, it's essential to follow them closely. Back in the day of 3 months or 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers), if you went an extra month or an extra thousand miles or couple of thousand kilometers, your oil was still fresh enough that it didn't have time to build up much sludge.

But if your recommended interval is 6,500 miles (10,000 kilometers) and you go over another thousand miles or couple of thousands of kilometers, you're getting into heavy sludge territory. You absolutely need to follow mileage intervals very closely. And don't forget your severe service schedule. If you do a lot of stop and go driving in Connecticut, short trips, drive in dusty or polluted Bristol conditions, hot or cold weather  or haul heavy loads, you're driving in severe service conditions. Your Economy Transmission and Auto Repair service advisor can help you determine which schedule to follow.

So check your vehicle owner's manual or talk with your Economy Transmission and Auto Repair service advisor about where and how you drive in Bristol. Should you change your oil closer to the regular schedule, or the severe service schedule? You need to make the call.

Let me give you an example of this. Some newer vehicles have an oil change indicator. It has a sophisticated computer algorithm that tracks number of cold starts, engine temperature, RPMs, mileage and many more variables to come up with a recommendation for when to change the oil.

Depending on driving conditions, the indicator in one test vehicle came on at anywhere from 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to almost 7,000 miles (11,000 km). It's typically just over 4,000 miles (6,500 km). Sometimes our driving is easy on the vehicle – like a long road trip. Sometimes, our driving is hard on it – like towing a heavy trailer or a lot of around town driving. But, usually, it's a combination of both.

Once again, it's up to you to make the call as to when to change your oil at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair to protect your vehicle engine. Another place where Connecticut drivers can go wrong is with the type of oil they use. More and more new cars are coming to Bristol owners filled with synthetic oil. Without going into a lot of detail right now, let's just say that synthetic oil lasts longer and is very resistant to oil sludge.

But it also costs quite a bit more, so some people are tempted to use conventional oil for their oil changes. Now, it's always best to use the oil recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Check your owner's manual see if a conventional oil alternative is allowed.

But getting back to the problem, if your vehicle came from the factory with synthetic oil, the recommended oil change interval is for synthetic oil. If you use conventional oil, you can't use the synthetic interval. You need to shorten it.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



Economy Transmission and Auto Repair and the Maintenance Mindset

Posted March 16, 2012 12:00 PM

When it comes to their vehicles, some Bristol residents don't have a maintenance mindset. They know they need to take care of their cars, but it just seems really hard to get them to remember to do it. Bristol drivers generally accept that many things in life require regular maintenance but just may not have applied it to their vehicles.

Here's something that will help: The key to good vehicle maintenance starts with the oil change. Think about it – when you go in for a full-service oil change, your friendly and knowledgeable Economy Transmission and Auto Repair service advisor will check all your fluids. If one of them is low, he can look for the reason. If your serpentine belt is cracked, he'll see it and let you know. Corroded battery cable – they've got you covered. And at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair, we check to see if your vehicle manufacturer has recommended any services at your current mileage.

The oil change becomes kind of a focal point, a way to check in to see what needs to be done. The fact is that vehicle inspection surveys consistently reveal that over 80% of vehicles have one or more unperformed repair or maintenance service. Vehicles are generally very reliable and can take a lot of abuse and neglect. But, you have to remember that vehicles are complicated machines. There are parts and fluids that are critical to their operation. Without them, the vehicle won't run at all.

So when you come in to Economy Transmission and Auto Repair for an oil change, you get advice from your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor and a reminder for recommended services so you can avoid a total failure. And remember that your friendly and knowledgeable Economy Transmission and Auto Repair service advisor can help you work out a maintenance and repair plan, prioritizing and scheduling the work to make sure you and your family are safe, and helping you avoid expensive breakdowns.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



Air Conditioning Maintenance at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol

Posted March 6, 2012 12:00 PM


Warm weather or cold, Bristol drivers still need to think about their vehicle's air conditioning. Most Bristol people don't service their air conditioning until after it fails. At Economy Transmission and Auto Repair, we can advise you on your vehicle manufacturers preventive maintenance schedules for air conditioning service, just as we do for transmission service, oil changes and so on.

Maintaining your air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job. Small leaks in the vehicle's air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can't cool the air as well. We see that a lot at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol.

The refrigerant also contains oil that lubricates air conditioning components and keeps the seals resilient. Low refrigerant and lubricating oil means that the air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and all Bristol vehicle owners know that air conditioning repairs can be costly. At Economy Transmission and Auto Repair, we recommended that the air conditioner be run regularly, even during winter months, to keep the parts and seals lubricated.

Bristol drivers need to be aware that there's one more thing that isn't directly related to air conditioning service but does impact the quality of the air in your vehicle. And that's your cabin air filter. This filter cleans dust, pollen, pollution and other impurities in the air that come from the heater and air conditioner. The cabin air filter needs to be replaced when it's dirty. If you don't, it'll start to smell. Not all vehicles have one, so ask your Economy Transmission and Auto Repair service advisor to check your cabin air filter at the same time they're doing your air conditioning service.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



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