If you're like most people and drive a gasoline-powered vehicle, you need to be up to speed on its fuel-related components. They're pretty basic: the fuel, the fuel filter and the fuel pump.
The fuel's the easy part. You probably gas up your vehicle yourself and, if you're like most drivers, price is a big factor in what you put in your vehicle. Maybe you think it doesn't matter what kind of gasoline you buy, but one major automobile association has found it does make a big difference.
Their study showed that the additives that are put in different brands can affect your vehicle's performance. Certain gasoline retailers sell gasoline that meets performance standards called Top Tier. The detergents used in Top Tier gasoline help protect newer engines from carbon buildup and deposits on intake valves, all things that can affect how smoothly your engine runs, how it accelerates and what kind of fuel economy you get. You can check online or ask your service advisor where to buy Top Tier gasoline.
Another fairly simple component is the fuel filter. Depending on the age of your vehicle, you either have a separate fuel filter or one that's part of the fuel pump. The fuel filter keeps the crud out of your engine's fuel injectors. You'll get a hint that your fuel filter might be clogged if you notice your vehicle won't start, your power isn't what it used to be, your fuel economy is suffering or your Check Engine light is on.
Check with your service advisor to see what your vehicle manufacturer's recommendations are on how often to service your fuel filter. Regular maintenance can prevent expensive repairs in the future.
Finally, the most complicated part: the fuel pump. As you may have guessed, it is the part that gets the gasoline out of the tank and into the engine. If the fuel pump starts to fail, it can make a clicking or whining noise when your vehicle is running. Your engine may misfire, lose power while driving or might be hard to start in the morning. And that Check Engine light might go on. One thing that helps prolong the life of a fuel pump is keeping your gas tank at least a quarter-tank full at all times. It helps lubricate and cool the pump. If you've detected some of the symptoms of fuel pump failure, tell your service advisor.
Knowing a little about your fuel system really can be a gas!
Have you ever thought about all the little things we do to keep our lives running smoothly - like vacuuming? It makes a room feel fresher and more comfortable. We may not consider that we're also prolonging the life of the carpet by keeping it clean. But PRINCETON drivers don't always extend those good habits into the garage. Our vehicles need regular maintenance just like our rugs need vacuuming. We may not notice a difference in the feel or appearance of the vehicle, but just as cleaning a carpet carries the hidden reward of prolonging its life, maintaining our vehicles incurs a hidden reward that becomes noticeable at PRINCETON gas stations.
When it comes to reduced fuel economy, there are two culprits: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. That means that anything PRINCETON drivers can do to decrease friction and increase the efficiency of their engines will translate to savings on fuel. Friction increases the amount of energy it takes to move something. So if we can reduce friction, we can decrease the amount of fuel it takes to run our vehicles. Engine oil is usually at the heart of friction problems in an engine. Too little oil means parts are not getting lubricated, which increases friction; dirty oil doesn't lubricate as well as clean oil. So one secret to good fuel efficiency is to stay on top of oil changes. Don't skip them and don't procrastinate. The same auto advice applies to transmission fluid. Keep it full and keep it clean, and your vehicle will run with less friction and better fuel economy.
If your tires are underinflated, it increases the friction between the tire and the road. Again, there is increased drag, and it takes more fuel to move your vehicle. PRINCETON drivers should check their tire pressure every month and keep their tires properly inflated.
Alignment and brake problems can also increase friction. Besides saving fuel, keeping these systems in good repair has the added benefit of saving you on tires and brake pads. These items wear out more quickly when the alignment is off or when the brake system isn't in good working order. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Affordable Transmissions.
The second culprit that stealthily steals our gas is inefficient fuel combustion. It depends on the engine getting the right amount of clean fuel to the right place with the right pressure at the right time in the right pattern. The key to peak engine performance is to keep the fuel system clean. Varnish and gum can build up in a fuel system, which will interfere with the fuel injectors. The fuel injectors are responsible for all those “rights” we spoke of. If they're dirty, amounts, timing, pressure and spray patterns can all get out of whack. The result? Reduced fuel efficiency. A fuel system cleaning at Affordable Transmissions in PRINCETON can get your injectors back on track, improving performance and efficiency.
There are a few other maintenance items that can improve your fuel economy. One is to replace your PCV valve when it gets sticky. This valve allows unburned fuel in your engine exhaust to return to the engine. PRINCETON drivers can also replace worn spark plugs and dirty fuel filters. A well-maintained vehicle will require fewer repairs and save at PRINCETON gas pumps.
31533 125 1/2 Street
PRINCETON, MN 55371
With the weather getting colder, you might be tempted to start your vehicle up, let it idle for 15 or 20 minutes and then get in the nice, cozy cabin. Some vehicles offer remote starting that let you do that from the comfort of your home or apartment. But is letting your vehicle idle like that good for it?
Manufacturers say it doesn't harm the vehicle. They say it's because modern vehicles are made differently from those in the past. Just about all newer vehicles employ fuel injection which uses computers to adjust the amount of gasoline that goes into the cylinders. The engine gets only the fuel it needs, taking conditions into account.
Older vehicles, on the other hand, used to use carburetors. When you started a cold engine, the carburetor wasn't able to adjust the gasoline amount depending on conditions. Some of the gasoline would mix with oil and the pistons wouldn't get the same lubrication as they would with undiluted oil.
So yes, you can warm up your newer vehicle for your own personal comfort. But consider how much fuel you are wasting. That is not only throwing away money, it's a waste of natural resources. And it puts more carbon into the atmosphere.
Automakers have to be mindful of what fuel economy their vehicles can achieve. So the flip side of the remote starts they offer is a "stop-start" feature. When you stop your vehicle, even at a stoplight, your vehicle will turn the engine off. When you take your foot off the brake and step on the accelerator, it starts up right away. That feature can save as much as 10 percent of the fuel your vehicle uses.
Your vehicle may not have that start-stop feature, but you can still save fuel by shutting off your engine manually if you are waiting somewhere, like a parking lot or perhaps sitting outside your child's school waiting to pick him or her up. It saves you money and contributes to a healthier atmosphere for our planet.
You spend a lot of money on a vehicle, probably the most money you'll spend on anything except a house. But the spending doesn't stop after you've bought it. It goes into things like insurance, repairs and fuel. One good piece of news is that you can cut down the amount you spend on fuel if you follow a few tips.
Keep your speed under 50 mph/80 kph. Anything over that and your fuel economy will go down quickly the faster you go. Sure, you can legally drive faster than that, but practice this one tip and it can save you from 7%-14% on fuel.
Use cruise control. The steady speed increases fuel economy by avoiding unnecessary braking and accelerating.
If your vehicle is carrying unnecessary weight, unload it. If you can save 100 pounds/45 kilograms, it can save you 1% of your fuel.
Don't idle. Let's say you're sitting in a parking lot with your engine running for 10 seconds. Any more and you're wasting fuel. Turn off your engine and start it when you have to get going. You may have noticed that many newer vehicles automatically turn the engine off when the vehicle stops.
Avoid using a roof rack. A cargo box strapped on the top of your vehicle can reduce your fuel economy by 2%-8% in city driving, by 6%-17% on the highway and by 10%-25% at highway speeds over 65 mph/105 mph.
Also, if you have roof rails on your vehicle with crossbars, you can save 1% of fuel simply by storing them somewhere else. Some vehicles like Chrysler's Pacifica minivan allow you to store the crossbars inside the roof rails to reduce drag.
Keep tires at their recommended inflation. It can save you 3% of your fuel bill.
Use the right motor oil for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can cost you 1%-2% more money on fuel.
Sure, many of those savings are small on their own. But add them up and you'd be surprised at how much you can save. Also, keep in mind that a well maintained vehicle will also save you fuel, so make regular maintenance trips to your vehicle service facility.
31533 125 1/2 Street
PRINCETON, MN 55371
Higher PRINCETON fuel prices aren't going away any time soon. That's not good news for our wallets. A lot of PRINCETON drivers are trying to find ways to cut down on fuel consumption and hang on to some of their hard-earned money.
North Americans drive billions of miles less during months of high fuel prices. That's right, billions. Of course MN vehicle owners can't stop driving altogether, so we still need to find other ways to cut fuel bills.
Preventive maintenance at Affordable Transmissions in PRINCETON and good vehicle care can actually pay for themselves by lowering our fuel consumption. Here's a real-life example of how that can work.
A family planned a four-day camping trip. Before leaving, they took their SUV into Affordable Transmissions for an oil change. They flushed the cooling system, serviced all three differentials and cleaned the fuel system. They replaced the PCV valve and breather element. Then they checked the tires to ensure they had enough air.
This was several hundred dollars in maintenance and repair. You may be thinking how the family could possibly recoup the cost in gas and save money. First of all, the repairs all needed to be done anyway. Even if the costs aren't recouped, many of them will pay for themselves by preventing even more costly repairs later. Also, the family had planned and budgeted for the routine maintenance, so it didn't cut into their trip allowance.
The SUV pulled a one-ton trailer and hauled everything the family needed on their camping trip. At the end of the trip, the owner was surprised to learn the SUV had actually gotten better gas mileage than it ever had before—even with that heavy load. The repairs and maintenance at Affordable Transmissions had improved the gas mileage by 25%! The family saved $48.00 in gas on their four-day trip. And they are continuing to reap rewards from the improved mileage.
So what can you do to save fuel? First, stay caught up on routine maintenance at Affordable Transmissions. Almost every maintenance item listed in your owner's manual will maintain or improve your fuel economy. Second, take your vehicle into Affordable Transmissions for scheduled tune-ups. And third, take care of needed repairs. You may be surprised at how much you save at the pump and probably with the improved vehicle performance as well.
If your Check Engine light is on, find out why and take care of it. Some of the problems that set off that warning light can seriously reduce fuel efficiency.
As you schedule preventive maintenance, don't forget your tires. Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment are both essential to good fuel economy.
Here's some more auto advice about some simple things you can do to improve fuel economy, beyond maintenance and repairs:
Dump the junk. More weight in your car equals more fuel. You'd be surprised how much stuff people carry around in their cars. That adds up to a lot of extra fuel. One hundred pounds of extra stuff in your vehicle can add up to the loss of one mile per gallon of fuel.
Get the lead out. No, don't speed up, slow down. Get the lead out of your right foot. The single biggest drain for most PRINCETON vehicles is speeding or sudden accelerations. Slow down and go easy on turns and lane changes, and don't treat every stoplight and stop sign like a green flag. These small changes can add up to quite a bit of change in your pockets.
We haven't mentioned the pills you can drop in your gas tank or special devices you can hook on your fuel line in order to increase fuel efficiency. There's a simple reason for that: they don't exist. There may be some truth behind some of these claims, but most of them are full-out scams. And if any of these things do actually help, it's not nearly as much as the things we've listed here.
Be smart. Your vehicle and your wallet will thank you for it.
31533 125 1/2 Street
PRINCETON, MN 55371
Most PRINCETON drivers are all talking right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. MN folks want to save the environment and our pocketbooks.
And we PRINCETON drivers all know — or should know — that preventive maintenance will help maintain maximum fuel efficiency. But is there something more we can do? After all, some of us PRINCETON road warriors can't cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize.
Weight is one major enemy of fuel economy. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get around PRINCETON. And that means buying more gas and producing more emissions.
Of course, your vehicle's weight isn't negotiable. And you can't do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn't an article about diet and exercise.
But look around your car. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight while driving around PRINCETON? Do you really need your golf clubs every time you leave your neighborhood? Store sports equipment in the garage. Load it when you need it and store it when you don't. Who knows? The extra exercise just might reduce the other type of weight in your vehicle.
The same goes for anything else in your vehicle: make-up kits, music collections, extra electronics, spare clothing: whatever your particular extras may be. Pack it when you need it, store it when you don't.
Clean out your vehicle. You'd be surprised how much weight you're lugging around in plain old junk. Toss old papers, leftover food and regular old dirt. Even if it's not a lot of weight, you'll feel better when you get into your car. A good cleaning is also part of good car care.
Now, don't toss stuff you really do need. You do need that spare tire — the one in your trunk. And a kit of emergency essentials is not a bad idea. But just carry around the day-to-day essentials. You can pack a more extensive kit and store it in your garage, then toss it in the car when you go on a longer trip; but you don't have to lug it around all the time.
After all, are you a driver? Or are you a junk chauffeur?
Lose the junk and save some money.
31533 125 1/2 Street
PRINCETON, MN 55371
With PRINCETON gas prices being what they are, many of us in MN are driving less and looking into purchasing smaller or more efficient vehicles. PRINCETON area residents who have to drive a lot, have large families or need four-wheel drive are particularly hard hit by the cost of fuel in MN. But there are things all PRINCETON drivers can do to save fuel: We can improve our driving habits and stay on top of preventive maintenance at Affordable Transmissions. These things make small savings possible, but they can really add up.
Let's start with driving habits. One major gas-eater is jackrabbit starts. A smooth, gradual acceleration uses a lot less fuel. It's also easier on your engine and drivetrain, so you'll prolong their lives as well.
If you drive with one foot on the brake, stop. That creates drag, increasing fuel usage and reducing the useful life of your brakes.
Slowing down can really add up on gas savings over time for PRINCETON drivers. Driving five to ten miles over the speed limit can use up 10 to 15% more gas. The time savings is only a few minutes per hour, so the cost per minute can be rather steep.
A little extra planning can save fuel for vehicle owners in PRINCETON as well. Leave a little early so you have time to slow down and still arrive on time. Also, plan errands ahead of time and group them as much as possible. Driving shorter distances is a great way to save fuel.
Using your cruise control where safe can save on fuel. Check your owner's manual for guidelines on when cruise control is recommended and when it isn't.
Clean out your trunk. Every ounce in your vehicle translates to a bit more fuel required to drive around PRINCETON.
Many PRINCETON residents let their car warm up during the winter - a major fuel drain. Your engine doesn't benefit; modern engines don't require a warm up to get up and running, although it's best to take it easy on them for the first few miles.
Now that we've gone over a few tips for improving driving habits, let's talk about the maintenance of our vehicle. Good car care at Affordable Transmissions in PRINCETON actually pays for itself in fuel savings.
First, if your gas cap is leaking or worn, get a new one.
Second, keep your engine clean. Clogged fuel filters, dirty fuel injectors and plugged PCV valves all cost you in loss of fuel. Replacing them or cleaning them will both improve fuel economy and increase the power you're getting from your engine.
Third, don't ignore your Check Engine light. Problems that cause that light to come on usually affect your fuel efficiency.
Fourth, check your 's owner's manual for service that should be regularly performed on your vehicle, and follow the schedule. Or talk to your friendly service advisor at Affordable Transmissions . Oil changes, transmission checks and cooling system service all improve fuel economy if they're done when needed. Low fluids and dirty fluids also create conditions in your vehicle that require more fuel. So routine maintenance is a must to maintain fuel economy and save cash.
Last, keep your tires inflated. Underinflated tires increase your vehicle's friction with the roadway, which increases the energy it takes to move. Keeping your tires properly inflated is great for saving gas as you drive around PRINCETON.
So if the cost of gas in PRINCETON has got you searching the sofa for extra pennies, you might want to start making a few changes in your driving habits and getting your vehicle the service it needs at Affordable Transmissions in PRINCETON.
31533 125 1/2 Street
PRINCETON, MN 55371