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NAPA

HELPFUL INFO

Are You Ready For The Road?

An average of 13,000 Americans are killed between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, some as a result of unperformed vehicle maintenance, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Each year, neglected maintenance leads to more than 2,600 deaths, nearly 100,000 disabling injuries and more than $2 billion in lost wages, medical expenses and property damage.

Most mechanical failures can be traced to neglected maintenance. For example, the U. S. Department of Transportation reports the leading cause of mechanical breakdown on our nation's highways is overheating, a condition that is easily avoidable. Other deficiencies that are simple to detect include low antifreeze/coolant, worn or loose drive belts and defective cooling system hoses.

Checking tire pressure and inflating a tire costs nothing, yet an average of 21 percent of cars inspected in check lanes during National Car Care Month have under inflated tires. This can lead to a blowout and a serious accident.

Fuel Saving Tips

Condition Effect MPG Penalty up to
Under inflated tires Increase rolling resistance 1-2mpg
Dirty air filter Causes excessively rich fuel/air mixture 2.0mpg
Worn spark plugs Cause inefficient combustion, wasted fuel 2.0mpg
Worn O2 sensor Unable to detect and adjust air/fuel mixture 3mpg
Dirty or substandard engine oil Increases internal engine friction 0.4mpg
Loose gas cap Allows fuel to evaporate 2.0mpg
Potential loss in fuel economy if all of the above were neglected
11.4mpg

The Car Care Council offers these fuel-saving tips:

  1. Vehicle gas caps -- About 17 percent of the vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
  2. Under inflated tires -- When tires aren't inflated properly it's like driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon.
  3. Worn spark plugs -- A vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced as recommended by the manufacturer.
  4. Dirty air filters -- An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a "rich" mixture -- too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving about 20 cents a gallon.

Fuel-saving driving tips include:

  • Don't be an aggressive driver -- Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets, which results in 10 to 66 cents per gallon.
  • Avoid excessive idling -- Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.
  • Observe the speed limit -- Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mpg driven over 60 will result in an additional 10 cents per gallon. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.

WIPERS - In the 2001National Car Care Month vehicle check lanes, 21percent of participants had wipers that smeared, streaked or chattered across their windshields. Although climates vary, wipers generally need replacing every six months. An easy reminder is to change wiper blades in the spring and fall when you change your clock. Be sure the windshield washers are working properly, too, and keep the reservoir filled with solvent.

LIGHTING - Another important pre-trip check should be exterior and interior lighting. Vehicle check lanes revealed an overall failure rate of over 25 percent in the lighting category. The Car Care Council reminds motorists to check their lights monthly. Other suggestions from the Council include turning on headlights both day and night. This helps define your car's position on the road, and its distance from other drivers. When your vehicle's lighting is defective, other motorists may not get the message that you intend to stop or turn. The end result could be disastrous.

10 Minute Pre-Trip Checkup Can Pay Off

Car Care Council offers three suggestions for a traveler's 10-minute pre-trip checklist:

  • Check all fluids. There are several fluids, in addition to antifreeze, that require attention, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids and windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  • Check hoses and belts. A belt that fails can affect the electrical system, air conditioning and power steering, as well as the cooling system. Cooling system hoses may be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps in marginal condition might need to be replaced.
  • Check the tires. Check tire inflation and inspect the tread for uneven wear, indicating the need for wheel alignment. Also look for bulges and bald spots.

"While a last minute checkup is better than no checkup, motorists should plan ahead to allow time to perform necessary maintenance themselves or at the local service facility. A properly maintained vehicle is safer and more dependable and will even save a few dollars at the gas pumps," said the Car Care Council's Executive Director, Rich White.

Not only can a pre-trip inspection help reduce chances of costly and possibly dangerous road trouble, it also provides an opportunity to have repairs made at home, with one's own technician who knows the vehicle. Especially important, it provides peace of mind. While no inspection can guarantee a car's performance, it's comforting to know proper precautions were taken.



ASSOCIATIONS

  • AAA (American Automobile Association)
  • ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)
  • IATN (International Automotive Technicians' Network)
  • BOSCH
  • Valvoline
  • Car Care Aware

Testimonials

  • Ted is the best. He and his family are the nicest and most honest people I know in the auto repair industry. They have serviced my family's vehicles for many years now and have always done excellent work on all accounts, and at fair prices too. They've even taught me a thing or two about cars during my experiences there! I will get my car serviced here as much as possible going forward.
    -Tim B.

  • Dropped my car off on Friday and was ready today before noon. Someone tried to pry my drivers side lock out to steal the car. Ted took care of it for half what I though. Fast, efficient, always awesome
    -Sean Q.

  • Let's be honest, going to a mechanic is like going to the dentist, you hate to go unless you really need to. Unless you are a certified mechanic or know someone you TRUST, it's very hard to get good service or at least a good honest price. I have been here once before for failed emissions, fixed btw. Now that the frigid Chicago weather has arrived, my 04 Altima started having steering "stiffness". I can handle simple jobs like brakes, tune ups, and oil changes. But I don't have all the tools necessary for a "big job". With that said, I researched my cars symptoms and came up with 1) bad steering pump, 2) u joint of lower steering rack 3) rack and pinion (huge $$$$). I emailed George about my issue, asked specific prices, set up an appt and told me how long it would take. The next day it snowed and was (very) late for my appt, but George still took my car in as Walk-in although they had several cars in there already. One of the mechanics (I'm assuming that's Ted) took it for a test drive, brought it in the shop and 15 min later, a diagnosis. U joint lower steering rack. Price tag $275 including the price for diagnosis. From the time I took it in and when it was done 4hrs later,1 hr faster than was expected (diagnosis, ordering the part,and installation).The main thing I really want to point out is, they will not give you outrageous prices, they will not add on parts you do not need, (in my case can't afford), George is a very honest guy with honest prices. Don't try bringing in a part you bought from eBay or any parts store because they will not install it, which is not a big deal because their parts are covered by a 2 yr warranty/24,000 miles. This shop is very friendly and very good customer service. Thanks! Found my new local shop.
    -Dan P.

  • This place is AMAZING! My usual mechanic was not answering the phone, so I jumped on Yelp and found this place.George was efficient, kind and personable! He quoted me a fair price for a new ignition switch, but said the rest of the car was in poor shape. His recommendation? Save my money and get rid of the car ASAP! Who does that? This guy is a rockstar!!!
    -Anne C.

  • Straightforward and professional!
    -Kate P.

  • I've moved out of the neighborhood but still come back to have my car serviced. Ted and his team are a breath of fresh air in a world where "everything car" can get overwhelming. It's a great place for a female to bring a car - they're never condescending, will answer all questions thoroughly and make sure you understand - they'll even show you under the hood! Ted and his guys take great care with their customers' cars - I don't think you can find a better price anywhere for such great work.
    -Linnea B.

  • Great experience. The staff is friendly. They fixed my car in a timely manner. I'd go back to them again.
    -Jim T.

  • There are very few times and places in life you feel as welcome and as free as you will with Ted at his shop!! From the minute I called to the minute I showed up it was nothing but smiles and satisfaction!! I came with a car that broke down on 294 got towed by his buddy didn't have to pay upfront! On top of that he gave me a free thorough Check up and even though eventually the bear ate me and didn't have a chance to rebuild that car. Ted gave me an honest precise and very sound advice not to put an extra penny in that car any more. He even gave me almost a wk to figure out what to do with the car. The guy has no rush!!He didn't even charge me a cent! I live in Indiana but I'm a Ted customer for life you know where I'll be bringing in my new car for oil changes and service yes I'm not crazy and I will commute 2hrs to Teds from Indiana for an oil change!!! Ted is like a big teddy bear & so is the son we talked about everything from Greece to Ethiopia it's just that it would be weird for a guy to go kissing all the guys in there! But I would!!
    -DJ R.

  • This was the 3rd time I took a car to this mechanic, and I gotta say that I've never had a better experience anywhere else. They do a very thorough job, and they're honest as well. You don't have to worry that they're gonna rip u off. On my last visit I brought them a used car that I was thinking of buying for a thorough checkup, and they actually saved me from getting ripped off. They found a bunch of things that were wrong with the car including the original mikes being turned back. Then when it came time to pay for the checkup he shook my hand and said, "Don't worry about it. This one's on me." You believe that? What other auto shop is gonna let leave without having to pay for their services? Needless to say, but this is my mechanic for life!
    -Dave M.

  • If only everyone were like Ted, there would be world peace. No joke. Aside from the superb work they do, he is absolutely *the most* honest provider of any service that I have ever encountered. I realize there's a lot wrong with my poor little old car, but he is not pushy about the millions of other things that require some attention. He shows you the beat up dead parts and explains everything. His customer service is unbelievably stellar. They're fast, they're good, they don't drain your bank account, they rock. I wish I could clone Ted. I wish everyone were like Ted. If you don't take your car here for service, you yourself may have a few screws loose. As long as I'm with distance of Ted's, I am a 100% guaranteed customer for life.
    -Bex F.