Conserve Gas Without Cancelling Trips

 Driving less doesn’t have to be a consumer’s reaction to rising gas prices, according to the Car Care Council. “Most motorists don’t have the option of driving less when gas prices rise, but they can cancel out the increases by making sure their vehicle is getting maximum fuel economy,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Fuel consumption is directly related to vehicle care and driver behavior and both can have a significant impact on how much motorists pay at the pump.”

 The Car Care Council offers these simple steps to save gas without driving less:

  • Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.
  • Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by 3 percent.
  • Replace dirty or clogged air filters on older vehicles to improve gas mileage by as much as 14 percent.
  • Replace dirty spark plugs, which can reduce mileage by two miles per gallon.
  • Change oil regularly and gain another mile per gallon.
  • Check the gas cap. Damaged, loose or missing gas caps allow gas to vaporize into the air.
  • Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph.
  • Avoid excessive idling. Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Warming up the vehicle for one or two minutes is sufficient.
  • Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.
  • Consolidate trips. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much gas as one longer multi-purpose trip.
  • Don’t haul unneeded items in the trunk. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent.

“Some motorists think they are saving money when they put off needed vehicle maintenance,” said White. “What they don’t realize is that neglecting routine maintenance can end up costing a lot more. Keeping your car running efficiently and modifying your driving behavior is the best way to improve your vehicle’s fuel economy and keep more money in your pocket.”

 The above was published by the Car Care Council on 1/18/12. 

Einstein’s Wisdom Of The Week

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

-Albert Einstein-

Is Premium Gas Worth The Premium Price?

Price versus value: When is it worth the upgrade?  

 In today’s economy, people want to know how they can keep their vehicles on the road for longer periods of time. Frequent maintenance will keep your car in good health, ensuring you get the most out of all those expensive-to-replace parts, according to the Car Care Council. When does it make sense to upgrade to a premium automotive product?

That’s a question that stumps a lot of people when confronted with the wide range of prices for seemingly comparable products. Here are a few tips on common automotive product categories to help you make informed decisions.

Gasoline: Engines are designed to use a particular grade/octane of gasoline. While some auto manufacturers specify using a high-octane gasoline, some consumers purchase the higher octane gasoline based on the assumption that it’s better for the car. However, there is no benefit in using a higher octane than recommended by the manufacturer. In fact, if you paid 40 cents a gallon extra to purchase super premium gas as opposed to regular, that would cost you an additional $320 a year (assuming 12,000 miles driven and 15 miles per gallon).

The bottom line: Don’t use a higher octane rating than recommended by the car’s manufacturer.  

Motor oil: Lubrication technology has seen significant improvements over the years. The longer oil life of high-performance synthetic motor oil allows for extended oil drains, saving time and money, and reducing the impact on the environment. Additionally, some high-performance synthetic oils have been reported to improve mileage as much as 3 percent or more. Three percent may not seem like a substantial amount, but it can result in hundreds of dollars in savings over the course of a year.

The bottom line: Upgrade to a high-performance synthetic motor oil for extended oil drains and improved fuel economy.

Wiper blades: Where you live is the critical factor in determining the value of upgrading to a premium wiper. There is a noticeable performance difference in low-cost wiper blades versus those specifically designed for rainy and snowy climates. Premium wiper blades are considerably sturdier and more durable than low priced blades.

The bottom line: Rainy and snowy climates justify spending a few dollars more for premium wiper blades.

Courtesy of ARA content

Automotive Fluid Glossary: Differential Oil

 Also called differential oil or gearbox oil, this heavy lubricating oil keeps the complex set of gears inside your car’s differential (or gearbox) humming along. A differential is simply a set of gears that divides power from the engine and sends it to each of the drive wheels. While some front-wheel-drive vehicles have the differential integrated with the transmission, rear-wheel-drive vehicles like SUV’s and pickups all have a rear differential.

 Most automakers recommend replacing differential fluid at specified intervals, but if you use your vehicle to tow a trailer it is generally advised to have the differential fluid serviced at shorter-than-standard intervals (something noted in many owner’s manuals). Plus, if the vehicle has been driven in water deep enough to submerge the differential, it is recommended that the differential fluid be changed as soon as possible to ensure that any water-contaminated fluid is removed and replaced with fresh fluid. (Note: Four-wheel-drive vehicles use a gearbox known as a transfer case to help split power between the front and rear wheels. Many transfer case fluids are similar or identical to differential fluids, and require similar service intervals).

 If your differential (or transfer case) oil is due for replacement Einstein’s can perform the service quickly and inexpensively. You never need an appointment and we’re open seven days a week for your convenience. Every Einstein’s service also meets your factory warranty requirements. Plus you can relax in your car with a FREE newspaper, beverage, and Wi-Fi while you watch your service performed live on TV! See a complete list of our services, packages, and prices at http://www.einsteinsoilery.com/services

The above was written by Garrett McKinnon and was published in the Fall 2011 edition of Vehicle MD.

For The Record

You balance your checkbook, don’t you? That’s how you keep track of what conditions your finances are in. But have you ever thought about keeping a ledger to tell you the condition of your car? Maybe not, but it makes sense because your car is likely one of the largest financial investments you’ll ever make. Here, we’ll break it down so you understand exactly what you should do. 

 I’ts simple–any and all maintenance records, including services like oil changes and tire rotations, should be kept for each of your vehicles. (These records really come in handy if you ever encounter a warranty issue related to one of your vehicle’s components. Most warranties are contingent on performing regular maintenance and if you can’t provide records to prove you’ve performed required maintenance you’ll likely have to foot the repair bill yourself.)

 Preventative maintenance records should be kept for your vehicle from the very first to the very last day of ownership, if possible. (Even if you don’t have any records on your vehicle, now is the perfect time to start!) Keeping preventative maintenance records on your vehicle will be a big help if you decide to sell it. This data can help increase your car’s resale value, and can help you sell it faster.

 Just like your checkbook, you should keep your vehicle records in a safe place. But as long as you can get to your records quickly and easily when a maintenance question arises, the method doesn’t really matter. 

 One of the easiest methods for keeping these records is with your computer. While there are applications you can but that will help, it’s even easier with websites that are set up specifically to help you records you car’s maintenance history, among other things. 

 Records can be as detailed or as concise as you want to make them, and many services like Ownersite.com (subscription based) or carcare.org (free) will allow you to customize your data.  Plus, with many online options you can select the option to be reminded whenever your car needs service based on the service intervals recommended by your owners manual. No more guessing if you need the service–now, you’ll know!

 If you drive a company car, (or drive your own car for business or managing investments such as rental homes) keeping track of mileage and maintenance records is critical. Just ask the IRS. By keeping the data online, you can compile a complete list of business expenses related to the car, making your quarterly or annual reports a breeze.

 In the end, keeping a careful record of your car and its associated expenses can be a big help when it comes to maintaining a healthy car. 

 

The above was written by Jessica Odom and was published in the Winter 2011 edition of Vehicle MD.

Think Different

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr whose spirit was captured in this Apple ad. Be revolutionary. Think different.

Einstein’s Customer Quotables

“Class act service! Why would anyone get their oil changed anywhere else? Free newspaper, Wi Fi and drink while you wait in your car. Staff is amazingly friendly and cordial. Between oil changes stop by for tire pressure checks and fluid top offs. Nice to see the owner Michael working on cars with his staff.” -Lino via Yelp-

Food Drive Results!

  Thanks to your generosity, The Annual Einstein’s Oilery Food & Fundraising Drive was a huge success! Together we secured roughly 10k lbs of food for the Idaho Food Bank! Thank you Treasure Valley!