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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

  • ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)
  • NAPA
  • BBB Accredited Business
  • Car Care Aware

Testimonials

  • After several visits to Mike's, I feel that I am obligated to say how grateful I am that he is here. I am the sort of person who gets very anxious when my vehicle has a problem. Mike and his team are very prompt in assessing the cause, and they then call and answer any and all questions I pose. Even if Mike is sure of the cause, he will do extra investigative work to make sure my worries are alleviated. Repairs are always quick and thorough; while working on the problem I noticed, Mike will check for other problems and tell me about them. And then we come to the price. Mike is, by far, the most affordable mechanic in town. Parts and labor far undercut all the other (reputable) shops. So, one less worry eased: I never have to fret over affording work when it comes to Mike. Even my "car guy" boyfriend can't find fault with Mike's work, communication, and prices. Thank you, Mike. My Jeep will never visit another mechanic as long as I am in Tucson. Sorry; this is a bit of a wordy thank you. But I simply cannot express in words how much I appreciate the work you've done for me in the last few years.
    -Rachel

  • Mike was my last call for automobile repair quotes. I was truly frustrated after five calls and he offered great relief. The dealerships and auto repair franchises in this town were so off the mark regarding my simple SUV strut/shock change. Mike brought me down to Earth with his professionalism, realistic charges (slaughtered the others), warranties, and proven expertise. He may become your prime choice, too...js
    -Joe S.

  • So helpful! Mike was able to help me out at a moment's notice and did a great job on my car. Highly recommended due to great customer service.
    -Jamie

  • This was my first time having work done by Mike. He exceeded my expectations. He and his team were professional and considerate to my concerns of needing repair work done. Mike is a genuinely nice man and makes the angst of car repair much more reassuring.
    -Jeanie

  • All I can say is I wish you were here in Amarillo where I just moved. I've never had such good service from anyone, and I am a real skeptic when it comes to mechanics. You and your crew are the best. Thank you!
    -Bonnie Lundy

  • Mike and his team recently replaced the engine in my 2003 GMC. Mike did the job below other's estimates and provided continuous updates on the status of the job. Excellent knowledge and great customer service. I have found my local mechanic for my vehicles. I will let no one else touch my vehicles. Thanks for everything, great job.
    -Frank B.

  • Shortly after moving to Tucson I was referred to "Mike the Mechanic" by a friend who had moved here a few years earlier---it has turned out to be the best referral ever! It is sometimes hard for single women to not feel "victimized" by mechanics/shops because they know most women know very little about their vehicles, and moving from a cold state (UT) to such a hot climate, I knew I would need help to take care of my "older" car. Mike has proven himself to be an honest, efficient, skilled, and reliable source that has earned my respect and trust to take care of my car's needs. He never suggests any service that is not necessary knowing that I am on a strict budget but always makes sure I am kept aware of what should be done for preventative care.
    -D. McDonald

  • I was not gonna trust "Pep Boys" w/putting in a new tranny in my '94 Mercury Cougar. I did my research & decided on "Mike The Mechanic". He did a fine job - it would have been costly anywhere, but w/him I felt assured he'd done it right. He even steered me to his auto supply who put in my replacement headlight bulb for free!
    -Kandy Langford

  • The guys at Mikes Mechanics are very nice guys, my husband's truck broke down he had it towed to Mikes and called me to pick him up and by the time we pulled in our driveway, mike called and told us the truck was fixed. Now that's fast Service.. We now take both work trucks and my van to Mikes Shop..
    -Barbara Mucciacciaro

  • I live a 100 miles away in Phoenix, however, after discovering Mike the Mechanic, I make a point traveling the 100 miles to keep my vehicle properly maintained by Mike the Mechanic! It's worth the 100 mile drive and despite the cost of gas, it's a savings on my pocket!

  • I broke down in Tucson and my insurance company provided the name of the nearest garage - Mike the Mechanic. Talk about HONEST! I've always said there are two things difficult to find, "A Good Doctor" and "An Honest Mechanic" - one down, one to go!