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:
Fuel-saving driving tips include:
WIPERS - In the 2001 National Car Care Month vehicle check lanes, 21 percent 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:
"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.
I am from IL and was going to our home in Northern Wisconsin when I experienced car trouble. Lucky for me, I got off at the first Madison exit. I called Midwest Engine Service. They were AWESOME! They had me towed to their shop. Clean building and great staff. They got me back on the road within 3 hours. The repair bill was very reasonable. I would highly recommend this auto repair facility!
I cannot begin to tell you how very much I appreciate the INCREDIBLE service I received from your staff ! I have been in the customer service business for over 30 years, I certainly have no problems recognizing EXCELLENT SERVICE and let me tell you your team GETS IT. From the helpful phone call to your shop when I was stranded at Home Depot to the tow truck driver calling to confirm to me that my truck was picked up...I will not ever take my truck anywhere else and you have a customer for life. I will tell everyone I know to do the same. Keep up the good work!
To all of you -a BIG- thank you for all the time and effort you put into my car! I don't really know all the things you do but its much better now. The steering is better, the breaks feel better, and in general it just feels better to drive!
Dear Wayne, Thank you for your note regarding my Audi TT alignment mishap and for being so noble as to stand behind the work done at Midwest Engine. I'm sure it is difficult at times, when trying to run a business well, to negotiate mishaps, both with customers and your staff, and I appreciate that your rose to the occasion and did the right thing by me, even as a cost to you.
Thanks for the fast service and getting me in right away.
You not only delivered what you said you were going to in the time you quoted, you went out of your way to fix two additional items for us, offered us a rental car and came in with a fair price.
After (3) days of boating, Sat, Sun. & Mon. Eve, I'm certain you did not put the right engine back!! It is not the same. It is running far better than I could wish. Thanks for making my old boat new again.
Just a big thank you for your excellent service, and for the times where I thought I was facing many $100's of dollars in repair costs that turned into only a fraction of cost because of your honesty. It's greatly appreciated to have an honest business that I can count on for my auto maintenance! Thank you!
We want to thank you for the assistance you provided us on Saturday December 30th. We needed to get back to Michigan and even though you were closed you helped us out. We never would have made it home without you! Thank you.
Thanks for all your hard work & effort you put into fixing my car. You went the extra mile to figure out what was exactly wrong, that's what makes you all special! The car runs great! Thanks again.
Thank you for the great job you did on our vehicle and your customer service was outstanding! You quoted us a very fair price and then went above and beyond what was expected to make sure our vehicle was in great running condition. We also appreciated the loaner vehicle that kept us mobile while our vehicle was being worked on. We appreciate all the hard work you have done and we have highly recommend to you family and friends!
Tom, Collin, and the rest of the crew at Midwest Engine. Thank you so much for the great service my wife and I received at your service center! Your were very courteous and the word done exceeded our expectations. P.S. - There is nothing better than to get the work needed done right the first time!
To staff, thanks for fixing my Mazda van on December 30th and mailing my phone I left in your loaner car. It hasn't arrived yet but mail service in Canada is slow. I wish you all a great new year.