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AUTO SERVICE PLUS

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

  • IDENTIFIX
  • Jasper
  • AAA Approved Auto Repair
  • ALL-DATA
  • Car Care Aware

Testimonials

  • The guys are honest and get the work done in a timely manner.
    -Spencer M.

  • Booked the appointment, and was taken in almost immediately. Staff was friendly and courteous. Did the work in a timely fashion, and warned me of impending maintenance work. Worked up a quote for the work within 30 minutes. Returned the vehicle in the condition dropped it off - meaning that they didn't leave any evidence of their work in/on the vehicle. Overall excellent experience and will use their services again. I will recommend it to others who ask.
    -Seth S.

  • Always willing to work with you. You can purchase your own parts and they'll put them on. Love having access to loaner cars.
    -Julie L.

  • Great service!
    -Bill B.

  • Fantastic, great service and friendly, honest, helpful people. Will be going back.
    -Jacob G.

  • Great service and the crew there is always honest and reliable.
    -James H.

  • Excellent service! Vandervort Service Center solved an electrical problem that another shop misdiagnosed and couldn't resolve. Vandervort's fixed it in one hour! Thanks so much!!!
    -Joshua S.

  • Friendly, courteous and advised quickly of what was needed to make repairs and the cost.
    -Paula and Phillip S.

  • The people!!!! The coffee is good too.
    -David S.

  • My first time with this service station. They got my vehicle in on time and were very pleasant. I will be going here again.
    -Robert C.

  • I was pleased with the prompt manner my car was worked on. The courtesy vehicle was very helpful & I feel like I was treated with honesty & fairness.
    -Elizabeth R.

  • I can always get a timely appointment which they honor. Never have to wait long.
    -Jennifer and John W.

  • know taking my car to Vandervort's, it will get complete service without any unnecessary "extras" cropping up unexpectedly. Their talented staff do great work and are very personable. LOVE that there is a loaner available too.
    -Larry and Georgia B.

  • Highly recommend. Honest and reputable service.
    -Cassandra B.

  • The business always does a good job and they are very pleasant. They explained things to her after the repairs were done and she would recommend them to anybody who wants to buy a vehicle or have service done.
    -Eliz S.

  • Thanks for getting us in... I feel much better now that the car has been looked and inspected... and it is ready to go!
    -Ted and Susan F.

  • Sean was great as always. He kept me involved in the process the whole way. I've been going to Vandervorts for the past 15 years.
    -Shannon M.

  • They are up front and he appreciates their honesty. I have been going to this business for decades because they do great work. I have a good relationship with the business because I can trust them.
    -Bill D.

  • They got me in early for my appointment and out in a timely manner. Great place to do business!
    -Linda & Erin O.

  • Once again they gave me great service. It has always been a pleasure doing business there.
    -Douglas P.

  • My husband and I were very satisfied with the work done on my Pontiac and the same day service was wonderful. We need some more minor work done and return in August. You can trust this business to do a good and expeditious job.
    -Dick B.

  • Very thorough, took the time to diagnose what the exact problem was, high quality work, and great customer service.
    -Cynthia M.

  • You guys are great! I will never bring my car for service anywhere else! You are the only people I trust with my car. You are all experienced and know what your doing. Very comfortable atmosphere! Thank You!
    -Carol F.

  • My first time with this service station. They got my vehicle in on time and were very pleasant. I will be going here again.
    -Robert C.

  • I was impressed with the service and the use of technology (Email) to communicate with customers. I like the rebate for every $400 spent. Service was prompt and courteous. A much better experience than at the dealer's service shop I was previously using.
    -Peter W

  • Always on time and waiting at the station is always pleasant as can be. On my last visit, the air conditioner was turned down because I'm such a sissy. As always, thanks guys.
    -Bette I

  • Got me going again. I can always depend on Cliff & the guys for fast, dependable service to my old bucket of bolts.
    -Scott S