Eliot Silverman

Eliot Silverman

Friday, February 24, 2012

How YOU Can Save 70 Center Per Gallon of Gas....

Last week I wrote about keeping your tires properly inflated- generally 40 psi.  If you missed that article you can find it in my blog at Chicagoautorepair.blogspot.com
This week I have a system that will save you even more money, and you don’t have to buy any tools. 

How far would you drive to save 70 cents per gallon of gas?  How much time would you be willing give up to save 70 cents per gallon? 

If you are like most people, you’d be willing to spend a few minutes, at least, to save 70 cents per gallon of gasoline.

Here’s the trick…..  SLOW DOWN
When I drive to /from work, I set my cruise control to 55 mph, and it seems as if 99% of the other drivers pass me. 

Years ago my Plymouth Acclaim had a gas mileage gauge.  It proved what I have read for years.   Every 5 mph increase over 55 mph decreases gas mileage by 10%. 

If you decrease your speed from 70 mph to 60 mph you increase your gas mileage by 20%!  At $3.50 per gallon that translates into 70 cents savings per gallon of gas. 

I know what you are thinking.  Driving fast is fun, and you get home sooner.  All true. However, you may get home sooner if you drive fast, but you then spend more time (and money) filling up your car.  If you slow down, you save time by filling up less often, and you save money. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

How Would You to Easily Save Over 30 Cents Per Gallon of Gas?

     If you see two gas stations selling the same brand of gas, and one is 5 cents cheaper than the other, which station do you use?

     Obviously the less expensive gas station. We naturally gravitate to, compelled to, DNA driven to use the less expensive gas station. Here's the oddity of the situation.   If we fill up with 15 gallons of gas, savings 5 cents per gallon, we saved a whopping 75 cents! Less than the price of a cup of coffee.

     I wonder why we are not as concerned with improving our gas mileage as we are with paying less for gas. If you improved your gas mileage by just 5%, at $3.60 per gallon of gas, you would save 18 cents per gallon. Improving gas mileage saves much more money than paying 2 or 3 cents less per gallon of gas.

     My own opinion is that we see and feel the money leaving our wallets when we fill up our cars, but we don't see the needle on the gas gauge move less slowly when we improve our car's mileage.

           Then next few post will give you methods to improve your gas mileage.

First method to increase your gas mileage:
Properly inflate your tires.
     Years ago tires were inflated to 32psi. I still see cars with their tires inflated to 32 psi.
That is an old standard. The new standard is 40 psi. Properly inflated tires can increase gas mileage by up to 10%. That's huge!

     Also, underinflated tires prematurely wear out.

     With my oil changes, we check your tire pressures, and add air as needed. Between oil changes, you can easily check your tire pressures, but you need to have a tire pressure gauge. They can be purchased from most drug stores, and auto supply stores.

     If you have a tire pressure gauge, and it doesn't seem to work, drop by and I'll show you how to use it. You'll be an expert in 5 to 10 minutes.

     By properly inflating your tires, you improve your gas mileage, and decrease the wear on your tires.

     Heck, you could even check your tires while you are getting gas.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Exhaust System

I’m often asked how much it costs to replace or repair a muffler.  Not the easiest question to answer especially if the customer thinks the muffler is bad solely based on a loud exhaust.

We have all heard cars with broken exhaust systems.  Thy are obnoxiously loud! 

If you car is loud, it means one of the exhaust components are bad/broken.  A typical exhaust system has an exhaust manifold, exhaust pipes, catalytic converter, muffler and a tail pipe.  Typically but NOT all cars are like this.  Some cars have two mufflers, or the muffler and the tail pipe are one piece.  Some cars have a catalytic converter which is also the exhaust manifold, and some cars have two or four catalytic converters. 

The exhaust system is designed to quiet the car and to vent the engine’s exhaust fumes away from the occupants in the car.  If your exhaust system is broken, the car is obviously louder than is should be, but the exhaust fumes may vent into the car.  These fumes stink, and they are toxic. 

Most exhaust problems are caused by rust.  Rust east away and weakens metal exhaust parts.   This causes one or two problems.  Rust creates a hole in an exhaust part, or it can cause two parts to separate.    If there is a hole/separation in front of the muffler the car is louder than normal.  If there is a hole/separation behind the muffler, the car sounds normal, but you may be getting exhaust fumes inside the car. 

There are three reasons I hesitate giving a price on the phone to repair an exhaust system. 
1.        I don’t know if the part the customer wants replaced it truly the problem with the car.  I’m often asked how much it costs to replace the muffler when in fact, the muffler is good- another exhaust part has failed causing the car to be louder than normal.
2.       I need to see if I can replace just the bad part.  The part in front or behind the bad part can be so rusted that it will break it while removing the bad part. 
3.       While I can view a drawing of your exhaust system on my comput, it doesn’t always mesh with what is on your car.  At times my drawing shows two separate parts, but the car was manufactured with those two parts welded together.  Other times the “Muffler 4 Less” type of shop welded parts together.  Since I cannot un-weld parts, I need to replace both parts.  Welding is done because it is fast.  Bolting takes slightly more time, costs the same as welding: however, in the long run it will save you money. 

There are no maintenance requirements for your exhaust system.  There is nothing you can do to keep it from rusting, nor is there anything you can do to make it rust faster.  As long as Chicago uses salt in the winter, your exhaust parts will rust.