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 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:
"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.
Been going here for several years now. I've brought several different vehicles here to be serviced.
Very professional! The staff went out of their way to help me - my car needed help on a very busy weekend for me and they needed to keep it over the weekend. I had some things in the back of the car and they dropped them off at my door so I could use them over the weekend. Then they came to pick me up when my car was finished. The staff here is kind, friendly, and professional!
This is the Best Shop I have ever been to.. Top Notch staff with unbeatable workmanship and customer service... I would drive outta state to bring my car here..
I love this place! My first encounter was on an emergency basis. Tranny was in dire need of repair and costs were prohibitive. I love my little MINI and tried to prepare myself for simply letting it go. A relative recommended this shop and on my first visit a second relative (who didn't know the first) was in the waiting room. He assured me I was in the right place. That was 2 years ago. They are friendly and respectful and take the time to explain exactly what needs to be done and how they propose to do it. I recommend them to friends and total strangers and especially to other women!
Very courteous. Dependable. Always good experience.
...At Pikesville Automotive, "Doctor Tommy" (who actually came recommended to me by one of his nearby competitors) took my car on a ten-mile test drive and discovered my alternator was intermittently shutting down. He reported this to me before charging me for anything. He the replaced my alternator, test drove it again...and let my car run by itself for over an hour to see if my problem came back. It didn't, and I had my car back in two days...
Me and my family have been coming here for years and everytime I bring my car in they take me right away. Other places had me wait a week or a month to service. I always leave happy knowing they take good care of my car!
Tommy and all the workers at Pikesville Automotive always do a wonderful job repairing and inspecting my car. I have hired them to do body work on my car after it got scraped up in my building's garage. It now looks brand new! They even gave me a free estimate beforehand. I have also hired them to fix my brakes when my fluid was running low. They had my car all fixed up and ready to go in one day, which is very impressive considering how busy they are. On top of that, they keep a few cute fish in the lobby for guests to look at while they wait. Little things like that and the great service will keep me coming back anytime I have car issues or need an inspection. Keep up the good work guys!