Weekly auto rail, with tips on car maintenance, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.
Tip of the Week
There are a number of car care considerations that can protect the performance and longevity of your vehicle, beginning with motor oil, says Jody DeVere, automotive expert and CEO of AskPatty.com.
"You can save time and aggravation by choosing your motor oil wisely. Using the wrong type and grade - or a low-quality oil that does not meet industry standards - in your vehicle may impact fuel economy and engine performance."
Following this simple checklist of tips can also help keep your vehicle running longer, safer and more cost-effectively:
- Pump high-quality gasoline: Not all gasolines are the same, and no matter what grade of fuel a vehicle requires, it's important to use a high-quality gasoline. Industry research confirms that a clean engine can result in better fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and overall optimal engine performance.
- Don't lose your grip: Tires are a car's only connection to the road, so making sure they are in good shape and properly inflated is essential for automotive safety, optimum driving performance and potential cost savings, including better fuel mileage. Tires should be inflated to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations printed on the vehicle door placard or in the owner's manual. Properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by around 3.3 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Let the car breathe free: Check that the air filter isn't clogged. According to the Department of Transportation, replacing a clogged air filter on cars with fuel-injected, computer-controlled gasoline engines can improve acceleration time by 6 to 11 percent.
- You can't avoid what you don't see: Ninety percent of all driving decisions are made based upon visual input. Make sure you have a clear view of the other vehicles on the road and potentially hazardous obstacles. Inspect your wiper blades and replace them with a quality blade.
Here are the states (including Washington, D.C.) that had the highest gasoline prices at mid-May:
6. New York
9. District of Columbia
Did You Know
Ford recently said it expects that 2011 will see earnings continue to improve, a good sign for the economy.
Q: I own a 2010 Ford Escape Limited 3.0 V/6 six-speed automatic. When I accelerate from a stop there is a noise like blowing over an open soda bottle. I went to the dealer many times and they showed me a TSB #9-25-03 referring to the noise and said this is a normal condition. Do you have any ideas?
A: You have the Ford TSB. They agree with the sound you are hearing. At this time consider it normal, because there is no fix. It is not a safety concern, and as soon as Ford comes up with a fix you will be notified. I personally got a new Escape for a week test drive. As soon as I do get the 2011 I will let you know.
- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist
GateHouse News Service