Specializing in European and Asian car repair, preventative maintenance and service.*
Tricks of the Trade
"You Work Hard for the Money!" So You Better Treat Her Right! 20 days of tips that will help you save money on your auto expenses
That s right, we re kicking this discussion off by quazi-quoting a 1983 smash hit single by Donna Summer. Disco diva that she may be, Mrs. Summer claims to know a thing or two about working hard for the money and her 80s chart-topper is proof that a lot of people believed her. Well, maybe they didn t believe her, but they certainly related to the song and we believe you can too. After all, we are in the throws of what some might call an economic crisis.
As usual, the team at Import Performance wants to make sure you get the biggest bang for your Benjamin and in light of current events, we ve knocked our heads together to come up with 20 tips to help you save money when you drive up to the pump or pull into the repair shop. We ll post a new tip on our website at http://www.importperformance-nc.com and in our Facebook status update each day for 20 days.
We ll also earmark (pun intended) every fifth tip by posting a full-length article, which will give details about the tips we think are most important and helpful when it comes to saving big bucks on car service, preventative maintenance and repair.
So check back with us here on Facebook or on our website each day for a new money-saving tip. And remember: At Import Performance, we know you work hard for the money. So trust us and treat your car right!
Saving Tip: Tire Pressure Check your tire pressure regularly! Under-inflated tires produce more drag, making it difficult for your engine to propel the car forward. The result: you put the pedal to the metal and waste valuable moola on gas. To avoid this scenario, measure that pressure every other time you fill up. You can find the correct tire pressure in your owners manual.
Saving Tip: Fuel Type Use the proper gas for your car! It may be Captain Obvious, but many people think using a higher octane improves the gas mileage and longevity of their car. Nope! When you use a different octane than suggested in your owner’s manual, it reduces fuel economy and overtime, damages your engine. P.S. Drive like a law-abiding citizen. Driving within the legal speed limits maximizes your gas mileage.
Saving Tip: Air Filter Change your air filter! Dirty air filters restrict the air flow to the engine, which makes it work harder to propel your car forward. "Ridin' Dirty" wastes gas, which takes $$ out of your pocket. Have the air filter checked at every oil change. Air filters are inexpensive to replace, but will save you big money in the long run.
Saving Tip: Spark Plugs Your car is like your love life - it needs a little spark every now and then. Change your spark plugs according to your owner’s manual. Worn-out spark plugs waste gas, but they can also damage the ignition and emission systems. The result: a repair as expensive as “making it up” to your girlfriend after you forgot your anniversary.
Saving Tip: Oil Service This tip could get funny fast, but it's probably best just to say: get your oil changed regularly. Oil lubes the engine, increasing its lifespan. Without it, your engine is kaput. Now the big question: regular or synthetic? For answers, check out our FB Discussion, “Lube Jobs” (See? Get your mind out of the gutter!).
Saving Tip: Cold Start Up Don't warm up your car! Modern cars (anything made after Vanilla Ice released “Ice Ice Baby”) don’t need to be warmed up. It’s actually bad for the engine since oil pressure is low while your car idles. Low oil pressure = less lubrication = premature engine failure. Not so good. Warming up your car also wastes gas. Shame on you! ;)
Saving Tip: Fluid Check Up Check fluids regularly. Maintaining proper fluid levels (especially oil), improves gas mileage and increases the longevity of your car’s engine. Check’em out every other time you fill up. For those of you who can’t tell a dip stick from a door knob, never fear: Next time you come see us at IP, tell Talin and he’ll show you how to check and properly top-off your car’s fluids.
Saving Tip: Running on Emptly ? Don’t run your car on empty! You know who you are. Playing those reindeer games allows moisture to build up in your tank, leading to poor engine performance. It also forces the pump to push dirty fuel at the bottom of the tank through, clogging your fuel injectors/filter. Wintertime: that moisture sinks to the bottom, freezing your fuel lines, leaving you stranded.
Saving Tip: Making Noises ? Ever seen "Uncle Buck"? His car backfires something fierce. The tragedy that is his vehicle doesn’t have to happen. Seriously, don’t ignore noises that come from your car. Especially noises like that. Come see us if your car starts sounding like a double barrel shotgun. People don’t need to run in fear when you pull up to the grocery store.
Saving Tip: $$$ Cost ... Cost .... Cost Don’t be afraid to price shop for routine auto maintenance or repairs, but be sure to compare apples to apples. You wouldn’t compare a purse from Walmart with a Coach bag, would you ladies? Unspeakable. The same goes with car repair shops. To find out how to get the best bang for your buck, check out our Facebook discussion, “How Do You Like Them Apples - Advice on Auto Repair Pricing.”
Saving Tip: Wheel Alingment Keep the wheels on your bus going round and round by aligning and rotating your tires. Rotating your tires every other oil change ensures that each tire wears evenly, reducing the likelihood of bald spots and premature replacement. Likewise, alignments (get one when you buy new tires) reduce tire wear, improve steering & increase the longevity of your new wheels.
Saving Tip: Brake Fluid Service Get a brake fluid flush every 30K miles or with new brakes. Over time, rust/debris accumulates in the fluid, damaging the system. A BFF helps you avoid spending big bucks on a repair. Plus, you'll feel all warm & fuzzy when you get cut off in traffic, slam on the brakes, and your car comes to a life-saving STOP because you’ve taken care of those babies.
Saving Tip: Transmission Fluid Service Get your transmission serviced according to the suggestion of your owner’s manual. Every transmission is different, but they all have at least one thing in common: they’re WICKED expensive to replace or repair. Transmission services also keep your car running “like butta, baby.”
Saving Tip: Antifreeze - Running Hot ! You like to keep cool and so does your car. Have your coolant flushed every two years to keep your engine running at the proper temperature and your car will be less likely to give you the cold shoulder on the side of the road. Coolant flushes are another one of those preventative measures that helps drivers avoid pricey repairs too. Just lookin’ out for ya. ;)
Saving Tip: Fuel Injection Service Has your normally fuel-efficient ride become a gas-guzzling-gold-digger? Or maybe the “Days of Thunder” are long gone and you feel like you’re “Driving Miss Daisy” when you put the pedal to the metal. You might want to try a fuel injection service. They can improve your car’s fuel economy and increase its performance
Saving Tip: Check Engine Light Check Engine - What does that mean? How much will that cost? The truth is we’re still honing our psychic mechanic skillz, so we can’t tell you until we take a look, but ignoring it is not the solution. It could be an indication that you’re up for a big service, but it might also mean your gas cap isn't screwed on tightly enough (no kidding). Just come see us. ;)
Saving Tip: Power Steering Service Don’t lose the powa (think Schwarzenegger). If your car is whining and moaning at you when you turn (seriously, that’s what it sounds like), you might need a power steering service. This elongates the life of the system, keeps a big repair at bay and helps your car steer effortlessly - it won’t take 30 revolutions of the wheel and 20 minutes to do a 3-point turn!
Saving Tip: Suspension Get your suspension checked out twice a year. If it’s acting whacky it can throw off your alignment, causing uneven tire wear. The cash register goes “ching ching ching” when you fork over the dough for those new tires. An unhappy suspension can also produce wicked drag and suck the life out of your fuel economy.
Saving Tip: Timing Belt Service Our last tip is perhaps the most important, so we aren’t going to be cute or funny. Simply put: You must get your timing belt replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. If you procrastinate, your timing belt will likely break and demolish the engine of your car. You will cry (despite your unshakable ability to stay strong under pressure) when you get the bill to fix the resulting damage of your negligence. Okay. You might not cry. But you definitely won’t be happy. That said, the friendly staff here at Import Performance can promise you one thing that might lift your spirits: despite our knee-jerk reaction to this situation, we will refrain from telling you, “I told you so.”
We happily serve the Raleigh, NC area and specialize in car repair, service and maintenance for the following cars:
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