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NAPA

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

  • AAA Approved Auto Repair
  • ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)
  • Jasper
  • NAPA
  • Amsoil
  • Draw-Tite Hitches
  • GENERAC
  • Interstate Batteries
  • Mopar
  • Motorcraft
  • Snow Dogg Plows
  • Cooper Tires
  • Ford diesel
  • Car Care Aware

Testimonials

  • Well informed of all repairs needed and estimated costs. Always very friendly and courteous over the phone and over the counter upon pick up or delivery. Quality of work is excellent!
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  • I liked that you got me in and out. you guys are truly a blessing to so many people. MOSTLY YOU ARE HONEST
    -David B.

  • All of the employees of Albany Light Truck are very kind and helpful. I feel like my best interest is theirs as well. As far as improved...I would like to see a special sitting room for myself and my family, with possible day care and after school care as an option.
    -William C.

  • The team at Albany Light Truck truly follows the age-old model of customer first. They continue to earn my trust.
    -Ken C.

  • I am thankful for someone I can trust.
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  • Excellent work place I can trust with my truck. Thank you!
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  • Vinny is very customer-service oriented. This is my first visit but I will be back and tell my friend of speedy service and caring staff.
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  • Your kindness and honest, being very helpful by explaining your work very well. Help customers understand.
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  • Professionalism and trustworthiness are attributes that are very hard to find these days. when you do you stick with them....would not go anywhere else
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  • Very professional atmosphere
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  • Staff is very friendly and helpful
    -Christine I

  • Honest and friendly service. Always willing to go the extra mile.
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  • Like everything!
    -Timothy C

  • Service people, Never once had to return because of the same problem
    -Ann D

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    -Christopher S

  • Honest assessments of repairs needed, friendly atmosphere, professional workmanship
    -Paul K

  • I have been coming to Albany Lite Truck for years and they have always been honest and get me in and out. I think they also take the time to explain what is going on to their customers and they don't push repairs that are not neccesary
    -Thomas C

  • The guys at Albany Light Truck are always so helpful and thorough. I trust them with our family vehicles
    -Kenneth C

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  • Honest. I feel like I can trust you.
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  • Convenient location, Professional, Friendly, Trustworthy.
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  • Service is great.
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  • The staff always take the time to discuss problems with the customer.
    -Minnie C.

  • Feel like I am a very important customer wouldn't change a thing.
    -Amanda P.

  • Convenient. Good people.
    -Tim E.

  • The staff is always kind, courteous, and honest. Even when I'm sitting in the waiting area and hear them being normal humans with other, they are just genuinely good people. The guys (and apparently gal now) you have working the desk make me feel at ease in a place where I'm at their mercy - going to the mechanic isn't daunting there. And though I know nothing about cars, I trust your mechanics implicitly. It doesn't feel like a business, it is more like I'm paying a friend to look at my car for me.
    -Rich W.

  • Fast, quality service.
    -David S.

  • I like being able to discuss my car with Vinnie and Brian, because they are honest and know so much. I feel so comfortable leaving my car with you because I get the best service for it that I have ever had. I honestly don't think there is anything with car repairs that could be improved. Great service!!!!
    -Larry R.

  • I like that you stay open later now. I can finish my work day and still get my car serviced. I appreciate all the times you have given me rides to work. I like that Vinny or Brain will call and let me know what needs to be fixed, give me a estimated estimate. I like that you fix the problem the first time and I don't have to come back over and over again. I like that I can trust my car to your service techs.
    -Rita P.

  • Friendly, efficient service. Everything thoroughly explained.
    -Dan R.

  • Very opened communication with knowledgeable folks who provided me with options of solutions and not just a list of problems. Took their time to have my best interest in mind and keep me informed of any concerns they found. only thing I would of liked improved would of been more advertising it took me having a clutch issue to find such a good shop, wish I found/heard of you all sooner.
    -Tim K.