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 2001 National Car Care Month vehicle check lanes, 21 percent 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.
This is the first time an auto service shop has earned my trust in over 20 years. I've taken both of my cars to them over the past 4 years and they have ALWAYS been up-front and honest with me... even when the RIGHT thing to do doesn't make them any money. One of my cars recently had a catastrophic failure and Giddeons diagnosed and gave me the bad news. Due to the significant cost I took the car to another shop for a second opinion which (no surprise to me) confirmed what Giddeons told me. Giddeons did a great job getting the car back on the road again and I'm still happy to call them my trusted auto shop.
They take very good care of our cars and are reasonable on their prices. They also turn them around pretty fast if we book an appointment.
I've never taken any of my cars anywhere else. Honest service and really good people who are genuinely always there to help.
Really nice place! The person who rung me up was very polite. I went in for a tire rotation which was 20 bucks. I decided to wait inside and to my surprise the waiting area/pay area was very nice and classy. Would recommend this shop.
Technology (google) helped me find this place but amazing service keeps me coming back year after year. In the 4 years I have lived in Woodstock I have brought all 5 of the family cars here with issues from tire alignment to cracked cylinders. They always approach the solution with my budget and the safety of my family in mind.
I was in the process of searching for a "new" used vehicle, and I would have Giddeons do the inspections (They would do a basic inspection first where they wouldn't charge me if the vehicle wasn't in good enough condition to continue to be inspected... Happened every time except twice). They treated the process as if they were the ones buying the vehicle. I must have called them a hundred times with questions I had about vehicles, and they never got frustrated with me. Without Giddeons I wouldn't have found a vehicle in nearly as good of condition as the one I'm driving now. If you're looking for a mechanic go to Giddeons. They won't let you down. Thanks again for going above and beyond for me!