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October is Car Care Month

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fall maintenance auto repair car care bernies seattleFall is officially here! Every change in the season is a great time to bring your car or truck in to Bernie’s Automotive for a seasonal maintenance service. With autumn comes crisper, cooler days – which will eventually mean rainier days here in Seattle! Don’t wait till it’s too late to get your car or truck ready for cold weather driving. Be sure it will be safe and reliable for the winter.

The Be Car Care Aware website has a fantastic article this year about the October Car Care Month. Be sure to read it for some really great tips to get your vehicle ready for the winter. Read their article, “Five Tips for Fall Car Care Month.”

Be sure to call us or use our Online Real-Time Appointment Scheduler to schedule your vehicle’s fall maintenance service. Our ASE Certified Technicians can perform the following services:

  • Bumper-to-bumper vehicle inspection
  • Check engine light diagnosis
  • Brake service and repair
  • Check tires for pressure and proper wheel alignment
  • Oil change service
  • Fluid Flush Services – including Brake Fluid Flush, Coolant Flush, Transmission, Power Steering and more
  • Car Tune Up
  • Battery check and replacement
  • Inspection of wiper blades
  • Heating, defroster, air conditioning system inspection
  • And more!

If you’re not sure what your car or truck needs, just bring it on for an inspection. Our experienced ASE Certified Technicians will conduct a thorough bumper-to-bumper vehicle inspection and will be able to tell you exactly what your vehicle needs.

Save Money at the Gas Pumps

improve gas mileage save money at the pumps

improve gas mileage save money at the pumpsImprove Your Gas Mileage

We all remember the days when gas was less than $2.00 a gallon. Well those days are long behind us now and we now know the term “what goes up must come down” is a farce. Gas prices are reaching all time highs and as busy as we all are today we need our cars more than ever so here are some tips that can help increase mileage and reduce your overall fuel bill as much as 30%.

On the Road: Drive More Efficiently

  • Slowing Down – According to the Department of Energy, slowing down from 65 mph to 55 mph can increase your miles per gallon as much as 15%,
  • Remove Excess Weight and Accessories – An extra 100 pounds can reduce fuel mileage by 2%. Bicycle and ski racks add drag and this can cost you another 3% on the freeway.
  • Cruise Control and Overdrive– Maintaining constant speeds and lowering RPMs will help conserve fuel.
  • Air Conditioning and Other Accessories – Using your air conditioning and other accessories put additional loads on your engine, resulting in lower fuel economy. Only using them when you absolutely have to will save on fuel usage.
  • Combining Errands – One longer trip on a warm engine is much better than several trips on a cold engine. Planning an efficient route will even save you more money at the pump
  • Avoid Long Idle Times and Aggressive Driving – In the summer you don’t need to warm your vehicle up, instead drive a little slower for the first couple of miles. Also, rapid acceleration and heavy braking can lower your gas mileage 3-5%.

At the Shop: Maintain Your Vehicle

  • Oil Services – Clean oil reduces friction and dissipates heat promoting better fuel efficiency. Using Synthetic Oils will increase fuel efficiency even more.
  • Tire Maintenance – Improperly inflated tires alone can cost you as much as 7% in gas mileage, not to mention a safety hazard. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, rotated and evaluated on a regular basis. Abnormal wear can be an indication of an alignment problem which will lower fuel economy even more.
  • Fuel and Air Filters – Dirty and clogged filters can decrease engine performance, thus reducing gas mileage as much as 10%. Having them properly serviced can pay for themselves with in 2-3 fill-ups.
  • Tune-Ups– An improperly tuned engine will cause loss of power, increase in emissions and a decrease in fuel economy, up to 50%! Having the state of tune inspected regularly and following your Factory Maintenance Requirements will keep you on the road more and away from the costly gas pumps.
  • “Engine Light” On – Your on-board computer is warning you of trouble and decrease in fuel mileage, 10-40% in most cases. Have your vehicle properly tested and repaired will not only save you in gas money but it will reduce premature aging and failure some of your vehicle’s other critical systems and components.

Be Skeptical – Claims for devices that will “boost your mileage,” “improve your fuel economy,” or the like usually only provide marginal improvement at best. The Environmental Protection Agency has tested over 100 supposed gas-saving devices and found that very few provide any fuel economy benefits at all. To see a list of tested products go to www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer/reports.htm.