Working Hours
  • Mon 8:00AM - 6:00PM
    Tue 8:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Wed 8:00AM - 6:00PM
    Thu 8:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Fri 8:00AM - 6:00PM
    Sat Closed
  • Sun Closed
settings

COST SAVING TIPS

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 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:

  • 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.




What Our Customers Are Saying

I cracked a cylinder head in my engine in my beloved 4Runner after initially thinking it was just a clamp accidentally left on my fuel line after a smog check elsewhere. Mike is so honest and his prices are so fair and reasonable and he even gave me a ride home and dropped me off. He also straightened out my license plate for free. What a guy!!!


-Heidi T.

This is the best place to take your vehicle for repairs. Mike is a straight shooter and made the process of dealing with my warranty company very simple and stress free. He was very responsive and kept me well informed throughout the process. I strongly recommend this place for any auto repairs you need!


-John L.

My wife and I have been taking our vehicles to Mike at Giant Oak Automotive for over 20 years. During that time Mike and his crew have consistently provided excellent service at very fair prices. He is honest, hard-working, knowledgeable, and will go the extra mile to get the job done, often without charging extra. I would recommend his shop without hesitation for anyone needing a reliable mechanic.


-Bill S.

Excellent service and the person that helped me was so helpful and honest. I will be going back to this mechanic from now on. Thank you for your help and for easing my mind by taking good care of me and my car.


-Olson R.

I did my homework...received quotes from two other local shops. I ended up here and what a great decision that was. Mike is such a great guy! His prices are more than fair and work and work ethics A+. Come to find out, my two brothers and nephew already use Giant Oak as their go to mechanic. You know the feeling when you really know you have found an honest mechanic...This is the place and Mike is the man!


-Rick S.

Best place in the world. Mike is a gem, honest, knowledgeable and a hellava,nice guy. This is the place for your car, they will not sell or fix anything that doesn't need fixing. Just like the old days, good price, great work.


-Lee J.

This is definitely an overdue review. A few months ago, my car battery was on the fritz. Giant Oak Automotive accommodated by schedule for same-day service, diagnosed the problem, and sold me a high-quality battery. Since that time, I have gone back to Giant Oak Automotive for preventative maintenance (e.g. oil changes), and have been very happy with the company's professionalism and customer service.


-Rachel A.

Mike is a great guy, does great work, and is very conservative with his treatment of your car. He doesn't take chances, and always looks out for your best interest. I trust him completely, and have been taking my cars to him for at least 15 years.


-Rob L.

Mike at Giant Oak Automotive was a huge help. We had a client in his area with a noisy belt and he was able to take care of it quickly.


-Nick M.

Love the owner, him and his team do great work.


-Tarrant R.

Very knowledgeable and reasonable. Love the way they take care of our cars.


-Nicole I.

I definitely trust these guys which has been hard for me to find in a mechanic shop. Highly recommend this place!


-Kevin T.

Guy is very helpful there. He helped me with my speedometer issues that kia would not help with!


-Kellen W.
  • ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)
  • Auto Value - CSC
  • BBB (Better Business Bureau)
  • BG Products
  • Enterprise
  • Gates
  • Car Care Aware
  • Call Us For Service: 805-375-3117