Here’s a question for Rockford, Illinois car owners: How long have you been enjoying the romantic glow of your check engine light?
Hey, it’s not there to create ambiance; it’s a warning that something’s wrong. (And, by the way, Homer Simpson’s fix of covering it with tape is not a good idea.)
If your check engine light comes on, check your gas cap. A loose gas cap can cause a false sensor reading that’ll make the check engine light turn on.
Many conditions that trigger the check engine light can hurt your fuel economy. A lot.
If your date’s eyes are smoldering in the soft glow of the check engine light, try to think of all the gas money you’ll save by getting it fixed. Give Kurt’s Service Centers a call when you are ready: 815-395-1900
Having trouble with your fuel system? Bring your Domest Vehicles into Kurt’s Service Centers for a check up. 5730 Wansford Way Rockford, Illinois 61109 815-395-1900
Today we’re talking about fuel system cleaning. The first thing to know is how important it is to have a clean fuel system. You need fuel to go, and the cleaner your fuel system, the more efficiently the fuel will burn. That means more power and better fuel economy.
A clean fuel system saves money at the pump. We guess you could say, it all starts and ends at the pump. One of the most important things you can do to keep your fuel system clean is to buy good quality gas. Major brands have detergents that keep gum and varnish from rapidly building up in the fuel system.
So buying cheaper gas can actually cost you in the long run. Now, most cars on the road are more than five or six years old. That means they’ve had time for some dirt and rust to start accumulating in the fuel tank. This junk needs to be filtered out of the fuel before it hits your engine. That’s the fuel filter’s job.
When the fuel filter is clogged, the dirty fuel will bypass the filter and go on up to the engine where it can clog fuel injectors and get into the cylinders. That could do some damage. So you should have your fuel filter changed when recommended. Check your owner’s manual or ask your service advisor if your fuel filter is due for replacement.
The fuel then goes up into the throttle body. This is another area where varnish and gum can accumulate. A professional fuel system cleaning will use a combination of special cleaning chemicals and old fashioned swabbing to clean out the throttle body. Now, the fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel delivery system.
It’s real important to keep those fuel injectors clean. The fuel injectors need to deliver a precise amount of fuel, at exactly the right time, in a particular spray pattern. They just can’t do that if they’re dirty. Dirty fuel injectors really rob power and waste fuel.
It is important for the fuel system proper, but there are a couple other things that will help keep your engine clean as well. Of course, air is mixed with the fuel before it’s burned. Dirty air means dirt gets into your engine, so you need to replace your engine air filter when it’s dirty.
The PCV value routes unburned fuel that escapes into the lower engine back up into the intake system to be burned. A sticky PCV valve needs to be replaced to make sure that system is working properly and the breather filter needs to be replaced if it’s dirty as well.
Do all these things and your engine’s air and fuel will be as clean as possible. You’ll get much better fuel economy and better power
Most Rockford and Cherry Valley motorists want to save on gas and seek our advice on improving fuel economy. At Kurt’s Service Centers, we are frequently asked, however, if it is really worth the extra effort. Just how much money can Cherry Valley motorists actually save?
The US government has a website dedicated to helping us use less fuel. It presents the cost savings in a way Cherry Valley motorists can relate to and is relevant for all vehicles. Let me give you an example: Having your Domest Vehicles engine properly tuned, can save up to 4%. If you’re paying three-fifty for a gallon of gas, you could save fourteen cents a gallon.
In today’s Kurt’s Service Centers article, we’re focusing on the things you can do to improve your Domest Vehiclesfuel efficiency driving around Illinois. We’ll tell you the potential savings per gallon of gas at three dollars and fifty cents, and we’ll show a chart that also shows the savings at three and four dollars.
DOLLARS PER GALLON
TUNE UP 4%
The next item is replacing a clogged engine air filter. Your engine needs enough air to burn fuel efficiently for the best fuel economy. A clean air filter means you get plenty of air. The fact that the air’s clean protects your engine. That can save you up to ten percent or thirty-five cents a gallon.
DOLLARS PER GALLON
AIR FILTER 10%
Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve economy by up to forty percent. That’s a whopping dollar forty in savings per gallon. Bring your car to Kurt’s Service Centers and we’ll check your oxygen sensor.
DOLLARS PER GALLON
FAULTY O2 SENSOR 40%
Chances are that if your oxygen sensor is kaput your check engine light will come on. Now, there’s any number of things that could cause your check engine light to come on besides oxygen sensor problems. But if it’s on, get it checked out as soon as you can at Kurt’s Service Centers.
Here’s an easy one. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure. That could save you three percent or eleven cents a gallon. Even a little drop in pressure will bring down your fuel efficiency, so check your tires every week.
DOLLARS PER GALLON
TIRE INFLATION 3%
Your Domest Vehicles manufacturer has recommended a specific weight of motor oil. The recommendation is based on engine design and will give you the best protection. Using a heavier weight could cost one to two percent in reduced fuel efficiency, or up to seven cents a gallon.
DOLLARS PER GALLON
RIGHT GRADE MOTOR OIL 2%
Here’s one that’s free: Take it easy when you drive. Aggressive driving (we’ve all seen this on Cherry Valley roads), rocketing away from stop lights, standing on the brakes, punching it for lane changes – really takes a toll on your fuel efficiency.
Cutting out aggressive driving around Cherry Valley can save five percent or eighteen cents a gallon. Now on the interstate it gets really costly: thirty three percent or a buck sixteen a gallon. Think about that – and leave a little earlier.
DOLLARS PER GALLON
DRIVE AGRESSIVELY – MIN. 5%
DRIVE AGGRESSIVELY – MAX. 33$
A related item is exceeding the speed limit. For example, if the speed limit is sixty miles per hour an additional five miles will cost seven percent or twenty-five cents a gallon. Fifteen miles per hour will cost you upwards of eighty cents a gallon.
DOLLARS PER GALLON
SPEED LIMIT – MIN. 7%
SPEED LIMIT – MAX. 23%
The last thing we’ll talk about is excess weight. Our Domest Vehicless tend to accumulate a lot of things and the weight adds up. Clear out the trunk and only haul stuff when you really need it. For every one hundred pounds you can save two percent or seven cents a gallon.
Sorry honey, your brother can’t come with. It’d cost an extra thirty cents a gallon.
Let’s start at the tank. The gas tank gathers dirt, rust and sediment over the years. That’s why there’s a fuel filter to clean the fuel after it leaves the tank. A dirty filter will rob the engine of the clean gas it needs to run efficiently.
The fuel intake components get coated with gum and varnish over time. This results in fuel being delivered inefficiently and some of that gunk getting into the engine. A fuel system service at Kurt’s Service Centers will leave your intake as clean as a whistle.
The big fuel thief is dirty fuel injectors. They deliver fuel to the engine at a specified pressure and in a particular spray pattern. When they’re clogged, the fuel doesn’t get atomized the way it’s supposed to and doesn’t get burned as efficiently.
See your owner’s manual or ask your Cherry Valley service advisor at Kurt’s Service Centers when a fuel system cleaning is recommended.
No matter how well they’re made, cars in Rockford Illinois will have design or manufacturing problems.
And when the government thinks a problem is really serious for people in Rockford Illinois, they require the manufacturer to issue a recall notice and fix the car free of charge. The manufacturer then tries to contact everyone in Rockford Illinois who owns that type of car to get the recall work done.
These recalls always affect safety, so take them seriously. It’s easy to see if a vehicle’s being recalled.
The government has links on its websites, or just visit AutoNetTV for links.
There are many websites with free recall information and searches. There’s CarFax, AutoByTel and the DMV.
Recalls are serious, but not all that common. But sometimes there are less significant issues, and for these, manufacturers issue a Technical Service Bulletin, or TSB, that tells service centers like Kurt’s Service Centers how to repair a frequent or difficult problem.
The pros get updated information through subscription plans, also available in consumer versions for a reasonable cost.
So when vehicle recalls occur, get the work done, and keep you and yours safe.
Something you’re going to be hearing a lot about around Rockford, Illinois is diesel engines. We’re not talking about semi-trucks and buses – We’re talking about diesel engine cars, pick-ups and SUVs.
Most people in Rockford, Illinois are surprised to learn that around half the cars on the road in Europe have diesel engines. Nearly all import auto manufacturers offer a range of diesel engines abroad – even the ultra-luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. For the most part, these diesel engines haven’t been available in Rockford, Illinois. But that’s about to change.
In the past, North American diesel fuel has had a much higher sulfur content than European fuel. Recent environmental laws have required changes in diesel formulation and emissions standards here in Rockford, Illinois so we are now ready to start seeing more diesel options offered over the next few years.
Why are so many interested in diesel engines? Well first off, diesel fuel is more energy dense. There’s more power in a barrel of diesel fuel than there is in a barrel of gasoline. That means better performance with better fuel economy.
Diesel powered vehicles get about 20 percent better fuel economy. And as for power – why do you think that the majority of new heavy duty pick-up trucks are being sold with diesel engines?
If you think back to the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, you may shudder when you think of the diesel powered cars of the day – noisy, smoky, under-powered beasts that rattled and shook their passengers. Modern diesels are nothing like that.
They are quiet, clean – and very powerful. They’re so refined that many people can’t even tell they’re riding in a diesel powered car. In addition to fuel savings, diesels generally last longer than gasoline engines because of their heavy duty construction.
Another thing that intrigues the environmentally conscious is that it’s possible to use bio-diesel as fuel. Bio-diesel is made from vegetable oil – even recycled cooking oil from restaurants. Hybrid cars have gotten everyone’s attention these days. Look to diesel-electric hybrids in years to come to make a good idea even better.
Every year, manufacturers are planning more diesel offerings. Look for diesels in domestic light trucks, SUVs and passenger cars. Import marquees have plans to bring more of their outstanding diesel engines to Rockford, Illinois as well.
Now you should know that properly maintaining a diesel engine is somewhat different than a gasoline engine. Fluid change intervals are different. Emissions control devices have to work harder to filter diesel fuel and to scrub the exhaust so you will need to pay attention to that. And the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures than gas fuel injection systems, so it’s very important to keep your fuel system clean with a diesel.
The good news is that your local Rockford, Illinois service center is keeping up with the new diesel technology and will be able to advise you on maintaining your diesel.
When we tell you to look for more diesels, you won’t be looking for smoky tail pipes as a clue. You also won’t be listening for that familiar big rig rattle. And, you certainly won’t be waiting for them at the stoplight, because modern diesels are as quick as their gasoline counterparts.
From all of us at AutoNetTV, ten four, good buddy.
With high fuel prices in Rockford Illinois comes lots of gas saving advice. Some of it, like what you hear on AutoNetTV, is really great. Some is myth. And some is just designed to prey on Rockford Illinois people desperate to save some money on gas.
When you get one of those e-mails that’s going around telling you how to save gas, try to think it through.
Does it really make sense? Does it defy the laws of physics?
The government mandates a lot of equipment on cars for the Rockford Illinois area: emission devices and control computers; safety equipment like airbags; and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the motoring public in Rockford Illinois, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car.
Because new cars are more expensive, people are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. 68% of vehicles on the road have more than 75,000 miles/120,000 kilometers. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today’s cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on going.
Some owner’s manuals don’t specify service requirements at higher mileage. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be done. In fact, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of routine maintenance for cars with more than 120,000 miles/190,000 kilometers. Just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that’s recommended every 24,000 miles/38,000 kilometers should be performed at 24,000 mi/38,000 km; 48,000 mi/77,000 km; 72,000mi/116,000 km, 96,000 mi/154,000 km; and on and on.
Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule may be more appropriate than the regular schedule. Watch for leaks – seals and gaskets dry out over time and do not hold the fluids as well as they used to. It is also time to make sure you have a good technician. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put some clicks on the odometer, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course.
Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints that trouble is brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a costly repair. Regular wash and wax will help maintain your car’s appearance. One of the things you can do to really help your high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, and transmission and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have a higher mileage.
High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better fuel economy and excellent wear protection. Come into Kurt’s Service Centers for a checkup.
Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high kilometer vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 mi/80,000 km, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. The fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold in terms of preventing repair costs down the road.
It does cost more to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle – but it’s much cheaper than a new car payment!
The price of gas has got everyone talking. It seems that people who need a bigger vehicle to carry family and gear, or provide four wheel drive, are especially hit hard. That is why we thought it would be good to review some things that anyone can do to improve fuel economy.
First let’s start with how we drive. People may not realize that they can really save on gas by just changing a few driving habits. One of the biggest is jackrabbit starts – you know, flooring the gas as soon as the light turns green. That really wastes a lot of fuel. Building up your speed at a slower pace uses less fuel and is easier on your engine and drive train. And don’t drive with one foot on the brake. That’s also a drag on fuel economy, and it wears out your brakes faster too.
Another thing is to drive slower – but only when it’s safe. Sometimes on the highway we drive an extra five … ten . . . twenty … over the speed limit. We do it to save time, but it only saves a few minutes out of maybe an hour long drive, and we may use 10 to 15 % more gas. Just leave a little bit earlier, save some money and arrive more relaxed.
You can also try and group all of your errands for the day into just one trip, rather than several. If you can put off a trip today that can be combined with one tomorrow – you can save some time and money.
Using your cruise control can save money too. Driving at a constant speed really improves fuel economy. Be sure to only use your cruise control under safe conditions – you can look in your owner’s manual for some good tips on using your cruise control.
Did you know that reducing the weight in your vehicle saves gas? Clean out the trunk or back seat from time to time so that you are not paying to carry around a lot of stuff you do not need in the car. If you live where there is snow and ice, clear it off your car. They add weight and mess with aerodynamics too.
Another tip is to avoid long idle times, which includes warming it up when you start. Modern engines do not require a long warm up to get going – just take it easy for a couple of miles.
Be sure to get a new gas cap if yours leaks or is worn.
Now, let’s start talking mechanical. Bottom line – the better you maintain your vehicle, the less fuel you will use. It all adds up in a big way. For example, replacing your dirty engine air filter will pay for itself in fuel savings before your next oil change – and will keep saving you money after that.
A clean, well-maintained fuel system really pays big dividends. A clogged fuel filter wastes gas. So does a dirty fuel system, grimy fuel injectors and plugged up PCV valves. A fuel system service decreases the gas you use, and increases the power – so you can’t go wrong with that.
Some of us ignore our Check Engine light. But fixing the problem that caused the light to come on will usually save some fuel as well. It may be a bad oxygen sensor that can really rob your fuel economy.
And, it may be time for a tune-up. Tune-ups should improve your fuel economy. Don’t overlook the routine maintenance items, like scheduled oil changes, transmission and cooling system service. Dirty or low fluids actually use more fuel. Just look at your manufacturer’s recommended service intervals in the owner’s manual, or ask your Kurt’s Service Centers service advisor for the schedule.
Don’t forget your tires. Underinflated tires waste gas. And if your wheels are out of alignment you won’t get the economy you need.
None of these things are very complicated or expensive to stay on top of. When you maintain your car properly, you save gas today, and prevent costly repairs tomorrow.
One topic that hits the news in Rockford on a regular basis is the price of gas. The answer for some people in Rockford is to buy a more fuel efficient vehicle. For the rest of use, we need to improve our fuel economy anyway we can.
Following recommended service intervals by coming into Kurt’s Service Centers is one of the best ways to keep your car running efficiently. That means better fuel economy. When you give it some thought, it only makes sense. Dirty oil or transmission fluid can’t lubricate or clean. That means more drag which reduces fuel economy.
Dirty engine air filters are another efficiency pirate. They rob your engine of enough air to effectively burn the fuel, so you need more gas to get the job done. Replacing a dirty air filter can pay for itself in fuel savings before the next oil change.
You can imagine what dirty fuel injectors can do to your Domest Vehicles as you drive around Rockford. If your owner’s manual recommends a fuel system cleaning, come into Kurt’s Service Centers and ask us to get it done for you.
A simple, but very effective way to save gas is to keep your tires properly inflated. Low tires can cost you up to a mile per gallon. Check your tire pressure when you gas up – or at least once a month.