Automotive Repair Blog

Repairing and maintenance on your automobile can be confusing and expensive, unless you have some auto repair knowledge.  In this blog we will share automotive tips on maintaining your car or truck, as well as signs or signals something may be wrong with your automobile.


Keep Your Transmission Shifting With These Simple Tips

Posted by on May 21, 2018 in Auto Repair Blog | Comments Off

 We KNOW transmissions so well it’s in our name! 

What does the TRANSMISSION do?

Your vehicle’s transmission is responsible for helping your vehicle move by allowing the engine to turn the wheels.

A transmission is also responsible for the shifting of gears. To keep your vehicle running smoothly, it’s important that you keep your transmission healthy by taking proactive measures to prevent premature wear and tear.

If your transmission goes bad, you may notice that the engine revs but the wheels won’t turn well or that your car lurches or barely moves when you push the gas pedal.

Our goal with these tips is to save you money by keeping your transmission healthy!


Tip #1 -

Check the fluid color


Routine maintenance is crucial to long-term performance.

We recommend changing your automatic transmission fluid every 15,000 miles or every other year.

Check the transmission fluid regularly, about every 1,500 miles.

Low fluid could mean future problems, so address low transmission fluid immediately.  A seal replacement might fix the problem and save you thousands of dollars in repairs!

Make sure to use the proper fluid for your vehicle.  Some newer fluids are more expensive but they will also likely improve the protection of the transmission, which is worth the cost.

Don’t overfill the transmission.  Follow your manual carefully.  Overfilling can cause fluid to foam, which can lead to erratic shifting and potential transmission damage.



Tip #2 - 

Avoid excess heat in your transmission.
Research suggests that 90% of transmission failures are caused by heat.

Overloading your vehicle or towing too much weight is a common way to overwork your transmission causing it to overheat.
Don’t tow in overdrive.  Look for a button on the dash or steering column that turns overdrive off.
If your vehicle doesn’t have this O/D OFF button, it probably has the overdrive position on the shift indicator.
Pull the shift lever from overdrive to the drive position before towing.
For those who have to tow often we also suggest installing an auxiliary cooler.
An auxiliary cooler can save your transmission from the damage done by excess heat.  When properly installed they may help your transmission to run 30% to 50% cooler when towing. This investment could save you hundreds of dollars.

Tip #3 -

Stop completely before shifting.

We’ve all backed out of a parking spot and shifted to drive a bit prematurely—then we panic when we hear that dreadful “engine drop” AKA  a loud “thunk”.

Coming to a complete stop between gears will avoid that undue strain.

Avoid rocking between gears if your vehicle becomes stuck in mud or on ice.
If you must rock, do so as gently as possible and make sure the wheels have stopped moving before each gear change.
This will drastically reduce the strain placed on the transmission.




Tip #4 -

Not much explanation needed on this tip.  Simply, don’t ride the brake. 

Driving with your foot on the brake pedal means your transmission has to work harder.

Not to mention you are decreasing the life of your brakes as well.








Tip #5 -

Always use your emergency brake when parking on an incline.

Proper engagement of the parking brake is to set it AFTER you put the car in PARK but BEFORE you release the BRAKE pedal.

This reduces stress on the parking pawl (pin) and linkage.











Conclusion -

Play it safe!

Get any potential trouble looked at promptly by a professional.    Bring it to us to check it over!

Have you noticed subtle changes in the way your vehicle drives and/or shifts gears?  Bring it to us to check it over!

Do you feel a delay, shuddering, slipping or hear any noises while the vehicle is shifting?  Bring it to us to check it over!

Have you noticed a leak under your vehicle that is reddish in color?  Bring it to us to check it over!

How to Get The Most Out Of Your Vehicle’s Battery

Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 in Auto Repair Blog | Comments Off

Industry average life span of a vehicle battery is 3 years.  

Here at Performance Transmission and A/C the oldest battery we have encountered was 7 years old!  

In Florida vehicle batteries are worked even harder than most areas of the country due to our long, hot summers.

In this article we will give you some simple tips on how to get the most life out of your battery!

Overall the easiest way to care for the battery is to care for your vehicle as a whole.  Find a trustworthy, honest and reliable auto repair shop, like us! Make sure to have all your vehicle’s scheduled preventative maintenance completed when necessary. With that said here are our other tips!


Your vehicle’s battery doesn’t have enough electricity in it to power all your lights and electronics when the vehicle is not moving.  The battery gets charged from the alternator.

Door lights, headlights and dome lights all put a toll on a battery.

Extended time idling can wear down a battery.

When your vehicle is OFF, make sure your lights and radio are off and don’t leave any electronics charging!  Charging your electronics while your vehicle is OFF will drastically effect the life of your battery.  It simply was NOT designed for that type of use!


A vehicle battery is designed to provide a sudden burst of power for ignition. The alternator generates electricity and charges the battery.

Rides under 20 minutes don’t give the alternator enough time to give the battery a good full charge. Too many short rides in a row will shorten the life of the battery.

Long car rides give the alternator ample time to fully charge the battery allowing it optimum life to power all your vehicle’s accessories.



Corrosion on battery terminals is a common issue. Sometimes corrosion could be from leaking acid.  If the battery is leaking then it is likely getting close to needing to be replaced.  Corrosion interferes with the alternator’s ability to charge the battery.

You can control corrosion build up by cleaning the battery every couple of months.

Start by wiping down the top of the battery with a moist cloth.

Next scrub the terminals with a toothbrush dipped in a water and baking soda mixture.  (1 part water to 3 parts baking soda)  It is normal to have some bubbles form on the terminals with this mixture.




Many roads in our area are littered with pot holes, bumps and speed bumps.  We also have lots of  bumpy lime rock dirt roads.

If you drive over bumpy roads every day you should check your battery connections regularly to ensure they are secure. If you would prefer feel free stop by the shop and we can check the connections for you.

A loose battery connection could vibrate and cause internal damage and short circuit.



 We have all done it….turned on the interior dome light of our parked vehicle and then forgot to turn it off.  When you finally return to your car (after work or the next morning) it won’t start.

When a car is OFF the only thing powering the lights or charge ports is the battery.  As we have already mentioned, the battery doesn’t have much charge if the vehicle is not moving, so it dies quickly and easily.

Every time your battery dies and the vehicle is jump started the life of the battery is shortened.

If you happen to be someone who lives alone or in a rural area and finding another vehicle to help jump start your vehicle is hard, there are portable car battery chargers that can solve your problem.  These devices allow you to charge your battery enough to start it without needing another vehicle!  They are sold at local auto parts stores or available on internet retailers, like Amazon.


When a vehicle isn’t used on a regular basis (every couple days), it is common for even a newer battery to die.  The battery is simply not capable of holding its charge for weeks without the vehicle being turned on or used.

So if you are planning on not using a vehicle for an extended period of time due to vacation or illness, you may want to disconnect the battery.  Or, if you can, start the vehicle every couple days and allow it to run for 20+ minutes.




We hope these tips have helped you better understand how your battery works and how to get the most life out of your battery.

Please remember that you are always welcome to stop by our auto repair shop and have us perform an electrical system analysis (tests the battery, alternator & starter) for only $19.95.  It will give you peace of mind that your car will start every time!




Beat the Heat – Keeping Your Car Cool This summer!

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in Auto Repair Blog | 0 comments

Is this how you feel in your car? Follow our tips to beat the heat and cool your car quickly

Your vehicle’s AC system has to work hard to beat the Florida summertime high temperatures and humidity levels.


Here are some tips from our mechanics on how to cool your vehicle quickly!

1.  Park in the shade whenever possible.  Added bonus with this tip are the extra steps you will take to get to the door of your destination!  (~ every mechanic said this one!)

2.  Invest in good quality tinted windows.   (~ Billy White)

3.  Use a Sun Shade in your windshield. (~Dustin Baxley)

4.  Consider purchasing vent visors, see picture below.  They are custom molded plastic which are installed along the top edge of your windows.  They allow you to safely keep your windows opened about .5 to 1 inch so hot air can flow out of your parked vehicle but rain can’t get in.  (~Billy White)  Our shop can order and install these for you, please call us for details and prices.

5.  When you get into your car roll down all the windows and let the trapped super hot air out of your vehicle and turn on your A/C.  (~ Dustin Baxley)

6.  Set your A/C on Recirculate (REC) see picture below.  This setting is pulling air from inside your passenger compartment through the A/C system which will continue to cool your vehicle faster than pulling in the outside air. (~Dustin Baxley)

Recirculate button example


7.  Remember to change your cabin air filter at least once a year.  This filter can get clogged up over time and will affect the air circulation throughout your vehicle.  (~Ben Kiser) See picture below.

8.  Clean leaves and debris from the bottom exterior of your windshield, some vehicles might need the hood opened to get all of it cleaned out.  Since you will now be parking under trees more (see tip #1) you may want to do this about every oil change! (~Luis Gras)

9.   When traveling with  your furry pets keep them near the back of the vehicle.  At the front of the vehicle is the intake for the A/C system, by keeping pets away from that area you are helping reduce the amount of their fur getting sucked into the filters (see tip #5). (~Ben Kiser)

SeaSea in the backseat

10.  Keep your A/C system properly charged.  When the system is under or over charged your A/C won’t be as cold as possible.  This is best checked by a professional shop’s A/C equipment.  We have all the equipment to properly charge the system to its optimum performance levels.  (~Luis Gras)

On a side note – we advise clients NOT to use the self charge kits available at stores.  These can easily overcharge a system which can still cause your A/C to blow hot air not cold.  

We hope these tips help you stay cool this summer.

If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, please call us @

Thanks for stopping by and reading our post!

Stay tuned for more A/C information and tips!


Windshield Wiper Blade Care and Tips

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Auto Repair Blog | 0 comments

Windshield Wiper Blades….. small but important!
Caring for and replacing windshield wiper blades is an easy thing to forget until you need them!
Neglect your windshield wiper blades and you may find yourself in hazardous weather situations with limited vision.
Especially during the summer, Floridians should inspect and/or replace their wiper blades in preparation for the Florida summer rain storms.

 ***The American Optometric Association reports that 90% of all driving decisions are based solely on visual cues.***

We suggest replacing them every other oil change or every 6 months.
When you bring your vehicle to us for an oil change we check your wiper blades and we always have ANCO blades in stock.
It is best to always replace both wiper blades at the same time from the same manufacturer and type of blade to ensure the best  performance and clarity.

Old or damaged wiper blades will not make good contact with your windshield and may skip, squeak, smear, streak or even crack your windshield.

photo from

***Remembering to check your wiper blades regularly will maximize visibility, efficiency, and reliability.***

Wiper blades deteriorate due to many environmental factors including:

  • Sun: Ultraviolet light and ozone deterioration
  • Oil: Car waxes and exhaust hold rubber-deteriorating oil
  • Airborne debris: Sand, mud and dust carried in the wind
  • Moisture: Acid rain and salt water (in moist air both near the shore and inland)

Avoid common problems and extend the life of your wiper blades by following these simple steps:

  • Clean your windshield every time you fill your gas tank.
  • Gently wipe the rubber squeegee with a damp paper towel to remove any loose dirt or oil

Common Wiper Problems:

  • Streaking occurs when the rubber squeegee dries, hardens and cracks. It can also be caused by tree sap, road tar and other foreign substances collected on either the glass or the blade.
  • Skipping occurs when the blade develops a curvature from lack of use (e.g. left in the ‘parked position’ for an extended length of time).
  • Wearing occurs with extensive use and is when the rubber edges are rounded instead of squared.
  • Splitting is caused when the sun’s ultraviolet rays penetrate the rubber squeegee, causing it to breakdown and separate from the frame.
  • Bent Refill Vertebra and Bent Frames cause inconsistent contact with the glass surface, creating streaking or skipping.

Gaskets – what are they anyway?

Posted by on Apr 14, 2016 in Auto Repair Blog | 0 comments

The most widely heard word around the shop most days is GASKET.

Sometimes it seems as though every car in the shop is leaking from a gasket and therefore needs a new gasket.
Since I am n
ot a mechanic I finally had to ask…..

What is a gasket? And how many are in a vehicle?

To answer the first question simply look in the Dictionary (or more appropriately
A rubber,  metal, or rope ring for packing a piston or placing around a joint to make it watertight.

Or ask Google “what is a gasket in a car?”

I like the answer from  Gaskets are literally everywhere in your vehicle.
When two metal parts need to be joined together the seal between the parts is provided by a gasket.
Gaskets can be made of paper, cork, rubber, or metal plates, and can often fail, requiring replacement to keep the more expensive parts it joins together from failing.  (picture of gaskets below)

There are gaskets in the engine block, cylinder heads, intake manifold, oil pan, rear main, timing and valve covers, transmission and more!

To answer the question “how many are in a car?”

There are MANY gaskets in MANY different parts of the vehicle and every brand of car has a different amount.

So the most reasonable answer to my question is that most vehicles have DOZENS of gaskets!

Now you must be wondering how much do gaskets cost?

Depending on the size and material gaskets range from .25 cents to $500.
The labor cost to remove and replace gaskets depends on its location so it also varies widely from $45 to thousands of dollars.

Holiday/Summer Road Trip Tips!

Posted by on May 22, 2015 in Auto Repair Blog | 0 comments

When heading out on a long road trip make sure to assemble items in case of an emergency.

**Keep in mind this list would be different depending on the season and/or your destination**

1.  If you have emergency roadside assistance through an insurance company make sure to have your membership card and/or their phone number.

2.  Cell Phone & a car charger

3.  First Aid Kit – purchase one that can assist with both small cuts, bruises or stings to larger issues like burns and major bandages.  Use an internet search engine or visit a box store and you will find many first kit options.

4.  Fire Extinguisher – multipurpose dry chemical extinguishers are available in compact sizes.

5.  Warning Light, Hazard Triangles, and/or Flares – When stuck on the side of the road, especially at night, it is imperative that other vehicles are able to see you.  An easy, cheap option are glow sticks found at dollar stores.

6. Tire Gauge & Portable Air Compressor-  Tire pressure changes depending on the ambient air temperature.  Check your pressure before and throughout your trip.  Check your vehicle’s owners manual for your specific ranges.  Don’t forget to check the spare!  The air compressor can plug into your charge port and can quickly top off a low tire.

7.  Jack and Lug Wrench AND Wheel Lock (if your vehicle has one) – these are the tools needed to change a tire.  Check your spare tire storage area since some newer cars come with these tools.

8.  Jumper Cables or Portable Battery Booster – Don’t forget to have instructions on how to use them, if needed.   A portable battery booster allows you to jump start your vehicle without another vehicle!  They cost around a hundred dollars and are worth the investment.

9.  Spare Fuses – Check your owner’s manual the types of fuses your car uses and the location of the fuse box – or stop in and we can show you!  Small electrical problems are easy to fix if you have these inexpensive fuses with you!

10.  Flashlight,  spare batteries & extra bulb – Think about getting one that is hands-free, head light or with magnets.

11.  Gloves, Hand Cleaner, and/or Rags – Working on cars can get messy.  When prepared you can drive away without grease getting everywhere inside your vehicle!

12.  $20  in small bills and change – There are  lots of toll roads and bridges, or for a vending machine.  Maybe an extra 100 or two in cash just in case a gas station or restaurant along the way only accepts cash – there are still many small town businesses that don’t take credit.

13.  Small cooler with water and snacks.  If traveling with pets remember some for them and a bowl or two.

14.  Umbrella –  Great for rain but also to keep you out of the sun!  Rain Poncho so you can work on your car with both hands.

15.  Walking shoes – even if you are going on a beach trip and only plan on wearing only  flip flops you may end up having to walk far to get help so consider throwing a pair of sneakers in your trunk!

16.  Your Spare Keys – getting locked out of your vehicle or losing your keys, even without any safety emergency, will quickly ruin your trip!

17.  Have a Plan and Tell a Friend or Family Member – especially important if your independent child is traveling far.  Make sure they know where they are going, have a plan and an estimated time of arrival.

18.  Pocket Knife or Multipurpose tool or small tool box – including items like rope, duct tape, screw driver (phillips and flat head), hammer, vise grips, and adjustable wrench.


If your time is worth money and you would rather purchase an already assembled kit they are available at most big box stores and department stores.  Or use an internet search engine and look for “emergency car kit” and you will find many versions for sale online!  Enjoy your summer and travel safe!







Games to play

Quick, Weekly Check Over You Can Perform In Your Driveway

Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Auto Repair Blog | Comments Off

This is a quick vehicle inspection you can do at anytime, anyplace.
We recommend giving your car this fast check over once a week.
The best time would be before the first drive of the day.
Once you become familiar with the list it should only take a few moments.

1. Walk around:

Start by walking around your car and look at your tires first. Tires are the only contact between your car and the road, so make sure you don’t have a flat tire. If you have an air pressure gauge, go ahead and check your tire’s pressure.
Check for any fluids under your car that might have leaked out. Make a mental note of the color (red, black, clear) and area of the leak, if there are large puddles of fluid please call us before driving to discuss the possible areas of concern. By knowing the color and general area of the fluid, it can help us determine whether you should drive your car or have it towed to our auto repair shop.

2. Check your lights:

Make sure your headlights (high & low beams) operate, check your turn signals, tail lights, and if you have someone else with you check your brake lights. If you do not have another person, you can back your vehicle up against the garage door and use your mirrors to see if the brake lights show up on the garage door.

3. Check your wipers:

Make sure there is not any rubber coming loose from the wiper blades. Turn the wipers on and operate the washers; make sure the fluid sprays and that they clear the water off the windshield without bouncing or making noises.

4. Open the hood:

Check the engine oil level. Locate the engine oil dipstick, remove and wipe clean with a paper towel or shop rag. Reinsert the dipstick into the tube and then remove one more time to check the oil level. It should be within the hash marks.
Check the coolant reservoir bottle, there are cold and hot marks, the coolant should be within these marks. If you are familiar with removing the radiator cap, and the engine is cold go ahead and check the coolant level in the radiator. DO NOT remove the radiator cap if the engine is hot. If you are unsure how to do this, do not attempt to remove the radiator cap. We will be happy to assist in checking this level for you at our Gainesville, FL auto repair shop.
Check the serpentine belt (or belts), make sure they are not broken, frayed or loose.
If you noticed any fluids under the car during the walk around, look around under the hood for the source of the leak.

5. Start the engine and check for any warning lights on the dash:

If the under hood fluids looked good and you did not notice any large fluid puddles, go ahead and start the engine. Does it sound normal? Are there any warning lights on the dash, i.e. check engine, red brake light, amber ABS light, air bag light?
This check over should take no more than five minutes and might help catch a small problem before it escalates into a much larger issue.

If you do notice anything abnormal, we recommend having a professional perform a complete inspection on your vehicle.

Let us help you, simply call to schedule an appointment 352-335-5780.

Oil Change – More Than Just New Oil

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Auto Repair Blog | 0 comments

Proper maintenance is vital in the reliability of modern automobiles; none more important than the engine oil. Having this service done by qualified and experienced technicians is also significant to ensuring years of worry free use of your car.

When you come to our auto repair shop for an oil change we use an acronym OLF,  which stands for an Oil, Lube, & Filter service. It means so much more than just new oil & filter.

The internal combustion engine has many moving internal parts. These parts have metal to metal contact surfaces requiring clean oil for lubrication. During combustion, carbon deposits are produced. This carbon is carried by the engine oil and eventually trapped by the oil filter.

With many modern car engines using variable valve timing systems, using the correct factory recommended oil is more important than ever to keep that engine running great for years to come. Our Gainesville auto repair facility stocks multiple oil types and weights for almost every car on the road.

The oil filter is just as important as the oil. We have had many vehicles come into our repair shop with the wrong oil filter installed. While the wrong filter might “fit” in the vehicle, it may be a slightly different size. Why would size matter? Well, let’s say a larger filter is installed where a shorter one should be, that “extra” space that the filter is now taking up may be “empty” for a reason. A quick example is when we had a customer come in for an A/C system check. We went to hook our A/C machine to the car and discovered that a longer oil filter was preventing access to one of the A/C service fittings. Although the A/C check would have been a 30-45 minute complimentary service and this client just had an oil change a couple weeks earlier at a “quick oil change” facility, we needed to take the time and change the filter in order to run our A/C test.

Another important aspect of our OLF is providing a courtesy inspection of the vehicle. While some people may think this is an attempt to find problems simply to increase the cost of the service, that is never our intent. We inspect the vehicle purely to keep you and your passengers safe on the road.

This inspection checks over 20 of the most important items to ensure the safety of your vehicle; items like the tire air pressure, wiper blades, and working exterior lights. All under hood fluids are also checked for proper level and condition including; Windshield Washer, Transmission, Brake, Power Steering, Coolant and Differential Fluid (if applicable). .

The technicians at our shop all have decades of experience. While it might sound simple performing an oil change service, having an unqualified person performing the work can lead to many unintended consequences. One such consequence we have seen firsthand involved a “quick lube” facility draining the oil from a differential pan instead of the engine oil pan. This particular car was a Subaru, which has an unusual three oil pans under the car. One for the engine oil, a small middle one for the differential oil, and a third larger one for the transmission. In this example, the differential oil was drained instead of the engine oil, new engine oil was added to the already full engine oil pan and the customer drove off with a completely empty differential oil pan . The differential lived for about a week without oil before multiple bearing failures occurred, resulting in an expensive overhaul.

The next time your car is in need of an engine oil service, keep in mind these points and consider the importance of using qualified, experienced technicians and the factory recommend oil and filter. Spending a little more will help get many years of reliable use from your vehicle. Give us a call and we would love to service your vehicle at our Gainesville, FL auto repair shop!

Dustin J. Baxley – Shop Manager With over 13 years experience managing Performance Transmission and A/C, Dustin enjoys sharing his automotive repair knowledge both online and in person.


The Great Check Engine Light Mystery

Posted by on Sep 5, 2013 in Auto Repair Blog | 0 comments

Check Engine Light troubles

So you are driving along and this little orange light comes on your dash. It might be the symbol of an engine or say Service Engine Soon. What does this mean? This light is to inform you that your car’s computer (often called an ECM) has received a diagnostic trouble code (DTC). Once this code is stored in the computer, it must be retrieved using some type of diagnostic scan tool. The code number will assist in further diagnosing the root cause of the problem by following the associated diagnostic flow chart.

“Can’t you just hook your computer thingy to tell you what’s wrong with my car?” Oh, how many times I’ve heard this one. Yes, we have a computer “thingy” that will allow us to read the DTC. However, this will not always tell us what is wrong, rather it tells us what the computer is seeing or not seeing with the car’s electronic components. Once we have the DTC number, we will move on to the true diagnostics of a Check Engine Light. This involves following a diagnostic flow chart (sometimes called a trouble tree) that will take us step by step checking out the components associated with the DTC. Most of the time, these flow charts get involved in checking the power and ground circuits of the related part and checking for resistance (continuity) of the circuits. Once you have determined that the related sensor that set the DTC has power, ground, and good wiring, only then can you condemn the sensor as faulty.

A code read is NOT diagnostics. Most big box auto parts stores will walk out to your car and read the diagnostic trouble code at no charge. This is not the same as diagnosing the reason the Check Engine Light is on. An example of this happened recently in our shop. We had a Jeep Cherokee that was setting a DTC #15- Vehicle speed sensor fault. Was the Vehicle speed sensor faulty? No, it wasn’t. Had we just read the DTC and replaced the sensor without running the proper diagnostics, we would not have fixed the problem and most likely would have had an upset customer for replacing a sensor that was not faulty. During the course of running the flow chart for this DTC, we had to check the power circuit to the sensor. While inspecting this circuit, we discovered that the wiring connector was damaged and not allowing the power to flow through the connector to the sensor. A replacement wiring connector and pigtail was installed and the problem was resolved.

“You are going to charge me to look at my car?” This is another one that gets mentioned a lot. The majority of the time, we do not charge to “look” at a car. We will, however, charge to “diagnose” a car. As my previous example illustrates, running the proper diagnostics for the DTC is crucial to determine the problem and fix it correctly. Diagnostic flow charts take time to run. Time costs money, as we have to pay the technician to run the chart, we have to buy the proper equipment for the technician to use, and we have to have the facility to operate in. The average time to retrieve a DTC and run a flow chart is around 45 minutes. Not to mention that “computer thingy” we use, also called by its proper name a diagnostic scan tool, costs lots of money to purchase and update. We have well over ten thousand dollars invested in our latest scan tool purchase, the Snap On Verus.

It as been said that the average car in 1990 had far more computer power than the Apollo rockets that took man to the moon. This computer power has only increased since then and with the increase in power has come an increase in the complexity of diagnosing problems. A good scan tool and a related DTC is a great starting point to properly diagnose the problem but only after following the proper flow chart can the exact problem be determined. I hope this information has helped take some of the mystery over that little orange light that illuminates your dash and the steps to diagnose the problem.


Six Tips To Improve Your Fuel Mileage And Save Money On Gas

Posted by on Jan 20, 2011 in Auto Repair Blog | 0 comments

Six Tips To Improve Your Fuel Mileage And Save Money On Gas

If You Want To Save Money At the Gas Pump Follow These 6 Tips!

With gas prices on the rise, we are all feeling it in our wallets. A few extra pennies at the pump can equal hundreds of dollars ($) over the course of the year. If you just get smart about the way you drive and follow the 6 easy tips, you can improve your MPG (miles per gallon), ultimately saving you money on gas.

1: Empty all that junk in the trunk. Are you carrying around some extra bowling balls or your entire wardrobe in your car? All that weight is increasing the amount your engine has to work to move your car from point A to B. Loose the extra stuff and only carry what you need for that trip. The smaller the vehicle, the more all that extra weight reduces your MPG’s. 100 pounds of extra weight can reduce your miles per gallon by up to 2%!

2: Don’t be a drag racer! Do you love waiting for that green light and then punching the throttle with all your might just so you can beat the other guy to the next red light? While it might be fun, it is most certainly wasting your money by decreasing your MPG’s. Try slowly accelerating away from stops and slowing down sooner rather than waiting till the last second and slamming on the brakes. Aggressive driving, by either rapid acceleration or speeding can reduce your MPG’s by 5-33%.

3: Use cruise while cruising. While driving on a highway or interstate, use your vehicle’s cruise control to maintain the speed limit. Using cruise control allows the engine to maintain a constant vehicle speed and in turn engine rpms. This will reduce your engine’s fuel consumption. Most vehicle’s fuel economy drops off sharply above 60 mph, so driving the speed limit will save you $$ in the long run. Slowing down to the speed limit and using cruise control can improve your MPG’s by 7-23%.

4: Stay inflated! Keeping the proper air pressure in your vehicle’s tires is essential to increasing your fuel economy. Not only is this a safety issue, as under inflated tires can cause excessive tire wear which can lead to a blow out, this is the easiest single thing you can do to your car to improve your vehicle’s MPG’s. Savings in the range of 3% MPG’s is the average.

5: Service Your Vehicle Regularly: Keeping your vehicle in proper running condition is essential to the life of your automobile but it can also save you $$ at the pump! Does your car feel sluggish or hesitate when you push the gas pedal? These are signs your engine is not running properly. An engine that is not running properly is an engine that is not running efficiently! Savings of around 4% can be achieved by getting your engine running properly. Even bigger savings can be found if you have a faulty sensor or part on your engine. An oxygen sensor, for example, can reduce fuel economy by up to 40% if it is not working correctly.

6: Be trip savvy! Reduce your fuel consumption by reducing the amount of individual trips you take. Plan your errands around the same trip and get the most bang for your fuel buck! Car pool when possible to and from work and the savings will add up quickly!

As you can see, there is not one magic pill that will make your car’s MPG’s increase. It is a combination of driving habits, trip planning, and ensuring your car is running in tip top condition, but real savings can be achieved! With the price of gas going up and not coming back down, these tips will help put more money in your pockets instead of the gas pump! Come by our Gainesville Auto Repair Shop and we can make sure you vehicle is properly serviced and not costing you money at the gas pump.

These figures are based on industry averages and can be found at