D & B Automotiove: Good Service And Good Fuel Economy
Posted March 27, 2012 12:21 PM
Most of our Germantown clients want to save on gas and seek our advice on improving fuel economy. At D & B Automotiove, we are frequently asked, however, just how much money Germantown motorists can actually save.
Well the US government has a website dedicated to helping us use less fuel. It presents the cost savings in a way Germantown car owners can relate to and is relevant for all vehicles. Let me give you an example: Having your truck 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 D & B Automotiove post, we’re going to talk about several things you can do to improve your truckfuel economy driving around Germantown. We’ll tell you the potential savings per gallon of gas at three dollars and fifty cents, and we’ll show a graphic 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 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 D & B Automotiove 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 D & B Automotiove.
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 cost you at the pump so check your tires every week.
DOLLARS PER GALLON
TIRE INFLATION 3%
Your truck 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 economy, 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 Germantown roads), rocketing away from stop lights, standing on the brakes, punching it for lane changes - really takes a toll on your fuel economy.
Cutting out aggressive driving around Germantown can save five percent or eighteen cents a gallon. Now on the highway it gets really costly: thirty three percent or a buck sixteen a gallon. Think about that.
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 trucks 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.
Posted in the Fuel System category
How to Know When to Change Your Oil At D & B Automotiove
Posted March 23, 2012 9:38 AM
Today in the D & B Automotiove auto care blog, we’re going to talk about oil change intervals. It seems that as engine technology advances, recommended oil change intervals have gotten longer for D & B Automotiove customers. High quality oil in a well-engineered truck engine has lead to extended intervals. But it’s also lead to some confusion among Memphis drivers.
The old mantra “change your oil every three months or three thousand miles, whichever comes first” once applied to every vehicle in your garage. Time and miles take their toll on motor oil. But now, you could have a different oil change recommendation for every car or truck you own.
Memphis people are like everybody else, they have a tendency to put off all the oil changes to the schedule of the vehicle with the longest interval. Of course, that can lead to problems. For example, recently four of the world’s largest auto manufacturers shortened the published intervals for several of their engines. They originally published intervals that extended out to a much as 8,000 miles.
In real world Memphis driving, the oil started to sludge up before the recommended change interval. Oil sludge is a thick jelly-like substance. Quite literally petroleum jelly – like Vaseline. This goop was clogging truck small engine passages so the oil wouldn’t flow to some parts of the engine. This resulted in engine damage. We see it from time to time at D & B Automotiove.
The manufacturers began to offer an extended warranty to cover sludge damage. But there was a catch: the vehicle owner had to follow a new, lower service interval, and provide proof of oil changes in order to make a warranty claim.
So here’s the problem. With longer oil change intervals, it’s extremely important to follow them closely. Back in the day of 3 months or 3,000 miles, if you went an extra month or an extra thousand miles, your oil was still fresh enough that it didn’t have time to build up much sludge.
But if your recommended interval is 6,500 miles and you go over another thousand, you’re getting into heavy sludge territory. You absolutely need to follow mileage intervals very closely. And don’t forget your severe service schedule. If you do a lot of stop and go driving in TN, short trips, drive in dusty or polluted Memphis conditions, hot or cold weather, or haul heavy loads, you’re driving in severe service conditions. Your D & B Automotiove advisor can help you evaluate which schedule to follow.
So check your truck owner’s manual or talk with your Memphis service advisor about where and how you drive. Should you be changing your oil closer to the regular schedule, or the severe service schedule? You need to make the call.
Let me give you an example of this. Some newer trucks have an oil change indicator. It has a sophisticated computer algorithm that tracks number of cold starts, engine temperature, RPMs, mileage, and many more variables to come up with a recommendation for when to change the oil.
Depending on driving conditions, the indicator in one test vehicle came on at anywhere from 2,500 miles to almost 7,000 miles. It’s typically just over 4,000 miles. What this tells us is that sometimes, we’re driving easy miles that are easy on the truck – like a long road trip. Sometimes, we’re driving hard TN miles – like towing a trailer or a lot of around town driving. But, usually, it’s a combination of both.
Once again, it’s up to you to make the call as to when to change your oil at D & B Automotiove to protect your truck engine. Another place where TN drivers can go wrong is with the type of oil they use. More and more new cars are coming to Memphis owners filled with synthetic oil. Without going into a lot of detail right now, let’s just say that synthetic oil lasts longer and is very resistant to oil sludge.
But it also costs quite a bit more, so some Memphis people are tempted to use conventional oil for their oil changes. Now, it’s always best to use the oil recommended by your manufacturer. Check your owner’s manual see if a conventional oil alternative is allowed.
But getting back to the problem, if your truck came from the factory with synthetic oil, the recommended oil change interval is for synthetic oil. If you use conventional oil, you can’t use the synthetic interval. You need to shorten it.
Posted in the Fluids category
Serpentine Belt Service At D & B Automotiove In Memphis
Posted March 13, 2012 12:40 PM
If you’ve ever heard a squealing sound under your hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems in your truck. Let’s go over them.
First, the serpentine belt drives your air conditioning system. It spins the compressor that makes the cool air that takes the edge off the summer heat in Memphis. Next, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that’s used by your truck’s electrical systems and also charges your car battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead in a few miles.
The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost).
And, on most trucks, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within normal operating temperatures. On some Memphis cars, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.
When they understand what it does, Memphis drivers realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That’s why manufacturers have recommended that it be changed every so often so that it doesn’t fail.
At D & B Automotiove, we can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon. If the belt has more than three or four cracks every inch, has deep cracks that penetrate half the depth of the belt, is frayed, is missing pieces or has a shiny glazed look, it needs to be replaced regardless of age or mileage.
If it has lost a significant thickness, it also needs to be replaced. There’s a special spring-loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there’s a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn’t slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At D & B Automotiove, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.
As mentioned, a squealing sound could be a sign that the serpentine belt needs to be replaced. It may be loose if you hear a slow, slapping sound when idling your truck.
All in all, the serpentine belt’s an important part for the function of your truck. And it’s not that expensive to replace at D & B Automotiove – so it’s good to do so before it fails.
Posted in the Maintenance category
Give Your Engine Clean Fuel With A New Fuel Filter From D & B Automotiove
Posted March 9, 2012 11:56 AM
Your truck requires plenty of clean fuel to run. When your fuel isn’t clean, your fuel injectors can start to become clogged up. When this happens, your truck engine may not get the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure to run efficiently. This hurts fuel economy and performance as you drive around Ellendale. It can also lead to the buildup of harmful deposits on valves and in the combustion chamber.
That’s why all vehicles, including trucks, come equipped with a fuel filter somewhere between the engine and the fuel tank. The job of the filter is to clean out little pieces of dirt and contamination. The filter captures the contaminants and holds them out of the fuel stream. Of course, the filter will eventually get clogged up and need to be replaced at D & B Automotiove.
If your fuel filter is clogged, the truck engine can’t get all the fuel it needs, and it may sputter at high speeds or quick acceleration. Many fuel filters have a bypass valve that will allow unfiltered fuel through when they are clogged. This keeps your engine running, but doesn’t protect it from contaminated fuel.
You may find that you need to change your fuel filter at D & B Automotiove more frequently as your truck ages. Over the years, additional sediment and rust accumulates in the fuel tank and can be drawn into the fuel system. Your fuel filter stands guard at the gates to your engine to protect expensive parts and to maintain performance and fuel economy.