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  • Mon 7:00AM - 6:00PM
    Tue 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Wed 7:00AM - 6:00PM
    Thu 7:00AM - 6:00PM
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HELPFUL INFO

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 2001National Car Care Month vehicle check lanes, 21percent 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

Sick of the dealership kicking us around, we brought our car in to figure out what was wrong with it. They were extremely quick to identify the problems and very honest in their recommendations. Will certainly be bringing our cars back for future work/diagnosis.


-Jimmy S.

Neighborhood treasure since 1973.


-Ron G.

Bill and the gang at 4th street AR are awesome. They stand by their parts and labor. Definitely will be returning my vehicles here for service!


-Kevin L.

Great service!


-Shaan R.

The mechanics here are extremely friendly, knowledgeable, explanatory, and honest. They tried to save me money at every turn and went above and beyond in providing me and my vehicle with top quality service. I wouldn't take my car anywhere else, and I live 30 min away.


-Ed L.

I am SO thrilled and happy with 4th street auto. They are there when you need them in a pinch, and they are 100% honest and fair with their pricing. THANK YOU 4th street auto! :D


-L. Scherer

4th street auto is a great place to bring your car for service. They complete the work for what they said they would charge and they fix what they said they would fix on time. The attitude is friendly and helpful.


-Richard W.

I have been on my own for 34 years. When I found 4th Street Auto Care Center it was God sent. Bill and the staff are very friendly and caring and I thank God always for leading me to them. I feel that they are extremely knowledgeable. My car has always been thoroughly fixed and they always make me feel that they are looking out for me.


-Myrna K.

I have been going to 4th Street Auto for about 8 years now. These guys are amazing! They are honest, experienced, nice, fair and fast. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone!


-Karen F.

I made an appointment with 4th Street Auto for my car to be worked on. I explained what I thought was wrong and left.Within an hour they called and gave me an estimate and explained what I really needed. Bill was more than helpful. I would highly suggest going to 4th Street Auto to any of my friends or co-workers. You can tell they care and are reasonably priced. My car runs like a champ now!


-Carol M.

This is not only a top notch auto shop, they are incredibly kind, honest and fair. They do excellent work! If they feel someone else will be able to perform a better, more cost efficient service, they will send you to one of their trusted associates. They sent me to just such a place for some muffler work, and it was fantastic. I highly recommend 4th Street Auto Care Center.


-Matt M.

My wife & I have been bringing our cars & trucks here for years without any problems. Always treated well, getting the vehicles repaired correctly & at a reasonable cost. Highly recommended to our neighbors & friends


-David S.

Wonderful service. Would highly recommend to anyone.


-James M.

Really good place to take your vehicle. Friendly and honest. I would highly recommend them to anyone!


-Craig B.

I have been taking my cars here for years and have never had any issues. They do quality work and are honest about what needs to be done, and do it at a fair price. When Vinsetta Garage closed on Woodward, the owner recommended his customers to take their business to 4th Street, and that should tell you a lot.


-Peter S.
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  • Call Us For Service: 248-543-2262