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.



A.G. Automotive & Diagnosis Offers Auto Repair Services You Can Count On!

ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)
IATN (International Automotive Technicians' Network)
ASE Master Technician
Parts Plus CCC
Repair Pal
Car Care Aware

TESTIMONIALS

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Chuck at A.G. Automotive & Diagnosis is Amazing!! My check engine light was on and I needed to get my car smogged! I went to a few shops and was charged A LOT OF $$$$ and no one could Find or Fix the problem. Chuck was able to find & Fix the problem in a few hours!! He was able to fix it the First time... Not through replacing random parts until he got the right one!! He Knows what he's doing! He diagnosed the problem, got the part, fixed the problem!! Reasonable, Professional, Knowledgeable, Trustworthy! pretty much what I have been looking for in a Mechanic!!! THANK YOU CHUCK!! YOU HAVE A CUSTOMER FOR LIFE!!


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Excellent, intelligent, knowledgeable, friendly, and efficient. This was my second visit and it was the same as the first I was greeted promptly, they actually listened to me and fixed my car perfectly and I'm not easy. At last I now have a mechanic I not only can trust but refer to friends.


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My Dodge Cummins Diesel pickup suddenly started running rich and misfiring, had it towed to AG Automotive after talking to Chuck about the problem. He worked on it and found that the injector pump gear was bad, they never go bad but mine did and Chuck found and fixed it. My pickup runs great I will definitely recommend AG Automotive to others.


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Chuck has been working on my vehicles for years. I won't have any other mechanic look at my car. When I have AG AUTOMOTIVE do any work it's done right the first time, no comebacks!! AG is very reasonable and the job is done in a timely manner. Thanks Chuck for being there for me.


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Excellent and quick service. Chuck and Jonathan we're great help and attentive as well. Thank you for the work and advice as well.


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Thank you Chuck for helping a 75 yr old lady, my mother said you were so nice & caring she is VERY happy with your work and says she has a NEW mechanic, she knows she is in good hands.....and the price was about 200.00 less that what the dealership wanted to charge her. Thank you.


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I was very satisfied by the service AG Automotive & Diagnosis provided. I had taken my Honda Accord to the dealer who quoted me for service that was not needed. Chuck fixed my car for a reasonable price and in the future I will have him take care of all services and repairs for my car.


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Very helpful and very polite. Tells you straight up what's wrong and gives you options.


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My wife scheduled a last minute brake and oil change for me. He waited for me to bring in my car close to after hours, so that he could be able to work on it the next morning. He did an amazing job! You just earned yourself a permanent customer. Thank for taking care of my Truck Chuck!!!


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Chuck was very knowledgeable as well as personable. He took time to ask all the right questions in order to accurately diagnose what was going on with my car. We will definitely be bringing our car to him from now on.


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Great service! Chuck have me an honest diagnosis and fair pricing! I'll definitely be back.


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Professional,polite,and finished the job on time and on budget. not only are they excellent mechanics but they truly fix what others can't. I recommend AG without hesitation At last a mechanic I trust and that's saying a lot.


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Chuck goes above and beyond for his customers.


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Excellent customer service, great work...dependable. I told them i needed my car the next day. It was ready to go and they washed it for me. They don't take advantage!


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Excellent service and work as always. Chuck takes time to explain everything and is completely transparent and upfront about what needs to be done. A truly honest guy who does great work on time and at fair prices.


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The Most honest mechanics in Los Angeles ! the most trustworthy people in that Garage waiting to answer you question and help you with your car! I highly recommend these people to everyone is seeking to deal with honest people and my thanks to every single person in that shop, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!


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A+++!!!! After 10+ years of living in LA and seeing various mechanics, A.G. Automotive & Diagnosis was by far the best service, expertise, and workmanship I have experienced. Chuck is HONEST, extremely knowledgeable and experienced (more so than any other mechanic I've ever been to)


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Was just given a good amount of prices and things that need replacing from Galpin, found this place and made a call. Chuck made this day a bit more bearable for me saving me money and educating me on my car situation! Thanks again, I'll definitely be back.


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What can I say other than these guys know what they are doing and give you an honest and fair experience. From the first phone call I knew they were the right choice. They talked us through the complete repair and showed a genuine concern for our situation. The prices they quoted were accurate and the work they did was first rate. So happy we found these guys! If you want the job done right the first time, this is the place.


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It's simply the best service shop I've been to. Professional and courteous staff. I Had some serious issues with my engine, tried 2 other shops prior A.G. and they couldn't solve the problem. Chuck diagnosed my pickup truck, found the problem and fixed it in a timely manner. For a reasonable price, too!


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A&G Automotive did an awesome job on my mini. Fast and efficient service. Fair pricing. They get straight to the point. I'll continue to bring my car to here for maintenance and recommend them to all my family and friends. Thanks A&G


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I had an oil leak and I could have been taken advantage of very easily...but they were honest and told me it was a simple fix, and I walked out paying less than originally quoted. I understand every business has to make money to strive, but I can see they value their integrity over making a quick buck. They've gained my respect and future business. I highly recommend this company!


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I found this AG Automotive through yelp. So I decided to give it a try. I sent in one of our inventory (2006 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor) in for steering wheel stiffness diagnostic. Owner Chuck was able to identify the problem in the first place. His crews are very professional (more professional I thought I was at a car dealership service department). Great experience throughout. Most importantly, got the job done right. They know what they're talking about. Certainly not some BS mom & pop shop just there for your money (if they fixed it right the first time). Price is fair. If you ever have problem with the repairs they done, there's always a warranty to back you up. Thank you chuck. I will be back at your shop for our other vehicle recondition. From: Ideal Motor Group in San Gabriel Valley.


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I went here with a really bad brake problem. Chuck took the time to explain the cause of the issue and what could be done to not only fix it but how to prevent it in the future. He and his team are professional and highly knowledgeable. I feel confident and grateful to these guys. I definitely recommend this shop and will continue to refer friends and family here. His prices are more than fair and the work is top shelf.