Part 1 - Save fuel in the Quick Lane
Proper vehicle maintenance doesn't just help extend the life of your vehicle - it can help relieve some of the financial pressure brought on by high gas prices. The following are a few key services our factory-trained auto service technicians can perform to help boost your mpg and fuel economy.
- Keep your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Making sure your tire pressure isn't too low - or too high - can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3%.
- Get the recommended grade of motor oil. Our experts offer a full line of high-quality oil and filter products from Motorcraft®. Using the one that's right for your vehicle can help improve fuel efficiency by up to 2%.
- Get an engine tune-up. Making sure all your systems are operating at their best can save you 4% in fuel efficiency.
Part 2 - Save fuel on the road
Saving fuel after a visit to your Porter Quick Lane is just the start. Here are a few things you can be conscious of when you're behind the wheel to help you squeeze a little more out of your gas dollars.
- Avoid aggressive driving. Not only can it be dangerous, but constant speed changes and quick, uneven stops and starts also waste a lot of fuel. Taking it easier behind the wheel can improve your gas mileage by as much as 33%
- Remove excess weight. You can save about 2% in fuel efficiency for every 100 lbs. of weight you remove from your car or truck
- Use your cruise control. It's almost always more fuel-efficient to travel at a constant speed whenever possible
- Avoid idling. It's more fuel-efficient to turn off your engine when you're waiting in the car
- Combine trips. Your engine works most efficiently when warmed up
- Don't speed. Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.
A flat tire is one of the biggest inconveniences you can experience on the road. If you don't have your cell phone handy to call a tow truck or aren't up for waiting, here's what to do.
Before you start, make sure to consult your vehicle owner's guide for details specific to your car or truck, such as the location of the spare and jack kit. Also, be aware of your surroundings. If you do not feel safe, do not hesitate to call the local police for help.
- Remove the spare tire and jack from your vehicle. Check the inflation level of your spare - if its pressure is too low, you'll either need to find a place where you can inflate it or call a tow truck.
- Your jack kit should include a tire iron for removing the lug nuts. Use it to loosen the lug nuts on the flat tire, but don't remove them yet. If you need to use a lot of force to get them loose, you don't ever want to do it while the vehicle is already jacked up.
- Block the other tires to make sure the vehicle doesn't roll.
- Raise the corner with the flat tire high enough off the ground to put the spare tire on. You should always avoid raising the vehicle any higher than you need to.
- Finish removing the lug nuts from the flat tire and pull it off.
- Put the spare tire on the vehicle.
- Replace the lug nuts, but don't tighten them yet.
- Lower the vehicle by turning the jack in reverse.
- Tighten the lug nuts. After a few turns, rotate clockwise to tighten the next lug nut. Repeat this process until each lug nut is securely in place.
- Stop by your Porter Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center for a replacement tire as soon as you can. If you have to use highways to get there, keep your vehicle under 55 mph and use your hazard lights. Most spare tires are not designed to handle high speeds for long periods of time.
A dead battery is another common inconvenience that many drivers will encounter in their lifetime. And unlike changing a flat tire, this one requires a little help from your friends. So, if you don't want to call a tow truck and you have a willing helper, here's how to get some life back in your car battery. Pay special attention to the connection order - that's one of the most common and overlooked causes for unsuccessful jump-starts.
Before you start, you'll need jumper cables, so if you don't have any, you may want to make sure your helper brings them. When your helper arrives, have them park close enough to your vehicle so that you can connect the jumper cables to the batteries with plenty of extra slack. Most cables are about six feet long. You should also check your owner's guide for details about your vehicle battery location and terminal placement.
- Open both vehicle hoods and locate the batteries.
- Remove any terminal covers and corrosion.
- Attach the positive (red) jumper cable to the positive (red) terminal of the dead battery. Make sure that both metal clamps are firmly in contact with the terminal.
- Attach the other end of the positive (red) jumper cable to the positive (red) terminal of the assisting battery.
- Attach the negative (black) jumper cable to the negative (black) terminal of the assisting battery.
- Attach the remaining end of the negative (black) jumper cable to an exposed metal part of the disabled vehicle's engine, away from the battery and the carburetor/fuel-injection system.
- Start the assisting vehicle's engine.
- Start the disabled vehicle's engine.
- Allow both vehicles to run connected for about three minutes.
- While leaving the jumpstarted vehicle running, disconnect the cables in the reverse order that they were attached and close the hoods.
- Keep the jumpstarted vehicle's engine running for about a half hour to allow the battery to fully charge.
- Visit your Porter Quick Lane to get the jumpstarted battery tested or replaced as soon as you can.
The more you use your brakes, the faster they wear out. By design, all brakes contain special friction materials, referred to as pads or shoes, which keep the metal of your calipers from grinding against - and damaging - the metal of your rotors. This is not a built-in flaw, but simply a result of brakes working normally and safely.
Stop by your Porter Quick Lane for brake service if you notice any of the following:
- Squeaks or grinding
- A burning odor
- A hard-to-press or "squishy"-feeling pedal
- Shuddering or vibration in your steering wheel
- Rusting or flaking in your brakes or rotors
- Your brake system warning light goes on
Your tires are crucial to your car or truck's handling and safety. Regular tire rotations can help distribute wear evenly over a longer period of time, but no tire lasts forever. Stop by your Porter Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center for a new set of tires if you notice any of the following symptoms.
Replace your tires if you notice:
- Tire tread depth of less than 3/32" or tire treads that don't reach the top of Lincoln's head on an upside-down penny
- Punctures, cuts or snags in your tire tread or sidewall
- Sudden loss of tire pressure
- Your tire wear indicator is visible
- Sudden vibration when driving
- Poor handling or traction on slippery surfaces
The best way to avoid having to jump-start a dead battery is to learn the warning signs of an aging or worn battery. Stop by your Porter Quick Lane for a battery test if you notice any of the following symptoms.
- Excessive corrosion around the battery terminals or cables
- Bulging or deformity of the battery casing
- Difficulty starting your engine
- Consistent electrical system problems
While you're there, you can get a full Vehicle Check-Up Report to help you monitor your vehicle systems. It's a great way to keep up on all your truck or car maintenance needs.
Shocks and struts help keep your tires in contact with the road and affect your vehicle handling and control. Your Porter Quick Lane can help you keep an eye on the health of your shocks or struts with a Vehicle Check-Up Report. However, if you notice any of the following while driving, it's a sign you may need steering and suspension system maintenance as soon as possible.
- Excessive bouncing
- Loss of tire contact with the road
- Excessive or uneven tire wear
- A decrease in your handling or braking ability
- Vibration or noise
- Fluid leaks in your shocks
- Dents, holes or damage to any of your shock components