If you were to drive around the world, what would be your vehicle of choice? Something sturdy, reliable, and fuel efficient, right? Wrong. At least that’s not the rationale of Heidi Hetzer. The 75-year old German business woman not only wants to circumnavigate the globe but she wants to do it in a 91-year old Hispano-Suiza roadster. And she plans to follow the route of another determined female driver, Clarenore Stinnes, who in May of 1927 became the first person to travel the globe by automobile.
The rest of us might worry about embarking upon such a taxing trip in such an elderly vehicle without a road crew. But not Hetzer. Her love of automobiles started when she served as a mechanic at her father’s Berlin Opel dealership, a business she eventually ran with great success. And when she wasn’t working she was racing. Autoblog reports Hetzer’s more than 50 years of competitive driving have earned her more than 150 prizes. She’ll take the starting line for her global road trip in 2014.
Sources: www.autoblog.com; www.the-car-addict.com; www.wikipedia.com
The less-than-glamorous fact of automobile ownership is that sooner or later your car, truck, or SUV will need to visit the shop for service or repair work. Whether your visit is to take care of something as simple and inexpensive as an oil change or as complicated and spendy as a turbocharger replacement, we want to make your time with us as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. So we’ve upgraded our service areas inside and out. Both Service Departments at Butler Kia and Butler Hyundai have been enclosed so you can show us what’s going on with your vehicle away from wind, rain, or harsh sunlight. And the waiting room at Butler Ford and Acura’s Service Department is now more comfortable, complete with complimentary Kuerig beverage choices and bottled water, cozy chairs, magazines, TV, and free Wi-Fi. We hope you see and feel the difference! And if you have any ideas to help us better your experience while you’re waiting for your service work to be completed, we want to hear ’em! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Customer Lobby at Butler Ford and Acura Service Center
Service Bay at Butler Kia
Service Bay at Butler Hyundai
Remember $3.50 a gallon gas? Weren’t those the good ol’ days? Okay, we’re being facetious but seriously, with the average price of fuel in Oregon at more than $4 a gallon, we’re being faced with some harsh realities: find a way to reign in that part of the budget or risk having to cut cable TV… or worse.
So, aside from the obvious (like driving a more fuel efficient car, driving less often, and carpooling) here’s a list of ways to bump up your fuel economy and knock a few cents off your gas bill.
- Tune up
Make sure your engine’s running as efficiently as possible.
- Check tires
Improperly aligned or underinflated tires make your engine work harder. The goal is to take stress *off* the engine. Also, if you’re one of those people (like this blogger) who likes tires bigger and beefier than she needs, know ahead of time that you’ll lose a few cents per gallon.
- Check air filter
A clean air filter contributes to an efficient engine.
- Slow down
CBS News quotes the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as saying “most cars’ fuel efficiency peaks at speeds from 35 to 60 miles per hour.” Every 5 miles an hour over 60 adds almost a quarter to your cost per gallon.
- Be consistent
Drive, accelerate and stop smoothly. It takes more fuel to drive erratically, race off the line, and slam to a stop.
- Take your foot off the brake
Resting your foot on the brake while driving creates drag and makes the engine work harder than it needs to.
- Resist junk in the trunk
It’s okay to haul stuff when you need to but extra weight requires more energy to move. So, resist the urge to use your car or truck as storage space.
- Turn it off
If stopped more than 30 seconds turn your vehicle off. If there’s no need for the engine to be working let it rest.
- Give the AC a rest
Anything in or on your vehicle that requires energy gets that power from the engine. The less energy your engine has to produce, the more power is available to run the vehicle (the only exception is the heater – the engine’s always producing heat). So, roll down your windows and save the AC only for the most scorching of days.
Source: www.dailygreen.com, www.autotrader.com, www.popularmechanics.com, www.bankrate.com
Image courtesy: David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net
Oil change. Tire rotation. Battery check. These are phrases every vehicle owner knows even if they’ve yet to take their car, truck or SUV in for service. Many of us are great about getting on a regular schedule of automotive maintenance. Others are less so, opting instead to postpone regular checkups until, eventually, disaster strikes.
Butler’s service managers say regular service work almost guarantees you’ll double the life of your car. Ignore service work and the little things can quickly become the big things. Butler Ford’s Richard Bennet and Butler Acura’s Joe Butterfield list six items that should be checked religiously in order to avoid costly, and potentially dangerous, mishaps.
Recommendations vary according to battery but a good rule of thumb is to replace yours every 3-5 years. Failing to do so could, literally, leave you stranded.
Wear depends on your driving habits, weather, and road surface as well as mileage but it’s generally accepted that tires should be swapped out for new ones every 40,000 miles. And don’t forget rotation every 5,000-10,000 miles to keep the tire tread wearing evenly. Rotation and alignment can help prevent uneven wear which can result in your tires losing their ability to grip the road or channel water. Tire failure can lead to blowouts or hydroplaning.
- Air and fuel filters
You know how hard it is to breathe in smog? That’s what your engine feels when its air/fuel filters are clogged. Replacing them on a regular basis helps keep the engine running at its efficient best, which keeps your vehicle happy and on the road longer. Internal combustion engines mix air and fuel. If either gets dirty, your engine has to operate on sludge. Air filters can be changed out every 3,000 miles; fuel filters every 15,000 miles. If either filter is clogged your engine may stall or fail to start altogether.
- Oil changes
Depending on the theory you subscribe to, your best bet is to change the oil every 3,000-8,000 miles. Industry standards vary with some experts saying more often is better and others arguing any sooner than every 7,800 miles is overkill. Dirty oil can lead to the buildup of sludge which, gone unheeded long enough will kill your engine. And be sure to CHECK your oil on a regular basis to make sure your level is where it should be. Low or no oil can lead to engine seizure.
You know you need them and you know why. But when brakes start to fail some owners let the problem go on far too long. When they start to squeal, it’s time to replace them. Don’t wait until you hear metal grinding on metal. Not only is it dangerous but it can get expensive to fix.
As always, these are guidelines. Before getting on any kind of regular maintenance schedule, consult your owner’s manual or give us a call. Our goal is to keep you safely on the road as long as possible!