Another Couple of Years: Making Your Vehicle Last With Help From George's Wholesale Tire & Auto
Posted January 02, 2019 08:07 AM
A while back, the Cash for Clunkers program was all over the Florida news. Spring Hill people could trade in their old vehicle for a new one that got better gas mileage and receive a government rebate.
A lot of Spring Hill motorists had so-called clunkers that they wanted to keep. They're good commuters, grocery getters or toy haulers. They enjoy that fact that they're paid off, or soon will be. They would gladly like to keep their vehicles for 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) or more – as long as it's economical to do so.
There are plenty of Spring Hill drivers whose vehicles are running after 150,000 or 200,000 miles (240,000 or 320,000 kilometers). We can learn from what they're doing to keep our own vehicles on the road in Florida.
The Spring Hill drivers of high-mileage cars often report a common denominator of never skipping an oil change.
That may sound a bit unsophisticated, but it's really not. First off, oil is the life blood of your vehicle's engine and it needs to be clean to properly lubricate. Skipping oil changes leads to clogged oil filters and sludge that is bad for your engine.
There's another reason the scheduled oil change is so important for Spring Hill car owners. It's simple – a George's Wholesale Tire & Auto professional is going to be looking at your car. All of your fluid levels will be inspected and topped off so they won't get so low that damage can be done. If there is a significant fluid loss, let's use brake fluid as an example, your George's Wholesale Tire & Auto technician can look for the cause of the loss and find the problem before it leads to an accident or repair.
Your friendly and knowledgeable George's Wholesale Tire & Auto service advisor will also visually inspect your vehicle for worn belts and hoses, uneven tire wear, leaking shock absorbers and more. Problems get addressed before they lead to repairs that cost more than the car's worth.
Realistically, things are going to wear out as your vehicle gets older. On the way to 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) you'll go through several batteries, probably a couple of alternators and water pumps, a set of shocks and likely some brake rotors.
Of course, these things cost some money, but they are less than new vehicle payments in Spring Hill. With proper service at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto and regular inspections, you'll keep surprise repairs to a minimum and more money in your wallet.
Keys to a Long Lasting Vehicle
Posted September 02, 2018 05:41 AM
We live in a disposable society. Everything from elaborate packaging to our clothing. Even cell phones are disposable. When replacement is cheaper than repair, the term "built to last" goes by the wayside. An exception is our vehicles. They're still a very big investment and Spring Hill drivers want to make them last as long as possible. We also want to make keeping them running as cheap as possible. When talking vehicles, it's all about preventive maintenance. There is an old saying that says, "A stitch in time saves nine," and that is really true when it comes to taking care of your vehicle. A great example is coolant service in Spring Hill.
Your coolant not only protects your engine from overheating and freezing, it must also protect cooling system components from corrosion. Over time, coolant becomes corrosive and actually starts to damage your radiator and other parts. That's why you need to have your cooling system serviced on a regular schedule.
The same is true for your power steering system, brake fluid, air conditioning system, differential and transmission. And of course, Spring Hill vehicle owners shouldn't forget those oil changes right on schedule. Skipping even one change can start the build up of harmful oil sludge.
Our engines are full of gaskets and seals. Fresh fluids condition those gaskets and seals to keep them from drying out and leaking. Automotive fluids contain additives that help clean and lubricate the various systems they protect. Over time, the additives are used up and the fluid just does not provide the protection it did when it was fresh. And don't forget the mechanical systems. Changing brake pads before they are worn to the point that they cause damage to rotors is a great way to keep your operating costs down.
Replacing serpentine belts and timing belts on schedule is much cheaper for Spring Hill drivers than repairing the damage that can be caused by failure. Also, air filters, fuel filters, PCV valves and batteries are all important. Regular wheel alignments, tire rotation and balancing will make your tires last longer. And don't forget to replace your shocks and struts when they wear out. Your fuel system needs regular cleaning to keep running well, prevent mechanical damage and improve fuel economy.
Now this is a lot to remember for Spring Hill drivers - too much, really. But it is your Spring Hill automotive technician's job to keep on top of this stuff. At George's Wholesale Tire & Auto we can tell you what your manufacturer recommends and help you with a plan to take care of it. We can advise you about which maintenance schedule you should use - the regular schedule or the severe service schedule - depending on the kind of driving you do. We also know the right fluids for your vehicle and may even suggest higher mileage formulations for your older vehicle.
Bottom line - take care of this stuff on schedule and you will reduce operating costs, prevent damage and maintain your warranty coverage.
Of course, you want your vehicle to look as good as it runs. Regular washing will prevent rust and protect your finish. Take advantage of cleaners, waxes and protectants for your interior and tires. Your vehicle will look great and you'll be proud to drive it longer.
Most of us in Spring Hill can't afford to throw away our car when it breaks down. By budgeting for regular preventive maintenance, we can prevent many inconvenient - and expensive - problems down the road, and can keep driving "old faithful" for years to come.
Budget for Maintenance in Spring Hill
Posted August 19, 2018 03:11 AM
Sometimes busy Spring Hill residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Florida in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Spring Hill residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.
Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's Spring Hill drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's Spring Hill drivers didn't care much for it, either. So on today's vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at Spring Hill area auto service centers.
Spring Hill drivers certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Vehicle care in Florida simply costs more than it used to. So if you think about it, Spring Hill drivers can avoid many vehicle repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.
Just a bit of auto advice from George's Wholesale Tire & Auto: If you like new vehicles and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new vehicle every few years because you're afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and Florida auto insurance with an older vehicle and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for preventive maintenance you have done at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less!
The Maintenance Free Myth
Posted July 24, 2018 04:35 AM
Sometimes we hear people in Spring Hill say, "What's up with all this maintenance stuff? Modern cars just don't break down." While it is true that today's vehicles are extremely reliable, they are also becoming increasingly complicated and use more exotic materials than ever before. All that complexity demands higher tolerances for everything. For example, most Spring Hill drivers don't realize how high tech automotive fluids have become, fluids such as engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant and brake fluid.
Did you know that a modern engine would not run for more than a few months using motor oil formulas from 30 years ago? Today's automotive fluids contain a much higher percentage of additives to protect your vehicle's components from premature wear and corrosion. Time and distances march on for all of our cars. Please don't think we're using scare tactics to get you to take care of your maintenance - but here are some personal stories we've heard to emphasize and show how important it is to get things done when they are due. Names are withheld to avoid embarrassment to those who should know better. Even though they should know better, it usually comes down to real life: time and money. But they are tales of a stitch in time saves nine.
The first comes from someone who bought a used pick-up truck for his son. The oil was clean and all the fluids were topped off. A short time later, the truck overheated on a highway in Florida and shut down. The repair shop diagnosed the problem: the radiator pan was corroded and dumped the coolant. Even though the coolant level was correct, it was clear that the coolant had never been completely replaced - just topped off from time to time. While this kept the engine cool, all of the anti-corrosion additives had worn out; the coolant became acidic and ate through the radiator pan. The cost: hundreds of dollars and four days in the shop. This demonstrates the need to get your coolant exchanged on schedule.
Another story involves the true cost of skipping an annual inspection. This guy took his SUV in for the Florida safety inspection to renew his registration. At the Spring Hill inspection station, he learned that the law had changed and that his newer rig only required an inspection every two years. He was very happy to save the money. The problem was, his rear brake pads were very worn. Two months later, it was bad enough that he could hear the grind - over the radio, DVD player and the kids. He took it in to get the bad news. Both of the rear brake rotors were damaged. The left one could be resurfaced. The right had to be replaced. So saving a little on his safety inspection turned into an extra $500 over what brake pad replacement would have been. Moral of the story for Spring Hill drivers: don't skip your annual inspections. The irony is that many Spring Hill service centers would have done a brake inspection for free.
Next: a teenage daughter and a curb. Daddy's little princess smacked a curb when she turned into a shopping center and popped the tire. The problem came when Dad didn't get an alignment. The impact was hard enough to ruin the tire - so it was enough wreck the alignment. But instead of an alignment after the first tire, Papa ended up buying a second tire a few months later - and then an alignment.
Situation: son and wife with cars from the same vehicle manufacturer with essentially the same engine. Our staffer checked the son's maintenance schedule and saw that it needed a timing belt replacement at 90,000 miles/145,000 km. He had it done - it cost several hundred dollars. His wife's car had about 60,000 miles/97,000 km, so it should be ok for a while. Right? Wrong. The problem was that the wife had the turbo charged version. Its belt was scheduled for replacement at 60,000 mi/97,000 km. At 63,000 mi./101,000 km, the belt snapped on the interstate. The valves all crashed down into the cylinders at high speed, the entire head was shredded and it had to be replaced. The cost: several thousand dollars. Does he wish he had checked the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule? You bet he does - every time he passes a big-screen TV.
The team at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto in Spring Hill recommends taking care of little things before they become big things. And when you take care of the little things, you can make your car run better. Plus, it is more economical to operate in Florida. Remember to save those maintenance records. It'll show potential buyers that you've taken care of your vehicle and it will help you get a better price. Or when you buy a used car, check those records. If there aren't any, assume that the maintenance hasn't been done and take it to George's Wholesale Tire & Auto in Spring Hill for an inspection. Take care of unperformed routine maintenance sooner rather than later.
George's Wholesale Tire & Auto
322 Suzanne Avenue
Spring Hill, Florida 34607
Commitment to Make Your vehicle Last at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto
Posted June 19, 2018 04:05 AM
These days many people in the Spring Hill area are really committed to making their cars last a long time. First thing: you've got to start with what you've got. It'd be ideal if people started with a brand new car, never missed a scheduled service item, paid attention to the severe service maintenance schedule and had regular inspections. But if you've had the vehicle for a while or bought it used, its maintenance history is what it is; and that's where you start.
Go through the maintenance schedule for your vehicle and see what's been done and when. Have your Spring Hill service advisor at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto do an inspection and come up with a list of stuff that needs to be done. Review the list and prioritize the work, talk about budget and make a plan to get caught up.
Making a plan is so important. Suppose you go in for an oil change and learn you need your cooling system serviced, a transmission service and are coming up on a timing belt replacement in the next 5,000 miles/8,000 kilometers. You might be pretty overwhelmed.
To make it even more stressful, these are all very important systems that are expensive to repair if there's a failure. In a consultation with your George's Wholesale Tire & Auto service advisor, you might decide to take care of the transmission on this visit, set an appointment for the cooling system service next month and get an estimate for the timing belt replacement so you'll be prepared for it in a few months.
Having a plan for taking care of these important services will set your mind at ease.
For advice on how to make your vehicle last longer, visit us at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto.
The Importance of Spring Hill Drivers Following Service Intervals
Posted June 05, 2018 09:00 AM
Today in our George's Wholesale Tire & Auto blog, we're going to talk about following recommended service intervals. Your vehicle isn't the only aspect of your life in Spring Hill with recommended intervals: Let's start with twice yearly dental check-ups and regular physical exams. How about laundry, watering the lawn and paying the bills?
Now, what would happen if you didn't follow these intervals? Well, you'd get more cavities. You may not discover health conditions that could be more effectively treated with early detection. And you'd have to wear dirty clothes, be embarrassed by your brown lawn and have your utilities shut off.
Clearly, there are some things in life that we have to take care of regularly. If we don't, there are negative consequences. Our quality of life in Spring Hill takes a hit and it inevitably costs more money.
So why is it so hard to remember to follow regular preventive maintenance on our vehicles? Probably a couple of reasons. One is that automotive maintenance items just don't seem that urgent. All our Spring Hill neighbors can see our dead lawn, but no one knows how dirty our transmission fluid is. It's easy to put off. The other reason is that we're just not as familiar with automotive maintenance, so it's a bit intimidating.
From a practical standpoint, people in Spring Hill don't need to memorize their vehicle owner's manuals. You can let your George's Wholesale Tire & Auto advisor remind you of the guidelines established by the vehicle manufacturer; he has checklists of what the manufacturer recommends and can find potential problems when he inspects your vehicle. You really can rely on George's Wholesale Tire & Auto professionals to help you make good automotive decisions.
For Spring Hill drivers who want to be more proactive with their vehicle care, here are some simple ways for you to remember what has a maintenance interval.
First: Fluids. If it's liquid, it's got a replacement schedule. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, etc.
Then think tires. They need air, rotation, balancing and alignment. And while you're thinking tires, don't forget brakes and shock absorbers.
And what makes your vehicle go? Air and fuel. Air filter replacement, fuel filters and fuel system cleaning. Of course there are more items, but if Spring Hill car owners remember to take their vehicle in to George's Wholesale Tire & Auto for these things, their service advisor will help them with the rest.
And if you don't follow recommended service intervals? You get lousy fuel economy, your vehicle doesn't run as well, your safety is compromised and you'll spend more money in the long run. So it's the same as everything else: The quality of your motoring life takes a hit and it ends up costing you more.
Reason enough for me to follow recommended service intervals.
The Harm in Skipping an Oil Change for Spring Hill Drivers
Posted May 21, 2018 07:45 AM
People in Spring Hill have been hearing a lot about higher oil change intervals these days. Maybe you're wondering: What are the key issues?
Some new vehicle manufacturers are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 8,000 miles (8,000 km to 13,000 km) or more. This practice came under scrutiny when four of the largest new vehicle manufacturers announced that owners like those in Spring Hill were experiencing engine damage resulting from these higher oil change intervals.
The manufacturers' standard oil drain service for particular vehicles was scheduled at around 7,500 miles/12,000 km. People following these recommendations were experiencing engine damage. It turns out that oil sludge was building up. This caused small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail.
What causes oil sludge? It's a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge. Also, water from normal condensation can build up in the oil. This water also creates sludge. Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge formation.
Severe driving around Spring Hill includes short trips under four miles (six and a half km) or trips under 10 miles/16 km in freezing conditions. The engine just doesn't get warm enough for the water in the oil to evaporate.
Severe conditions are at the heart of the problem. Stop-and-go driving, towing, dusty conditions, heavy loads, very hot or very cold temperatures, a car top carrier – these are all conditions that would suggest that the severe service schedule should be considered.
The severe service schedule has much shorter oil change intervals. People in Spring Hill just need to honestly evaluate how they drive to determine if they should change their oil closer to the severe service schedule or to the standard schedule.
Some types of vehicle will give oil change reminders. But it's important to know how that reminder is determined. For some, the reminder simply comes when the standard mileage interval has rolled around. Others use a computer algorithm that takes into consideration the number of cold starts, trip length, engine temperature and so on. It's programmed to approximate where on the standard/severe service spectrum you fall. Some more expensive vehicles actually have sensors that test the cleanliness and effectiveness of the oil.
For the rest of us, better safe than sorry should be the guiding principle. Talk with your Spring Hill service advisor at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto and work it out together. Find out what kind of oil the factory sends out in your vehicle. Sometimes it's a premium grade that costs more than standard oil – but it may be what's needed to meet a higher factory recommended interval.
If you're realistically conservative, standard grades of oil will take care of you year after year. If you want to push the limits, ask for a premium grade oil to give you extra protection.
So, what happened with those manufacturers with the problems from higher oil change intervals? They ended up extending the engine warranty for parts that were affected by oil sludge. But they had a stipulation – they lowered the oil change interval and the vehicle owner had to provide proof of oil changes at the new lower interval to keep the extended warranty.
Which Item Is Most Stolen from Vehicles in Spring Hill?
Posted April 11, 2018 09:34 AM
Which item is most often stolen from vehicles in Spring Hill?
- Air Bag
- DVD System
Well, if you said stereo – you used to be right. But airbags have now surpassed stereos as the biggest target for theft in Florida – approximately 50,000 a year are stolen across the country. New airbags cost about $1,000, but go for $50 to $200 on the black market in Florida.
Stolen airbags are making their way back into cars that have been in an accident. Of course, the danger to the consumer of having a stolen airbag installed is that you can never be sure what may have previously affected them and if they will work right when you need them.
Contact us at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto for more information about where to get your airbags checked or replaced.
Find us at 322 Suzanne Avenue, Spring Hill, Florida 34607
You can reach us by phone at: (352) 398-1701
There are reports that 1 in 25 airbag replacements are stolen or salvaged airbags – or no airbag is installed at all.
That is definitely one car part you don't want to take a chance with, so George's Wholesale Tire & Auto recommends following these guidelines:
- Use a reputable collision repair center that employs ASE certified mechanics (we can offer recommendations at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto).
- Inspect the invoice to ensure that the repair shop purchased the airbag from a manufacturer, dealer or recycler. If you can inspect the airbag prior to installation, it should be packaged in a sealed container from the manufacturer.
- You will see the SRS light (Supplemental Restraint System) when you first start your vehicle up. This tells you that the airbag system is activated. If you do not see the SRS light, there is likely a problem with the airbag system.
Gas Savings in Spring Hill: Sharpen Your Pencil
Posted March 12, 2018 12:54 PM
High gas prices in Spring Hill increase the cost of living for Florida drivers. You've probably budgeted a certain amount for vehicle related expenses. Increased fuel costs now consume a larger portion of our incomes, causing some Spring Hill vehicle owners to skimp in other areas – like scheduled maintenance.
According to Florida news reports and automotive industry studies, this is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn't been done. Some of these items pose serious safety risks. Others are just more likely to make it more expensive to drive.
In this area, we can take a lesson from professional Spring Hill vehicle owners. I'm talking about fleet owners and operators. You know, Spring Hill folks like the trucking companies and delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.
Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents expensive repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel efficiency may put their Spring Hill business in the red.
So what does this mean to Spring Hill drivers? Well, there's a 90 percent chance that you're missing some service that would improve your fuel economy. Here's a quick reminder list:
Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, engine air filter, wheel alignment, oil change, tune up.
Ring any bells? Can most Spring Hill vehicle owners honestly say that there isn't at least one thing on the list that hasn't been done?
Let's suppose you chose to spend $150 and get caught up on some of these services at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto. Figure that they combine to improve your fuel efficiency by 15 percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?
Well, the average personal vehicle in Spring Hill is driven about 12,000 a year. If you get 20 miles per gallon in your vehicle, over the course of one year you would pay for the $150 worth of service and save an additional $165 dollars if gas is at t$3.50. If gas is $4.50, you would save $255. And you'd rack up savings of $345 dollars with gas at $5.50.
From this you can see that the more fuel costs, the more it pays to keep up on scheduled maintenance. Some of us drive trucks in Spring Hill for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A 15 percent improvement in fuel economy can generate huge savings – $650 a year if gas is $4.50 a gallon in Spring Hill. Take a look at this table to see where your savings could lie.
A) $3.50, B) $4.50, C) $5.50
10 MPG: A) $480, B) $660, C) $840
20 MPG: A) $165, B) $255, C) $345
30 MPG: A) $60, B) $120, C) $180
So catch up on those services you've been neglecting at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you'll save a lot of money at Spring Hill gas pumps this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.
Economics of Maintenance for Spring Hill Auto Owners
Posted February 26, 2018 02:05 AM
Buying a new car in Spring Hill is always a big financial decision. The allure of that new car smell is powerful, to be sure. But what if your current car is still in good shape? How do you decide?
People in Spring Hill who've been used to driving a new car every three to five years may be having second thoughts in this economy. For many, the question is, how does the certainty of a new car payment stack up against uncertain repairs for a car that may be out of warranty?
For purposes of our discussion, let's assume you live right here in Spring Hill and have a five year old vehicle. It's now paid off. If you keep it, you fear that there'll be some repairs over the next five years, but you really don't know what to expect. For help we turned to maintenance and repair information for cars and trucks. With this data, they project likely service and repair costs for a particular make and model. They're able to use manufacturer's maintenance schedules and repair histories for the projections.
Of course, these projections can't predict what will happen to your vehicle in Spring Hill, but they do give you information to use in your decision.
Let's look at the numbers for a five year old Toyota Camry V-6. In this example, the combined maintenance and repairs for the five year period is $5,748. This works out to an average of $96 a month. The year-by-year averages range from a low of $49 a month to $124 a month.
So compare $96 a month with a new car payment. And it's actually better news than that; you would still have maintenance expenses with a new car, so the repair element could be less than half that figure.
Here are numbers for some other five year old vehicles from around Spring Hill:
- Ford Escape - $116 a month
- Chevy Silverado - $131 a month
- Jeep Grand Cherokee - $138 a month
- Hyundai Accent - $85 a month.
Now, if your vehicle is older than five years, have a chat with your Spring Hill service advisor at George's Wholesale Tire & Auto. We see hundreds of vehicles through our bays every month and we know your car. See if there's any particular problem in common with your vehicle that you might see over the next couple of years.
And of course, the best way to keep future repair costs down is to take care of all your scheduled maintenance. This is especially important in older vehicles that have had time to accumulate some deposits.
There are special motor oil formulations that help clean older engines and protect and recondition their seals and gaskets.
We hope this eliminates some of the unknowns in the decision to keep or trade.
Give us a call if you have any questions.