H.W. Automotive Inc

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How to Improve Your Gas Mileage

We have all seen gas prices go up recently, and it has put a strain on drivers to be able to afford filling up at the tank. With the upward trend in the prices of fuel, it has grown imperative that you make the most out of every drop so you can save money. Although it may seem difficult, there are many ways you can reduce your gas consumption. For some tips to improve your car’s gas mileage, keep on reading!

Tip 1: Check the Tire Pressure

Deflated tires cause more drag than necessary, which causes the engine to generate more power and hence, increase fuel consumption. Under-inflated tires can have a detrimental effect on your MPG by as much as 2.5 percent. Ensure your car’s tires are inflated to the right pressure so you can enjoy the optimum performance of your car without extra fuel being consumed.

Tip 2: Have a Light Foot On The Gas Pedal

Uneven acceleration and braking increase the fuel consumption of the car. People tend to keep a heavy foot on the acceleration paddle out of habit. Practice smooth and gradual acceleration and braking to get the best gas mileage out of your vehicle. Developing this habit will definitely make a difference. You will be surprised by how much money you can save by following this tip.

Tip 3: Get Rid Of Excess Weight

It is commonly known that the heavier the car is, the more gas it consumes. Get rid of unnecessary weight from your car and watch your mileage stretch. Bike racks and roof boxes can be culprits of this issue. Inspect your backseat and trunk to see what you can remove to improve your gas mileage.

Tip 4: Use the Car Gears Properly and Effectively

Have you heard drivers revving their engines? Don’t be that person. Use your gears properly and speed accordingly to the gear you are using. Over-revving creates multiple problems for the car, for instance overheating, and it consumes more fuel than necessary. Make sure you don’t labor the engine by being in a gear that’s too low for the speed and terrain.

Tip 5: Get Your Car Serviced Routinely

Last but not least, get your car serviced routinely to keep your car in top shape. A car that has its engine serviced regularly and in line with manufacturer schedules, using the correct parts, fluids, and lubricants, will work better and be more fuel efficient than one that isn’t. It’ll be more reliable, too.

Conclusion

It is essential to keep your car in the best shape so you can get the most out of your gas fill-up. Car maintenance can be a daunting task, and sometimes we may skip on it for multiple reasons. For all of your auto maintenance needs, contact H.W. Automotive Inc. Our highly trained will ensure that your car is in good condition. Call us at (405) 702-4098 to schedule a service or visit our website to learn more about our services.    

Tips for Buying a Used Car

It shouldn’t be hard to get the most bang for your buck when purchasing a used car. From old trucks to modern hatchbacks, there are certain things one should look for when shopping for a used car, and certain things to avoid. Follow along this month as we discuss some tips that will help ensure that the car you choose is worth your time and your money.

What to Look For:

  • Only look at cars that are in your budget. Do plenty of research before browsing to determine how much you can put down upfront, and what your budget will be for your monthly payment.
  • Look for good, but realistic deals. Prices that seem too good to be true almost always are. The number of fake ads you will most likely come across is appalling, so don’t waste your time entertaining unrealistic offers or ones that seem a bit odd or off.
  • When test driving a vehicle be sure to assess all of its features and look out for any warning or indicator lights on the dash. Check that everything functions correctly from the interior lights and the radio to the parking sensors and the turning signals.

What to Avoid:

  • Avoid shopping based on monthly payments alone. While acquiring an affordable monthly payment is undoubtedly important, lower monthly payments often result in longer loan terms. Due to compounding interest, longer loan terms typically result in you having to pay much more for the vehicle in the long run.
  • Don’t pass up on running a vehicle history report. These reports illustrate how many owners the vehicle has had, if it’s ever been in an accident, and if it’s ever required any major repairs.
  • Avoid buying from someone who won’t allow you to take the car to a trusted mechanic for an inspection. Even if you have to pay for the inspection yourself, it could save you a lot of money in the long run.
  • Whenever possible, avoid examining cars when it’s dark outside. A lack of light can hide a surprising number of surface flaws and imperfections that may be much more obvious in the light of day.

Final Thoughts

While no inspection is guaranteed to find every flaw in a used car, a trained eye can help you avoid serious problems before making a final purchase. The ordinary car buyer, even if mechanically savvy, can really struggle to complete this crucial step properly without the right help. Get a thorough, professional auto inspection from H.W. Automotive in Del City, OK to know whether you’re about to buy a peach or a lemon.

All About Regenerative Braking

Electric vehicles use a completely different type of braking system than traditional gas vehicles called regenerative braking. The concept of regenerative braking has been around since the 1800’s but only in recent decades have we seen the concept be brought to life in nearly every electric and hybrid car available on the market.

What is Regenerative Braking?

Bearing in mind the fact that energy cannot be created or destroyed, electric cars work to convert the existing kinetic energy generated from braking into usable energy to power and recharge the vehicle’s battery. The motor of the vehicle works like a reverse generator and stores the energy until it’s next needed to accelerate.

Removing ones foot from the gas pedal will initiate the regenerative braking process. Passengers often feel as though the driver is actively braking due to how rapidly the car slows once the gas pedal has been released.

Pros

Fuel Economy – The battery recharging involved with regenerative braking allows the vehicle to use more recycled energy rather than more fuel.

Wear and Tear – The greater efficiency given to the braking allows for a reduced level of wear on the brakes of the vehicle.

Battery Charging – This type of braking works to recharge the batteries of the vehicle while on the road so you don’t have to charge as often.

Energy Conservation – Conserving energy, especially while driving, is a fantastic way to lower your overall carbon footprint and promote a cleaner and healthier environment.

Cons

Driving Experience – Experiencing a vehicle brake this way will feel very different to those used to driving traditional vehicles. Some also describe the brake pedal as feeling softer than normal.

Cost – Although hybrid and fully electric cars are becoming more affordable, they still tend to be more expensive to purchase than traditional gasoline cars. The cost of maintenance on these brakes when they do eventually need a service can also be costly.

Final Thoughts

Overall the pros of a regenerative braking system outweigh the cons as it can offer drivers new and valuable benefits and cost-savings opportunities. For auto repairs and brake services based on integrity, safety, and security head to H.W. Automotive Inc. in Del City, OK.

Common Signs of Transmission Problems

There will come a time where you will begin to experience transmission problems. Without a working transmission, it looks as like you won’t be driving anywhere anytime soon. Unfortunately, there are a lot of problems that can arise with your transmission. Especially if you have been driving for at least a few years now. A faulty transmission is one of the most expensive repairs on the market. It is for this reason you need to pay attention to the following symptoms to ensure your vehicle doesn’t fall victim to transmission problems.

Burning Smell

When it comes to your vehicle, the last thing you want to smell is something burning. There are many things that could be wrong with your vehicle, but the most like culprit is the overheating of transmission fluid. If this happens to you, make sure to get it taken care of right away before the problem worsens.

Leaking Fluid

Leaking fluids are one of the more obvious signs of a problem. The only problem will be pinpointing where the actual leak is. You can figure that out by simply placing a piece of cardboard under your vehicle to find out where it is stemming from. When you take it to the mechanic, make sure to let them know exactly where the leak is coming from.

Grinding Gears

A manual and automatic transmission issue will arise differently from each other. When it comes to a manual transmission, once you change gears you will feel a sense of grinding and sticking of the clutch. On the other hand, with an automatic car you will notice more of a rough shift when your vehicle automatically shifts to the next gear. When either of these occur, it is best to get it checked out right away.

Loud in Neutral

If you hear a bumping noise while driving, it isn’t necessarily a problem. Now, if your vehicle is making those same noises but in neutral, that can be a sign of a problem. Don’t fret too much though, this problem can usually be fixed with a simple replacement of your transmission fluid.

Identifying these problems may save you cash down the road, so don’t let them get out of hand. If you are in need of a transmission repair service, look no further than our team at H.W. Automotive Inc.

How to Tell Whether Your Car Alternator is Failing

So after brewing a nice cup of coffee in the morning, you grab your bag and hop into your car that’s been sitting in the garage overnight. As you turn the key in the ignition and your engine roars to life, you suddenly hear a loud whirring sound that is pretty unsettling.

That’s weird – the car was running just fine as you drove home the night prior, so why is this happening? It may be your vehicle’s alternator.

The Purpose of the Alternator

You see, your alternator is located on the engine, and it provides power to the battery, the car’s electrical systems, and the various computers. Basically, it’s the hardest working part of a vehicle – the battery starts the car, and the alternator keeps it running.

An alternator typically lasts around 7-8 years or 100,000-150,000 miles. Of course, there are several factors that affect the lifespan of an alternator such as the quality of the part itself, the conditions that the vehicle is driven in, and the kind of electronics found within the vehicle. This may shorten the lifespan of the component.

Other reasons your alternator may fail include a jump start gone wrong, incorrect installation of an aftermarket electronic that overloads the battery, and more. This is why in some cases, the battery may be dying because your alternator is going bad, so don’t rush out to buy a new battery without fully understanding the position you’re in.

The Location of the Noise

You may first assume your engine is failing since it’s so easy to point to that as the perpetrator. A lot of the time, you can tell whether this is the case if the Check Engine light appears on your car’s dashboard. As we talked about, your battery may fail due to it being overloaded, so the battery light could come on.  Check your car owner’s manual to understand what we are referring to.

At this point, you should take a moment to listen to where the sound is coming from. If the noise is focused more towards the center of your car than the front of it (or the back of your car depending on where the engine is located), that may indicate an issue with the alternator. Make sure you visit a reputable auto repair shop that will be able to diagnose what the situation really is.

The Cost to Replace an Alternator

Now, here is where we come to the big question – how much are you going to end up paying to have your alternator replaced? Other than the fact that a lot of it comes down to where you have this service performed and the kind of vehicle you operate, the average price to replace an alternator with a remanufactured one can range from anywhere between $300 to $500 (including parts and labor).

While this can often be a difficult pill to swallow on the cost alone, many alternators come with at least a one-year warranty so you don’t have to worry about driving off the lot with a less-than-satisfactory repla\cement. Be sure to check with your mechanic to find out how long the warranty lasts and what type of scenarios it covers.

Signs You Need Your Car’s Air Conditioner Repaired

We are finally into the fall season, but in many parts of the country including our own, we still have to put in with hot temperatures and humid conditions well past that, making it seem like the summer goes on forever.

During these periods, we tend to crank the air conditioning units in our cars to finally get some relief. But what happens when you turn the knob, flip the switch, or do whatever is needed to turn your car’s AC on, and the cool air never comes?

This is certainly one of those features in a vehicle we take for granted until it no longer works (aside from, you know, the brakes). With that in mind, we’re going to look at a few of the telltale signs that your air conditioner no longer works, including the obvious ones!

No Air Conditioning

Hey, we said we were even going to address even the obvious ones, and this is prime candidate number 1! When you sit down inside your vehicle and turn the air conditioner on but don’t feel any air coming out of the vents, there’s most likely a problem with your HVAC.

There are a few different reasons for this being the case, including not having any refrigerant left in the system, damaged cooling fans, or maybe you like to leave the windows down and a bunch of leaves clogged everything up. Whatever the case may be, this is an issue that tends to be quite easily diagnosable by a mechanic!

You Are Only Getting Hot Air

Another quite obvious symptom of a busted air conditioning unit is when you’re no longer getting a nice breeze of cold air from the vents, only warm or hot air! Much like when there isn’t any air blowing in your face, it could be down with needing new refrigerant to get the system running like it used to.

Sometimes you can tell what the problem is just by looking at it, but we still recommend having an expert take a look just to make sure you’re not dealing with an underlying issue.

Water Leaking From the Unit

Perhaps you’re getting a cool, crisp breeze coming out of the vents, but after driving for a little while, you start to notice water draining out from the bottom of your vehicle. While this can be considered perfectly normal (the reason for which we’ll get to in a second), if it starts to stain the inside of your ride, that’s when the red flag should start waving.

After all, your air conditioner does more than simply blow air – it is also designed to dehumidify the inside of your car by pulling out any moisture from the cabin and draining it outside, just like we talked about.

However, water stains inside the cabin indicate the drain or hose connected with the system has become clogged for some reason causing all that water to back up. This is yet another warning sign that you need to have your system checked by a professional!

Strange Smells

Now we get to the last example of a malfunctioning air conditioner, but also one that is potentially the most dangerous. When you turn on your AC, you should never have to deal with unpleasant smells. Be that as it may, if you notice a foul odor blowing from your vents (and not from passenger), this could be coming from mold growing inside your air conditioning unit. This is a type of situation you need to deal with immediately since the existence of mold can cause some serious health concerns including respiratory problems.

Regardless of whatever problem your air conditioner may be dealing with, it’s vital that you are able to enjoy a smooth, comfortable ride no matter the reason or the season. So when you need to have your system serviced or repaired, be sure to take it to an experienced professional who is equipped to handle any of the problems your car is facing immediately!

The Most Common Symptoms of Suspension Problems

Your vehicle’s suspension system is designed to maximize the amount of friction that occurs when the rubber (your tires) meets the road so you and your passengers can enjoy a smooth ride. Over the years, the suspension has evolved to become a very advanced component, but problems do still happen over time.

Since the suspension is made up of multiple parts – springs, shock absorbers, control arms, and more – they can take a real pounding depending on the conditions of the road. As a result, nearly every part can take some form of abuse. With this in mind, we would like to take a look at some of the common symptoms of the system that will determine whether you need to visit a shop for suspension repairs!

Pulling to One Side While Driving

Pulling to the left or right while driving is probably the most frequent indicator of a problem with your suspension. On the other hand, it’s also one of the most difficult to diagnose on your own if you’re not a trained professional.

The reasons it could be doing this include uneven tire pressure or tire wear, poor wheel alignment, bad tie rods, or a warped brake caliper. When you have a vehicle that likes to pull, you’re putting your tires at risk, you have to constantly fight with the steering wheel, and you are also losing gas mileage. Simply running over a pothole or hopping the curb can misalign everything.

Perhaps the issue you’re facing is that your tires don’t have enough pressure inside of them. Basically, they’re underinflated, and much like a bicycle with flat tires, you’re going to have a difficult time keeping your vehicle going straight when the friction between the tires and the road is far too great. This can be resolved either by inflating the tire or having it rotated, which evens out tire wear to extend its lifespan.

You Can Feel Every Bump in the Road

When you’re dealing with a rough ride, your shocks or struts may be worn out and need to be replaced. An easy way to figure out whether this is the case, when your car is parked and you’re standing near the hood, put all of your weight on the front end of the vehicle and let go.

If your vehicle bounces to and fro 3 or more times, this is a clear sign your shocks and maybe even your struts are worn out and are in need of replacement. It may also be a side effect if you’ve been in an accident as even the slightest damage can permanently wear away the shocks. Get them swapped out as soon as possible!

A Corner of the Car Sits Lower than the Rest

This is one of those moments where you’re going to need to rely on your own level of perception. If you notice that even on level ground, one corner of your car is sitting lower than the rest, this is likely the sign you have a damaged spring.

Another way to tell is when your car makes a clunking noise when you go over a bump, or when you’re having far greater trouble going around corners since the compromised spring isn’t able to support the weight of the vehicle. This irritating behavior becomes exponentially pronounced in poor road conditions.

Much like when you test out the shocks and struts, you can find out if there’s a problem with the springs by pushing down on the trunk of your vehicle while it’s parked, letting go, and listening to how the suspension responds to the weight. If you happen to hear a creak or squeal, there’s a definite problem with your suspension. The last thing you want to put up with is a vehicle that drags itself along the highway while you’re getting to work, so be sure to get this checked out as soon as possible!

Any Momentum Causes Your Vehicle to Shake

If you notice your car leaning forward, backward, or side-to-side while you’re driving, this is another key sign that your shocks or struts may need to be replaced. We’re not talking about when you’re in the midst of aggressive traffic during rush hour; rather, under normal driving conditions.

On that same note, if you find your steering to be particularly difficult especially when you’re driving slowly, your power steering could be malfunctioning. This can be the result of having low power steering fluid, a worn or loosened power steering belt, or worn components in the power steering.

Regardless of whatever you may be experiencing, you shouldn’t ignore these problems before it’s too late and you have a safety hazard on your hands. It’s in your best interest to bring your ride to the nearest auto repair shop to have it checked out as soon as possible!

Check Your Engine!

Saying that your car’s engine is an important component of your vehicle is an understatement. Without your engine, you wouldn’t be able to go anywhere, it would just be a stationary pile of metal parts. A vehicle without an engine is like having a bike with no pedals – it is pretty useless. Unless you’re going downhill the entire time, you are going to need an engine to make it go forward.

What Does It Do?

You are probably thinking to yourself, what does a car engine actually do? To put it very simply, the engine converts all that gas you fill up on at the gas station into energy, which in turns makes your car move. Gas and air are sucked into the engine which produces tiny explosions, or combustions.

Hence the name “internal combustion engine”. The tiny explosions move the pistons, turning the axle which then proceeds to move your car. This, in layman’s terms, is how your car engine works, and why it is extremely important to keep it in proper working order.

Signs That You Need Engine Repairs

If your check engine light begins to shine, it is best not to ignore it. The check engine light is a sensor that is part of your vehicle’s onboard system. There are a number of issues that could set off the light, but this is the most obvious sign that your engine is in trouble and is going to be in need of maintenance. But that handy check engine light isn’t always going to turn on, so you must be vigilant in paying attention to what your car’s engine is telling you.

If you are at a stop, parked, or in neutral and feel your car sputter and jerk, then your engine could be in bad shape. Loud thumping or banging coming from your engine is also a telltale sign of some direly needed repairs. Make sure you keep a lookout for oil leaks because your engine needs to stay lubricated in order to function properly.

So if you didn’t know before, then hopefully this shows you the importance of keeping the engine of your vehicle well maintained. If the check engine light is on or is showing any one of the symptoms previously stated, make sure you take it to an auto shop as soon as you are able to. The longer you let the problem linger, you risk the issue becoming much worse. A minor fix could become a major one, and a major repair is much more expensive. So keep that engine in shape, and keep driving friends.

The Most Common Transmission Problems

A transmission is one of the most important parts of a vehicle. This complex mechanical system is designed to direct any power from your engine into the driveshaft which helps turn the wheels. As a result, any problems that are inflicting its performance, including excessive wear and tear, can cause some serious drivability issues up to the point of making it inoperable.

By following proper preventative maintenance protocols, you can ensure the longevity of your transmission while avoiding any costly repairs. However, whenever you transmission does have any problems, it’s a good idea to be able to recognize what you could be dealing with. In this article, we’ll run down two of the most common transmission problems that can happen if it isn’t well-maintained.

Low Transmission Fluid or Leaks

Low transmission fluid levels or leaks are easily the most common type of problems this component can experience. Automotive Transmission Fluid, or ATF, helps lubricate, clean, and conditions the hydraulics. If it gets too low or is completely empty, your engine will start to seize up and stop working in its entirety.

Leaks also happen to be one of the most recognizable symptoms. The fluid itself normally has a bright red color, so if you discover this liquid deposited in your driveway, you just need someone to patch up the holes. If it has a dark red color or has a burnt smell (usually through overheating fluid), you will need to have your transmission fluid changed or flushed with the strong possibility of further repairs.

The way to check your transmission fluid level is the same as oil. Take your car for a drive for a few minutes in order to warm it up and then take a look under the hood to read the dipstick (with the vehicle on even ground). For those with a manual transmission, there should be a transmission case through the fill plug.

Unlike oil, transmission fluid is not consumed by your car, so you should be able to tell quite clearly if there is a leak somewhere. If it will be a while before you can get it fixed, top off the fluid until you have your vehicle serviced so your engine can still do its job. Also, make sure you follow your owner’s manual so you don’t overfill, which can create even bigger issues.

Check Engine Light

This is clearly the best indicator that something is about to go wrong with your transmission or it has already happened. While this light could illustrate another problem, you should always take this light seriously. Your vehicle has a number of sensors located throughout the engine to alert the system if it starts to recognize any causes for concern. It can even pick up any jerkiness or vibrations you may not have felt yourself.

When that check engine light appears, take your vehicle in for an inspection as soon as possible. Through the shop’s diagnostic tools, they can find out what is going on to fix the problem immediately. Don’t delay as it could be warning you of a more serious problem.

Bottom line, if you start to hear a whining or grinding noise coming from your transmission, this could be the result of a mechanical issue. This is why it’s so important to have your transmission go through regularly-scheduled maintenance to ensure its operation while avoiding expensive repairs. That goes double if you start to hear any unusual noises or a slipping or dragging clutch.

You will be able to save money in the long run by bringing your vehicle in for repairs. In the meantime, by keeping yourself informed about the common transmission problems, you can also avoid being overcharged for a simple service.

Have any questions or concerns regarding your vehicle’s transmission? We would love to read your thoughts and inquiries in the comments below!

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