Fuel Economy in Cold Weather

  Cold weather and winter driving conditions can reduce your fuel economy significantly. Fuel economy tests show that, in short-trip city driving, a conventional gasoline car’s gas mileage is about 12% lower at 20°F than it would be at 77°F. It can drop as much as 22% for very short trips (3 to 4 miles). The effect on hybrids is …

Fuel Economy in Hot Weather

Hot weather can actually increase your fuel economy. Your engine warms up to an efficient temperature faster; summer grades of gasoline can have slightly more energy; and warm air causes less aerodynamic drag than cold air. However, keeping passengers comfortable in hot weather by rolling down the windows or using the air conditioning (AC) can reduce fuel economy. Running your …

Smells Like Car Trouble

The more you know about your vehicle, the more likely you’ll be able to head off repair problems. You can detect many common vehicle problems by using your senses: eyeballing the area around your vehicle, listening for strange noises, sensing a difference in the way your vehicle handles, or even noticing unusual odors. Some problems are under your nose. You …

Feels Like Car Trouble

Difficult handling, a rough ride, vibration and poor performance are symptoms you can feel. They almost always indicate a problem. Steering Misaligned front wheels and/or worn steering components, like the idler or ball joint, can cause wandering or difficulty steering in a straight line. Pulling — the vehicle’s tendency to steer to the left or right — can be caused …

Sounds Like Car Trouble

Squeaks, squeals, rattles, rumbles, and other sounds provide valuable clues about problems and maintenance needs. Here are some common noises and what they mean: Squeal — A shrill, sharp noise, usually related to engine speed: Loose or worn power steering, fan or air conditioning belt. Click — A slight sharp noise, related to either engine speed or vehicle speed: Loose …

Heading Off Car or Truck Repair Problems

The more you know about your vehicle, the more likely you’ll be able to head off repair problems. You can detect many common vehicle problems by using your senses: eyeballing the area around your vehicle, listening for strange noises, sensing a difference in the way your vehicle handles, or even noticing unusual odors. Looks Like Trouble Small stains or an …