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Learn How to Properly Clean a Gas Tank!

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You can never have too many car care tips, right?

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Which Body Style is Right For You?

Forget the number of models available, the number of body styles alone can be overwhelming: coupes, sedans, station wagons, crossovers, SUVs. How do you decide what you need?

vehicles_16Coupe/Convertible: If you want a car that makes a statement about you, coupes and convertibles are typically the most expressive designs, but restricted access to the back seat (if the car you are considering even has one) seriously limits their practicality.

Sedan: If there are kids in the picture or in the near-future plan, four doors are a likely requirement. Even if children are small enough to ride comfortably in the back seat of a coupe with any regularity, consider the difficulty of constantly climbing into and out of the back seat to tend to a child before committing to just two doors.

Hatchback: If you add another door—bringing the total to five—you’re looking at hatchbacks and station wagons, which offer SUV-like space without the dynamic and fuel-economy compromises of heavier vehicles. As manufacturers get increasingly creative and design ever more stylish hatchbacks—their roofs are sleeker than wagons’—the market is warming to the segment.

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SUV/Crossover: Jack up the ground clearance of a hatchback or station wagon, and you have a crossover or an SUV. Do you need that ground clearance? Probably not. When was the last time your road didn’t get regularly plowed or cleared? Sure, it happens—most often to those in the northern part of the country, and that’s a few times a winter—but the fuel-economy penalty of opting for a taller and heavier vehicle is something that affects you every time you start the car.

Those who tow regularly already know they need something with that capability. But if you need a truck only to tow a few times a year, perhaps renting in those instances is a better alternative to living year round with the fuel-economy penalties of a truck.

Minivan: Those with large families—or dreams of such—often resist the practicality of the van, but if you routinely haul five or more people, there is no vehicle short of a school bus that will better accommodate six, seven, or eight passengers. A jumbo SUV like a Chevrolet Suburban or Ford Expedition EL has more cargo space, but passengers will find greater comfort in a minivan.

Winter Car Care

When it comes to winter car care, many motorists think of antifreeze and batteries, but winterize-car-snowvehicles need extra attention in winter, especially when a bomb cyclone hits and temperatures drop.

“Most people never heard of ‘bombogenesis” until heavy snow and dangerous cold recently hit many areas of the country, including several states that usually don’t experience this type of severe weather,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Making sure your vehicle is properly prepared for the elements will help you avoid the aggravation of an unplanned road emergency.”

The non-profit Car Care Council offers six quick tips to help your vehicle perform at its best during cold weather months.

  • Keep the gas tank at least half full; this decreases the chance of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.
  • Check the tire pressure, including the spare, as tires can lose pressure when temperatures drop. Consider special tires if snow and ice are a problem in your area.
  • Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
  • Allow your car a little more time to warm up when temperatures are below freezing so that the oil in the engine and transmission circulate and get warm.
  • Change to low-viscosity oil in winter as it will flow more easily between moving parts when it is cold. Drivers in sub-zero temperatures should drop their oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car.
  • Consider using cold weather washer fluid and special winter windshield blades if you live in a place with especially harsh winter conditions.

Drivers should stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, extra clothes, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication. The Car Care Council also recommends a thorough vehicle inspection by a trusted professional service technician as winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.

More Ways To Save Money On Gas

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First of all, check your gas cap! Believe it or not, it’s been estimated that nearly 17% of cars on the road have broken or missing gas caps. What’s the big deal? Escaping fumes not only hurt fuel economy but release smog-causing compounds into the air.

While you’re at it, slow down. For every 5 mph you reduce highway speed, you can reduce fuel consumption by 7%. Avoiding jack-rabbit starts and stops will improve fuel economy as well. Don’t believe it? Lousy driving on the highway can add as much as one-third to your gas bill.

Avoid Surprise, Winterize

The non-profit Car Care Council recommends that motorists perform a six-point winter maintenance check of areas that have direct impact on winter driving.

“Harsh winter weather can stress out a vehicle, as well as its driver,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “A vehicle that is properly prepared for the elements can help you avoid an unplanned road emergency when the weather takes a sudden turn for the worse.”

  1. Battery – Cold weather is hard on batteries, so it’s wise to check the battery and charging system for optimum performance. Because batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail, it is advisable to replace batteries that are more than three years old.
  2. Antifreeze – Antifreeze (coolant) should be flushed and refilled at least every two years in most vehicles. As a reminder, do not add 100 percent antifreeze as full-strength antifreeze actually has a lower freeze point than when mixed with water.
  3. Brakes – Have the brake system checked. Brakes are critical to vehicle safety and particularly important when driving on icy or snow-covered roads.
  4. Tires – Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure, including the spare. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly as tires lose pressure when temperatures drop.
  5. Oil – Be diligent about changing the oil at recommended intervals and check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time. Consider changing to low-viscosity oil in winter, as it will flow more easily between moving parts when cold. In sub-zero driving temperatures, drop oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car.
  6. Lights & Wipers – Make sure all exterior and interior lights are working so you can see and be seen. Check the fluid level in the windshield washer reservoir and replace wiper blades that are torn, cracked or don’t properly clean your windshield.

2014 Nissan Sentra SV Sedan

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2014 Nissan Sentra SV Red Brick 1.8L 4-Cylinder DOHC 16V Priced below KBB Fair Purchase Price! 39/30 Highway/City MPG

Clean CARFAX. MP3 PLAYER, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION, FUEL EFFICIENT, KEYLESS ENTRY, POWER WINDOWS, POWER DOOR LOCKS, CVT with Xtronic, Charcoal w/Cloth Seat Trim, 16″ Steel Wheels w/Full Wheel Covers, 6 Speakers, ABS brakes, Air Conditioning, AM/FM radio, CD player, Dual front impact airbags, Dual front side impact airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Low tire pressure warning, Panic alarm, Power steering, Tachometer, Telescoping steering wheel, Tilt steering wheel, Traction control, Trip computer.

Avoid Distractions

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Many states in the U.S. have passed laws that ban the use of cell phones while driving. The reason is the number of deaths attributed to this seemingly harmless activity: 2,600 deaths nationwide every year, by some estimates. In fact, those numbers may actually be too low, due to the continued rise in cell phone use behind the wheel. If you think that talking and texting while driving isn’t a big deal, consider this: One researcher compared the reaction time of a 20-year-old driver talking on a cell phone to that of a 70-year-old driver. What’s more, working a cell phone behind the wheel can delay reaction times by as much as 20 percent.

It isn’t just cell phones that cause distractions, however. Eating, applying makeup, fiddling with electronic devices or interacting with passengers also diverts a driver’s attention in potentially deadly ways.