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Maintaining “Old Faithful” Makes Dollars & “Sense”

Maintaining “Old Faithful” Makes Dollars & “Sense”

Maintaining “Old Faithful” Makes Dollars & “Sense” Your car, “Old Faithful,” is paid off or almost paid off.  You toy with the idea of buying a new one, but would really like to keep using that monthly money for other things. You like the look and smell of a new vehicle, we all do, but does anyone really like the payments that come with it?  In today’s economy, people are thinking twice before financing a new vehicle that they may be able to do without until times are more stable. Taking better care of your current car definitely makes a difference in the long run when it comes to your finances. “We advise our clients that if they want a 10 percent increase on their investments every year, they need to cut down on their expenses. A new automobile is, for most people, their second biggest investment next to a home, so a great way to save money and increase financial assets is to hang onto their current vehicle rather than bu ... read more

The Importance of Using the Correct Motor Oil

The Importance of Using the Correct Motor Oil

The Importance of Using the Correct Motor Oil Motor oil is often referred to as the lifeblood of our vehicles. It performs many important functions. • It acts as a lubricant for the engine parts. • It helps protect the emission system. • It provides enhanced fuel economy. If you’ve ever taken the time to peruse the array of oils available today at an auto supply store, it can be overwhelming, and if you choose the wrong oil, it can have consequences. It can even damage your car’s engine over time. If you are a person who changes their own oil, always check your owner’s manual before you proceed and make sure you have purchased the correct oil for your particular type of vehicle. There are three types of motor oil: • Conventional (75 – 80% of refined crude oil) • Full Synthetic (Standard base plus additives) • Synthetic Blend (Conventional and Synthetic) Then there are additives, such as detergents to keep the high-temperature s ... read more

The Real Cost of Ownership

The Real Cost of Ownership

The Real Cost of Ownership Taking a look at a 2013 study provides some eye-opening data that may make you think twice about the kind of car you own, your driving habits, and whether you should shop around for auto insurance or the lowest gas prices. Different car types equal different costs AAA calculated the average costs for six different car types based on the cost of ownership in the study. It found that the average cost of all sedans — the majority of cars on the road — is 60.8 cents per mile or $9,122 annually, based on 15,000 miles of driving. Small sedans cost the least — $6,967 annually. Four-wheel drive sport utility vehicles cost the most — $11,599 annually — largely due to the fuel costs of those cars. Perhaps surprisingly, large sedans cost almost as much — $11,248 — as four-wheel drive SUVs, while minivans, which often have about the same amount of passenger and cargo-carrying capability as many SUVs, averaged just $9,795. Depr ... read more

What You “Auto” Know About Cheap Oil Change

What You “Auto” Know About Cheap Oil Change

What You "Auto" Know About Cheap Oil Change. In the world of “you get what you pay for,” the cheapest price for an oil change is not always the best value. I would like to break down a $19.95 oil change advertisement that I recently heard on the radio. It said: “Our premium oil change and complete inspection for only $19.95.” This seems like a very good price… until you listen to the disclaimer. The disclaimer states that the price is good for conventional grade oil only, and most cars from 2000 and newer require an oil better than the conventional grade. They also said that the “complete inspection” included a visual brake inspection only, which means the wheels would not be removed to do a thorough brake inspection, either. Another disclaimer states, “Valid for up to 5 quarts of 10/30 or 5/30 conventional oil. Extra fees for synthetic or semi-synthetic blend oil. Cartridge oil filters extra. Valid for most cars.” O ... read more

January Bill's Newsletter

January Bill's Newsletter

Question: My headlight lenses are all cloudy. I checked with my local dealership about replacing them and it is very costly. What else can I do? Bill's Automotive Inc Answer: You are right - replacing a headlight assembly can cost hundreds of dollars. Luckily there is something Hartford car owners can do about cloudy headlamps. First let’s talk about why the headlamps are so cloudy. Back in the day, Hartford motorists' headlights were glass. These were heavy, could crack, and had practical limits as to their shape so automakers started using plastic headlight lenses. CT road grime and UV light take a toll on the plastic surface. Over time the lenses get cloudy and discolored. Just look at the trucks in any Hartford parking lot and you'll see a lot of that. Because a disproportionate amount of traffic accidents happen at night, smart Hartford drivers make sure they have maximum visibility. Cloudy lenses impair the amount of light that gets out on the road, which in tu ... read more

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Bill’s November Newsletter

Bill’s November Newsletter

Looking Down the Road: Wiper Blades It’s said that 90 percent of our driving decisions are based on visual information. Our wiper blades play an important role in this. Most Hartford, Windsor, and East Berlin drivers know that a dirty or streaked windshield can catch the glare of the sun or on-coming headlights and make it nearly impossible to see. Most busy Avon car owners deal with their wiper blades from a failure perspective. They address them when they no longer function. Instead, Hartford drivers should think about wipers blades as an important safety system that they should maintain, rather than repair. And don’t think that your wiper blades will last longer because you don’t use them very often. Hey, they live outside in the harsh sun and freezing cold – ice and wind. They just dry out and crack over time. At Bill's Automotive Inc, we recommend that Avon motorists change their wiper blades twice a year, in the spring and ... read more

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October Bill’s Automotive Q&A

October Bill’s Automotive Q&A

Question from Dale N. (Windsor Locks): My battery keeps going dead. I had it tested and it is fine - what could be the problem? Bill's Automotive Inc Answer: Well, your trouble could be caused by several things. Let's start with a likely suspect: your alternator. The alternator is like a little electrical generator. It is spun by the serpentine belt on your engine and makes electricity. This electricity is used to power the critical electrical systems required to run your truck. It also powers all of your electronic accessories like your stereo, navigation, heated seats, and air fans, as well as charging all the electronics you have plugged in. After the alternator has completed all that, any electricity that's left over is used to charge your battery. You can see where we're going: if the battery isn't getting enough electricity to stay charged the problem may have something to do with the alternator. Now it could be that the alternator is bad – they do wear out ove ... read more

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Bill’s Automotive Guide To Selecting Tires And Wheels

Bill’s Automotive Guide To Selecting Tires And Wheels

Some Hartford motorists love driving, love their vehicles: To them, picking out the right tire is just as important – and just as much fun – as finding the right shoes is to a runner. Now not everyone in the Hartford area is like that. Many CT people have found that shopping for tires is overwhelming because there are just so many choices. So let’s break it down: there are four main categories of tires, depending on the kind of driving you do. First, there are summer tires. You would buy summer tires if you’re looking for maximum summertime performance. The rubber is a little softer to help you stick to the road in fast corners. The tread has wide blocks at the shoulder to stiffen the tire in turns. The tread design can handle rain, but really isn’t set up for snow and ice. Next comes winter tires. You would buy winter tires if you still like performance driving when it’s cold and slippery out, so you need a tread design that’ll really bite into ice and snow. The rubber compound is ... read more

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Improving Fuel Economy

Improving Fuel Economy

Let’s review some things that Portland motorists can do to improve gas mileage. Bottom line – the better you maintain your truck, the less fuel you will use. It all adds up in a big way. For example, replacing your dirty engine air filter will pay for itself in fuel savings before your next oil change and will keep saving you money after that. A clean, well-maintained fuel system really pays big dividends for budget conscious Portland drivers. A clogged fuel filter wastes gas. So does a dirty fuel system, grimy fuel injectors and plugged up PCV valves. A fuel system service decreases the gas you use, and increases the power – so you can’t go wrong with that. Some of us Portland motorists ignore our check engine light. But fixing the problem that caused the light to come on will usually save some fuel as well. It may be a bad oxygen sensor that can really rob your fuel efficiency. And, it may be time for a tune-up. Tune-ups should improve your gas m ... read more

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