Archive for the ‘Maintenance’ Category
Your vehicle’s fuel economy depends on your driving style, and where and when you drive. These affect how many miles you can get from a gallon of gasoline. To get the most out of each fill-up, follow these simple suggestions from American Car Center for more money in your pocket and less time at the pump.
Be smooth. Trade dashes to the next stoplight, jackrabbit starts and sudden stops for modest acceleration, gentle braking, and steady cruising. Anticipate other road users and compensate for their behavior by creating space around your vehicle to avoid changing speed unnecessarily. Your brakes will last longer, too.
Go easy. At very low or very high speeds, your vehicle uses more fuel. Especially on the highway, going easy on the gas pedal and driving at moderate speeds is one of the best ways to reduce fuel consumption.
Treat your tires. Keep them inflated at the recommended pressure (refer to the label on the driver’s door opening). Too much or too little inflation results in unnecessary tire wear. Check tire pressure monthly.
Be kind to your car. For better gas mileage and fewer unexpected costs, keep your car in good condition (including the wheels aligned) and regularly service your vehicle according to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.
Go lightly. Reduce unnecessary weight and wind drag from your car to improve fuel economy. Periodically, remove unneeded heavy objects or seasonal items.
No idle. Running your vehicle when in park for long periods uses a lot of gas. When waiting more than a couple of minutes, turn off your vehicle’s engine and only re-start when you are ready to go.
Windows up. At higher speed, keeping windows up will add miles to your tank by improving vehicle aerodynamics.
Plan. Knowing your route and combining trips reduces back-tracking and gas use. If you can, avoid driving in severe weather. Heavy rain, mud, ice, crosswind, heat and cold, reduce traction and engine efficiency and increase gas consumption. In these conditions, to improve both safety and gas consumption, drive more slowly.
At American Car Center, our focus is saving you time and money, whether at the gas pump or finding a dependable late-model and low-mileage vehicle to get you to where you want to be. All our vehicles include up to a 3-year/36,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and oil changes, so come now to a convenient location near you.
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Easily Keep Your Vehicle’s Interior Looking Great
Following a few simple steps, you can almost effortlessly keep the interior of your vehicle in top shape, maximizing its appeal and value – something especially important during the hectic back-to-school season.
Just like the inside of a home, the easiest way to keep a vehicle interior clean is to have a place for everything (for example, a backseat caddy to store children’s items like books, games, and crayons) or to remove unwanted items entirely from the glovebox, underneath the seats or trunk.
Keep a trash bag or canister with a lid on the door console. Empty frequently.
Keep essential cleaning supplies like clean clothes, paper towel, a microfiber dust mitt, water, and wet wipes in an enclosed container. If you are waiting to pick up the kids from practice or the library, use those minutes to give your dash and doors a shine.
The best way to keep your vehicle clean is to avoid eating or drinking inside as much as possible. When it’s necessary, sweep away or vacuum crumbs and wipe up or blot any spills with a cloth or paper towel immediately. Clear out food wrappers and empty drink containers right away.
Knock your shoes together before getting into your vehicle, especially from the dusty or muddy ground, to reduce the build-up of grime in the footwell.
Drive with your vehicle’s windows up to reduce the accumulation of road dust and pollen and improve interior air quality.
If you have a pet, use a seat cover to preserve the appearance of the vehicle’s fabric. Use an inflated balloon against the seat cushion to collect pet hair.
Visit American Car Center today for a vehicle to exceed your expectations this fall. With over 50 convenient locations across the Southeast and a vast selection of late-model cars and SUVs, covered by a limited powertrain warranty & oil changes of up to three years or 36,000 miles, let American Car Center do it for you.
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American Car Center knows that you have things to do and places to be which can often mean bringing along bulky belongings. Roof rack systems are designed to safely haul oversized sporting gear, camping equipment, or other cargo safely, allowing you to enjoy an active lifestyle with less fuss and more fun. Rack manufacturers and sellers have web-based or in-store selection tools that make it simple to find the system best for your vehicle and activities. Let’s better understand your vehicle’s roof type and the parts of a base rack system.
Vehicle roof types
- A bare roof has no built-in attachment points. A clip-fitted rack snug to the vehicle’s door jams is a reliable solution for a bare roof.
- A raised-rail roof has rails that run parallel to the doors with space between the rail and the roof itself.
- A flush-rail roof has rails that run parallel to the doors with no space in between it and the roof body.
- A fixed-point roof has four (hidden) attachment points allowing for quick and easy installation of base towers. Some vehicles with a raised- or flush-rail roofs vehicles also come with these built-in mounting points.
- A track roof is one with long metal channels or slots that run parallel to the doors.
A base rack system has only a few key parts
The tower (foot) of the roof rack carries the weight on for cargo and are placed at the roof’s strongest points.
The vehicle-specific mount or fitting kit – clips that attach the towers to the roof and rubber bottom pads that rest between the roof and tower – fasten the towers to your vehicle.
The crossbars are the usually two bars that run across the width of the roof, to which activity-specific
Accessories, such as cargo carriers, can be attached. Crossbars support the weight of all the gear you’re adding to the roof and transfer the weight to the towers.
Again, rack system manufacturers and retailers make it easy for you to find one best suited to your vehicle. Better yet, most today systems are fully complete and assembled; they are ready to be mounted right out of the box on the roof rails with all installation tools provided.
Simple Steps to Installing a Fully Assembled Rack
The commonly purchased fully assembled rack is easily mounted to a vehicle’s rails:
- Place both tower/crossbar combinations loosely on the roof rails;
- Adjust their placement so that they are centered on the roof for best weight distribution and ease of access;
- Tighten and secure the four mounting points using the knob and any provided locking mechanism;
- Check your work, making certain the connection points are solid.
Watch the American Car Center video guide, Easily Install Your Roof Rack, for an easy how-to guide to mounting a pre-assembled base rack.
A roof rack is a must for taking your lifestyle essentials with you as you explore our beautiful parks, trails, rivers or streams or your cherished possessions to new beginnings. American Car Center has more than 50 incredible locations with an amazing inventory of SUVs, cars, and trucks – each with a limited warranty of up to 3 years or 36,000 miles, oil changes included – to match your summertime adventures. Don’t delay, The King of Credit Wants to Approve You Today!
In summer, car and trucks are a lot like people – they are happiest when kept cool. A belt or hose failure can cause an overheated engine, the loss of power steering and loss of the electrical charging system, potentially requiring expensive repairs. Thankfully, easy preventive maintenance of hoses and belts can help keep your vehicle’s engine cool under the sun and your summer driving vacation plans on track.
Made of flexible rubber compounds which absorb vibration, hoses are the cooling system’s weakest structural component. Manufactured to hold coolant under pressure, hoses are subjected to the extremes of hot and cold, dirt, oils, acids and sludge. Hoses slowly deteriorate from the inside; a weakened hose may rupture from pressure, heat, or constant flexing. The most susceptible areas of the hose are nearest to clamps where it connects to the engine or radiator.
Simple and minor maintenance can help prevent coolant hose failure:
- Check the white coolant-recovery tank’s markings to confirm correct the fluid level. Also check for white, pink, blue or light green, blue, or pink coolant residue in the engine bay – a sign of leakage.
- When the engine is cool, give the hoses a squeeze near the clamps, feeling for soft spots. A good hose will be firm yet pliable.
- Inspect for visible cracks, nicks, depressions or bulges.
- Look for oil contamination or fraying near the connection points.
- Inspect for parallel cracks in bends, a hardened glossy surface or abrasive damage.
- Flush & replace the coolant according to the owner’s manual as clean coolant will lessen deterioration.
Many of the same things – heat, ozone, oil and abrasion – that damage hoses also harm a vehicle’s belts. Most cars and trucks have one multi-grooved serpentine belt to drive the alternator, water pump, power-steering pump, and air-conditioning compressor. A belt should be changed when it shows signs of excessive wear.
- Inspect the serpentine belt for cracks, fraying, or splits on the top cover.
- Look for signs of excessive glazing on the belt’s sides. Glazed or slick belts can slip, overheat or crack.
- Twist the belt to check for separating layers, cracks, or missing chunks of the grooves on the underside.
- Listen for the sounds of a belt-tension problem: high-pitched whining, chirping and vibration.
Speak to a qualified technician about any cooling issues and always consult your owner’s manual for routine maintenance procedures.
It’s that simple. A quick under-the-hood inspection of your vehicle’s hoses and belts, lends peace-of-mind that your summer driving will be smooth and carefree!
Visit a conveniently located American Car Center today for exceptional service and let us find for you a great vehicle from our vast inventory of late-model, low-mileage cars, trucks and SUVs. We make it easy for hard-working people across the Southeast to drive a high-quality vehicle no matter their credit history.