by Sam Dillinger (comments: 0)

The Truth Behind Your Gas Mileage

fuel efficiency

It’s a pretty fair statement to say that good gas mileage is something that interests us all. With the national average price for a gallon of regular fuel at $3.52, and premium fuel at $3.89 per gallon, (AAA’s daily fuel gauge report) getting the most out of the gas you put in your car, is more important than ever. Yet it never seems to work out quite the way it should. You read the sticker on the window when you buy the car, or do your homework online for buying a used car, and armed with the info from the EPA, or other authorities on the subject, you buy your car and proceed to drive. It happens slowly at first. You notice that you stop at the gas station more than what you had originally intended, but it doesn’t really intrude on your conscious thoughts very much. Then you gradually begin to notice that you seem to be at the gas station twice a week, and you still have a fairly new car that was supposed to help you save at the pump. So you go through the process of determining what your actual gas mileage is (fill the tank completely, find out how many gallons your tank is, drive until it’s as empty as it can be and still get you to the gas station, see how many miles you've gone, and then divide the number of gallons in your tank by the number of miles driven) and you find out it’s a couple to several miles lower per gallon than what was advertised. So what gives? Why isn't your car getting the 27 mpg on the highway that it advertised, or the 17 mpg in the city? The answer lies in the way the fuel mileage is calculated, and in the way it’s reported.

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by Sam Dillinger (comments: 0)

The 2,000 Computer You're Driving

Imagine this: you're driving down the road, on a beautiful sunny day. Suddenly your windshield wipers turn on for just a few seconds and then go off. You prepare for the worst to happen, but everything continues on normally. A few days later, the same thing happens, and this time a few of the warning lights on the dash board come on at the same time. Again, it all goes away after just a few seconds. Now you're sufficiently concerned that you take the vehicle to the shop and they tell you they can't find anything wrong, and all of the vehicle systems are operating correctly at the moment. What happened?! You saw your car have a mini panic attack with your own eyes! Welcome to the modern age of computerized driving. 

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by Sam Dillinger (comments: 0)

Used Car Buying Tips

buying a used car

The days of buying a car and keeping it till you can pass it along to your children, or other family member, are pretty much over. Cars just won't last that long anymore. In an effort to make vehicles lighter, faster, and more fuel efficient, the manufacturer makes them out of materials that simply won't last for 15 years, or longer, anymore. That doesn't mean that you can't buy a reliable, quality used car anymore though. Quite the opposite in fact. The used car market is booming more now than it has in quite a long time. People are holding on to their cars for a longer period of time, and when they do trade them in, they're more likely to buy used than new, because the economy crash taught us all that the financial success we enjoy today, isn't necessarily guaranteed for tomorrow.

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by Sam Dillinger (comments: 0)

Buying an Automatic Transmission vs A Manual

automatic vs manual transmission

It’s finally time to trade in your old vehicle for the newer model you’ve been wanting for the last 2 years. This is a very exciting time for us all, new cars are always a great addition to the family! There are a ton of things to consider when buying a new car, even if the car is used it’ll be new to you, and one of the biggest is what type of transmission to get. Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of both options.

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by Sam Dillinger (comments: 0)

Top 5 Questions We Get Asked

top 5 questions

One of the features we have here at www.mycheckenginelight.net is the ability for our customers to email us with questions about their vehicle, and the problems they're experiencing. We get asked questions about the entire spectrum of check engine light issues, as well as other concerns, across the entire spectrum of vehicle lines, from all over the world. I thought it would be useful to everyone for me to make a short list of the most frequently asked questions we get, and some general advice for each.

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by Sam Dillinger (comments: 0)

Pcode Tips and Basics

pcode basics

Today we’re going to spend some time talking about the reason most of you have come to see me: the Pcode that turns on your check engine light. What is it, what does it mean, what is it trying to tell you? There is actually a lot of information in the Pcode designation itself, beyond what the specific Pcode is trying to tell you about the condition your vehicle is reporting. So let’s break it down to the basics, and learn more about what it’s trying to tell you.

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by Sam Dillinger (comments: 0)

The Dirty Air You Didn’t Know You Were Breathing

where is my cabin air filter

Pretty dramatic title, huh? Theatrics aside, this is actually a pretty accurate statement. For one reason or another, when we drive we generally do so with the windows up. The problem comes in when you stop to consider that there is still plenty of air for you, and your passengers, to breathe. It doesn’t matter how far you drive, or how long you're inside the car, you won’t run out of fresh air, so where does it come from?

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by Sam Dillinger (comments: 0)

P0700 Transmission Control System

Today we’re going to take a quick look at P0700. I didn’t finish defining the name of the Pcode because it reads differently depending on what scanner you use and what manufacture makes your vehicle. They all mean the same thing though. This Pcode is the most frequently mis-interpreted of all of them. A lot of people see this Pcode and immediately think that the TCM, Transmission Control Module, has failed and needs to be replaced. That isn’t the case however. This Pcode is purely informational. It is literally telling you that there are Pcodes related to the transmission present. That’s all it means. It doesn't condemn any component or sub-system, just that there is a problem with the transmission and further investigation is needed.

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by Sam Dillinger (comments: 0)

Some ins and outs of your coolant system

how does a coolant system work

The coolant system of your vehicle is one of the most important, and least talked about, systems on your engine. There are quite a few things about it that people generally don’t know, but are really quite important. So let’s take a quick look at some of the features of the system, and some really important warnings about it.

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by Sam Dillinger (comments: 0)

Why is My Transmission Overheating

Image

This is a really important question because if your transmission overheats too much, your transmission is going to suffer a catastrophic failure shortly thereafter. When you're talking about transmission repair, catastrophic failure = painfully expensive! Like everything else with transmission repair, there are a couple of different reasons that your transmission can overheat (if you're one of my regular readers, you can start to see why transmission repair is so difficult, everything has multiple possibilities for causes!)

 

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Meet Sam Dillinger

My name is Sam Dillinger. I've been a professional, dealership technician for 18 and a half years. My first introduction to mechanical repair was when my own vehicle broke down in the fall of 1995. I was 18 and couldn't afford to pay to have it fixed. So I borrowed tools and asked a ton of questions and, eventually, was able to replace the clutch on my truck by myself. During the course of that project, I found that I really enjoyed having a wrench in my hand and figuring out the puzzle of disassembly and reassembly of a motor vehicle.

Meet Sam