There’s not much Lancaster drivers can do about the price of gas in ?California, but we can control - up to a point - how much we use. Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.
The first thing we can do is watch the go-pedal. Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don’t need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year in improved gas mileage.
Go a little slower on California expressways. Lancaster drivers who go more than 65 miles an hour (105 kilometers per hour) will see their gas mileage drop dramatically. Leave early so you don’t need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speeds use less gas.
Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands around Lancaster.
Hey at current Lancaster gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot.
The The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley Guide to Proper Fluids for Your Vehicle
Mar 21, 2017
The automotive professionals at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley would like to give Lancaster drivers an update on some of the things happening in automotive fluids. You know, vehicles are becoming more sophisticated every day. Fluids such as, oil, coolant and transmission fluid are becoming more specialized at about the same pace.
The Lancaster do-it-yourselfer has to be pretty careful so that they do not actually harm their vehicle with the wrong type of fluid. That is why so many California ] owners rely on the advice of their friendly and knowledgeable The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley service advisor to not only get the correct family of fluids, but to suggest the formulation that is best for their vehicle and their driving habits in the Lancaster area.
Let's start with engine oil. Lancaster drivers who have been paying attention will have noticed a number of new oil weights on the California scene in the last several years. Modern engines are built to much tighter tolerances and have very complicated valve trains. The oil must be thin enough to lubricate complicated parts when the engine is cold. The weight of an oil is expressed in terms like 20-W-50 or 5-W-30. The vehicle manufacturers recommend the weight of oil for each vehicle they make. The recommendation is based on engine design. Your Lancaster service center will know what weight your vehicle manufacturer recommends - and it's important to follow those recommendations. Your service advisor at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley can also offer suggestions for special formulations and can tell you all about conventional and synthetic oils.
Antifreeze, or engine coolant, is another area that has become more complicated. For a long time, vehicle manufacturers only recommended a couple of different types of coolant. Now, several different formulations are needed because of the high-tech materials that vehicle manufacturers are using to build the cooling system. Using the wrong type of coolant in your vehicle can actually void your warranty, so it's important to get that right.
Transmission fluid is becoming specialized for Lancaster vehicles as well. New transmission designs have particular requirements that require specific formulations. Recently, new, somewhat confusing, standards for brake fluid have also been released.
Not too long ago, there was a good chance that all of the vehicles at your house would use many of the same fluids. However, as automotive technology advances, the array of basic automotive fluids California drivers need will grow. And, some of the formulations will cost a little more for Lancaster drivers. Fortunately, The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley will continue to update their training to keep pace with technology so that you'll get the right fluids your vehicle needs. It's all part of the commitment we make to your driving peace of mind.
Used Cars: The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley Advice on What to Do After You Buy
Mar 12, 2017
Used vehicles are certainly an economical choice for budget-conscious Lancaster drivers. But how can we know we're getting a good used vehicle and not just inheriting someone else's problems?
There are good used vehicles for sale in the Lancaster area. Vehicles are sold when families upsize, when families downsize or even when someone just wants a new ride. So the used vehicle may be just fine. But some Lancaster used vehicle owners sell them because they don't want to deal with developing or existing problems.
When you're considering buying a used vehicle in Lancaster, ask for service records. Check to see if the recommended schedules for preventive maintenance have been followed. If so, you probably have a great used vehicle on your hands. If there aren't any service records, then assume the worst.
Check the vehicle for obvious signs of problems. Kick the tires if you want to but definitely check them for uneven tread wear. This can indicate alignment problems, worn shocks or suspension issues. Listen to the engine for unusual sounds and pay attention to unexpected odors. Take the vehicle for a test drive and make a list of any concerns you might have.
If the used vehicle you're looking at is a late model vehicle with under 35,000 miles/55,000 km on it, take it to The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley for an inspection. This inspection will reveal many basic or developing problems. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable pros at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley about concerns you had on the test drive. Get a heads-up on needed repairs or maintenance.
Previously leased vehicles are often tempting to used vehicle buyers because they are generally newer models with low mileage and have been factory-cleaned. Be cautious, however. Many Lancaster residents who lease vehicles don't bother with preventive maintenance because they know they'll be turning the vehicles in. Again, ask for maintenance records, take the vehicle in for a full-service oil change and consult with the pros at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley about any problems the vehicle may have.
Older used vehicles are even more problematic for Lancaster used car buyers. Older vehicles simply come with more maintenance and repair issues than new ones. Take these in for a used vehicle inspection at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley. Usually, a seller will let you do this before you purchase the vehicle. These inspections are very thorough and will help you know what you're getting into. You'll be able to make an informed decision about your purchase. That peace of mind will make the cost of the inspection more than worth your while. It's always good auto advice for Lancaster drivers to purchase a Carfax report on any used vehicle. This report will let you know if the vehicle has been in a major accident and will give you a title history. You'd be surprised what used vehicle buyers have learned from those reports. Know before you buy.
Once you purchase a used vehicle, give it some tender loving care. Give it a thorough cleaning, inside and out — and don't forget the engine compartment. A good wax on the outside will make it look and feel “new.” And, of course, stay on top of preventive maintenance. Used vehicles bought in California can last a good, long time if they're properly cared for. They're economical to buy and can keep on saving us money if we look after them.
Right or Left? The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley Power Steering Service
Mar 06, 2017
Have you ever driven a vehicle without power steering? If you have, then you probably appreciate how much easier it is to drive today's modern vehicles. Before power steering, all of the force to turn a vehicle had to come from the driver's arms. That's why old cars had such large steering wheels: they needed plenty of leverage to steer. There were some Lancaster folks who had difficulty driving because they just weren't strong enough.
Power steering is now standard on all vehicles, but there are several ways that power can be delivered. Most vehicles use a hydraulic power steering system system. In this system, a serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump that pressurizes the power steering fluid. The pressure activates hydraulics that provides steering power.
Other vehicles use an electric pump to pressurize the power steering fluid rather than the belt-driven pump. Some newer vehicles actually have electric motors that provide steering power and don't use steering fluid at all, especially in the increasingly popular hybrid and electric vehicles.
Lancaster drivers who own a vehicle that uses power steering fluid need to have it changed regularly. Over time, moisture accumulates in the power steering fluid, which affects steering performance and can corrode steering components. Dirt and other contaminants can also accumulate in the power steering fluid, which will also negatively affect steering performance. A good power steering service at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley in Lancaster will flush out the old fluid and get rid of dirt and other deposits in the system. Clean fluid will then be added. Fresh fluid provides lubricants that help protect the steering system as well as prevent corrosion.
For recommendations on how often your power steering fluid should be replaced, consult your owner's manual. It varies by vehicle model and manufacturer. For more auto advice on steering fluid changes—and other preventive maintenance—you can talk with your service advisor at The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley. You may need to change your fluid more often depending on the driving and weather conditions in your area.
Lancaster drivers who believe in good vehicle care will add power steering service to their preventive maintenance schedule. This will prevent damage to your steering system and extend its working life. The old days of double-handed cranking on a huge steering wheel may be over, but our new comfort and convenience are not maintenance-free. Do yourself and your vehicle a favor. Keep the power steering fluid clean.