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Archive for February 2020

The Lakeside Certified Auto Guide to Saving Fuel: Get Rid of Dirty Oil

Posted February 23, 2020 11:58 AM

A lot of us drivers are asking ourselves the same question lately: how can we save on fuel? Willoughby area residents are all cutting back, if not in fuel consumption, then in other areas of our lives.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is an important way people in Willoughby can conserve fuel by improving fuel economy. And one of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is to keep the oil in our vehicle adequate and clean.

Oil lubricates your vehicle engine and keeps it running smoothly. If you're running low, there is increased friction in your engine. Friction creates drag, which means it takes more fuel to keep the vehicle motor running. This all translates to lower fuel economy.

Check your oil to make sure the engine is getting all it needs. Your owner's manual and service advisor at Lakeside Certified Auto will tell you the proper weight and type of oil for your vehicle.

Responsible Car Care

Dirty oil grits up your engine, which also increases friction. So even if there's enough oil, you're still getting that extra drag that reduces your fuel economy. That's why your owner's manual recommends getting your oil changed regularly. It's good auto advice.

While you're checking your oil, you should take a quick look at your transmission fluid as well. Your transmission also needs clean, adequate fluid to work efficiently. An inefficient transmission also translates into lower fuel economy.

Your service advisor at Lakeside Certified Auto will be able to check your oil and other fluids, top you off or change your oil if necessary.
Your owner's manual will have recommendations on how often you should check your oil and transmission fluid. But you can also consult with the pros at Lakeside Certified Auto in Willoughby. The types of roads you drive on in OH, the climate where you live and the air quality in your area can all affect how often you should change your oil.

And don't forget that this will improve our environment here in Willoughby as well. Improved efficiency translates to fewer emissions. Changing your oil as scheduled doesn't just help your vehicle (and your pocketbook), it helps keep the air clean as well.

Lakeside Certified Auto
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 946-0076
http://www.lakesidecertifiedauto.com



What Is a Differential and Do You Have One?

Posted February 16, 2020 11:58 AM

With front-wheel drive being so common these days in Willoughby, OH, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Willoughby drivers don't even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don't need to be serviced for years, so it's understandable that it's not something on the top of Willoughby customers' minds. It's not uncommon for drivers to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

Call Lakeside Certified Auto in Willoughby at (440) 946-0076 for information about differential service, or stop by our Willoughby, OH, auto center at 38525 Lakeshore Blvd, 44094.

To better understand what a differential does, think about our local Willoughby high school track. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That's to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It's a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a vehicle moving goes through the differential. Most cars in the Willoughby, OH area weigh between 3,000 and 6,000 pounds (1,400 and 2,800 kg) – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That's a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool.

The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that break down over time. So vehicle manufacturers recommend intervals for replacing your differential fluid.

The professionals at Lakeside Certified Auto will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. Then they’ll replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Lakeside Certified Auto service advisor can look up the vehicle manufacture's recommended service interval or you can check your owner's manual. Give us a call at (440) 946-0076 for more information about your differential service.

Lakeside Certified Auto
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 946-0076
http://www.lakesidecertifiedauto.com



Alternative Fuel Vehicles in Willoughby, OH

Posted February 9, 2020 8:21 AM

Let's talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions in our OH environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for Willoughby drivers very soon.

For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the Willoughby area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn. The benefits to Willoughby drivers are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower gas mileage and when gas prices are low, E85 can be more than straight gasoline.

Willoughby drivers should only use E85 if they have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel engines have been around OH  for a long, long time. Modern diesels are very refined and fuel efficient. Diesel fuel can be made from renewable sources like vegetable oil, too. Diesel fuel from algae and sunlight is reported to be pretty close to being commercially viable.

There are also a number of natural gas vehicles on our Willoughby roads. Gasoline engines are adapted to run on compressed natural gas. It's less expensive than gasoline and burns very cleanly. You can even refill it with a special pump from your gas line at home.

Plug-in electric vehicles are now available in our Willoughby area. Battery technology is the limiting factor right now. Electric cars have a limited range and are really best for use close to home. As battery technology advances, electric cars will perform closer and closer to conventional power plants.

That brings us to hybrids. There are a bunch of hybrids on our OH roads, with more to come. Hybrid technology combines internal combustion engines with electric motors.

A mild hybrid has a regular gas or diesel engine that's assisted by the electric motor. The electric motor can propel the vehicle by itself up to a certain speed under gentle acceleration. There are mild hybrids in full-sized pickups and SUVs. They deliver similar to their highway ratings.

A full hybrid will rely primarily on the electric motor for power. It'll have a small gas or diesel engine that generates electricity for the batteries.

A quick word from Lakeside Certified Auto about safety around hybrid and electric vehicles. Unlike the battery in your current family car, these carry enough voltage to kill you. Never mess around under the hood or with the batteries or electrical wiring. Your Willoughby service technician at  Lakeside Certified Auto is trained to safely disable the flow of electricity before performing maintenance or repairs on the vehicle.

Hybrids are really not do-it-yourself vehicles unless you're specifically trained on hybrid systems.

Lakeside Certified Auto
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 946-0076
http://www.lakesidecertifiedauto.com



Differential Service in Willoughby, OH - What You Need to Know

Posted February 2, 2020 12:03 PM

Scratching your head? Don't worry, if you don't know what a differential is – you will in a moment. That fact is that if you drive a car anywhere in Willoughby, OH, you have a differential. Whether your vehicle is front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, you have a differential. Some Willoughby vehicles might even have two or three.

Not surprisingly, a differential's job is to compensate for differences; specifically, they're the differences in wheel speed when turning. For instance, imagine taking a corner near your Willoughby, OH, home. Your inside wheel has a shorter distance to travel than the outside wheel as you turn the corner. That means that your outside wheel has to turn faster to keep pace with the inside wheel.

The differential allows the wheels to turn at different speeds while still providing power to your vehicle. Without a differential, Willoughby residents' tires would scrub and hop along the pavement during turns like the early cars.

Ever noticed the big bulge in the middle of the rear axle on trucks? That's the differential. Rear-wheel drive vehicles have a differential in back. Most four-wheel drive trucks and SUVs will also have a similar differential on the front axle. A front-wheel drive vehicle's differential is called a transaxle because it combines the differential and transmission in one unit. An all-wheel drive vehicle will have a differential or transfer case that adjusts for speed differences between the front and rear drive wheels.

It can seem a little complex to some Willoughby drivers - but you can see that all of the engine's power is routed through your differentials. They're strong enough to handle the work, but- we've said it before - they need to be properly lubricated in order to stay strong. So from time to time, you need to schedule a differential service in Willoughby at Lakeside Certified Auto. The used fluid is drained and replaced with clean fluid. Some advise certain differentials to have special additives installed.

Get your differential serviced at Lakeside Certified Auto in Willoughby.

Lakeside Certified Auto
38525 Lakeshore Blvd
Willoughby, OH 44094
(440) 946-0076
http://www.lakesidecertifiedauto.com



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