Gas Saving Tips

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When saving money, your vehicle isn’t something to overlook — especially when it comes to filling up. Here are a few tips to make those trips to the gas pump a little less frequent:   Properly Inflated Tires: If your tires aren’t in tip-top shape, you’re wasting around $2 every fill up. In fact, improperly inflated tires account for around 35 million gallons of wasted gas per year. It’s a good idea to have a tire gauge handy to check the air pressure in your tires. Knowing when to service them will save you money every time you fill up.   Using Correct Motor Oil Grade: The packaging on many oil cartons look similar. And if you’re not careful, or if you take your vehicle to a quick oil change place, you might be stuck with the wrong kind. So check your …… ( more )

How to Remove Bad Car Smells

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While cruising down the roads of Kansas, enjoying your drive, you really don’t want to be worried about strange odors and fret over how to get rid of them. Some odors can indicate vehicle issues that will need further attention from a mechanic.  Others may simply need your attention to clean and remove. Gasoline – The smell of gas may indicate a leak in the fuel system.  Check your fuel cap.  If this is tight, take to a mechanic for inspection. Maple Syrup – This might sound odd, but a leak in the cooling system can often have this odor.  The cause could be radiator, heater core, cylinder head, or manifold gasket. Gym locker – That ripe smell could simply indicate you need a new cabin air filter. Treating the air system with an anti-fungal spray may be necessary if …… ( more )

Carpooling Tips to Save Money

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Carpools are a great way for parents to support each other and get all their children safely to school. Save money on gas and maintenance and save time by sharing the load with other parents in your neighborhood and community! The experienced technicians at Nightingale Transmissions are offering a few tips for setting up your neighborhood carpool: Coordinate with your Community. If you’re setting up a new carpool, look to your neighbors! Even if you branch out from your specific neighborhood, a little extra mileage is worth making fewer trips in your car. Parents of your child’s classmates may be eager to join in – all you need to do is ask! Create a Back-Up Plan. After you set up a carpool, make sure everyone in the group has the schedule, back-up plan, and contact information. What happens if someone needs …… ( more )

Why you need a Pre-Trip Inspection

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Summer is the season of road trips! While they are a great way to see the country and explore, road trips can mean unexpected surprises, varying road conditions, and lots of miles on your car in a short amount of time. Whether you are planning a quick weekend trip or a cross-country drive, it is important to make sure your car is up to the task BEFORE you hit the road. Here are a few things you should check before you embark: Start with a test drive. Feel for any vibrations or tracking issues as you drive – this could be a sign that you need your wheels balanced, tires rotated, or an alignment. Check that your tires have enough tread. Low tread makes tires more prone to flats – an untimely flat could mean driving many miles on a …… ( more )

Dangers of DIY Maintenance

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Patching a flat tire with duct tape. Replacing a bumper with PVC pipe or cardboard. Hooking up a fan in place of broken air conditioning. Believe it or not, these misguided DIY car repair attempts are true stories. When untrained people look for a cheap solution to a car problem, the results can be disastrous. MYTH: Fixing your car at home is the same as fixing it at a repair shop  FACT: While saving money with some do-it-yourself work can be a good thing, attempting to fix your own car could actually cost you more, and give you a headache. If you are unsure of what you are doing, you could end up making things worse and damaging the vehicle even further. The components in your vehicle, especially when you’re addressing transmission repair, are interconnected in ways that are not always obvious. A …… ( more )

Tips to Go Green with your Car!

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Whether the beautiful spring weather has you thinking about nature or Earth Day inspired you to give back, it is easy to “go green” with your vehicle. In a few easy steps, you can practice greener driving and car maintenance to help the environment, your car, and your wallet! Before you drive, you can do a few quick checks for a greener car: Remove any excess weight from your car. Having extra junk in your car weighs it down – get rid of it to increase your fuel economy! Check your tires. Low tire pressure means more of the tire contacts the road, increasing resistance and making the engine work harder to drive the car. When you stop for gas, don’t overfill your tank. Stop when the pump turns off – the gas needs room to expand. Close the gas …… ( more )

Protect your Car with a Car Wash!

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Spring has sprung in Galva! As we get ready for spring road trips and spring cleaning, we hope you’re enjoying the beautiful spring weather. During your spring cleaning, don’t forget about your car! Your car is one of the biggest purchases you make, so it is only natural to want to protect it. One easy trick to keep your car healthy is a car wash. Though it may not seem critical, washing your car is an important part of preventative maintenance. Here are a few good reasons to clean your car: Remove contaminants Dirt, road grease and tar, acid rain, bird droppings, and sun damage can all threaten your vehicle. These contaminants can harm your car’s paint and finish, speed up rust and oxidation, and cause corrosion. Wash your car regularly to protect it from these threats. Consider using a …… ( more )

A Love Letter to our Vehicles

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To our family vehicle, You are always there to get us where we need to go. You take us to work and home safely, pick up the kids from soccer practice, run errands, and enable new adventures. You carry the people we love and the things we use every day. You keep us warm and dry when the rain pours and offer a fresh breeze when it’s hot outside. You help us discover new places, explore the city we live in, and expand our horizons. You represent our freedom, our wanderlust, our work, our play, and our lives. From road trips to daily commutes, highways to back roads, you keep our family safely on the road. We know we don’t always do our best. We leave stuff in the trunk far longer than we need it. We let the dirt get …… ( more )

Transmission Fluid Resolutions

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As we head into a new year, think about the resolutions for your vehicle! Just like you want to eat better and exercise more for your body, your vehicle needs the same boost of maintenance to keep it running strong. One of the best ways to do this is with a regular fluid flushes. Your oil is not the only fluid that requires attention – transmission fluid plays an important role in keeping your vehicle performing its best. Transmission fluid should be checked regularly as part of your vehicle’s inspection. Just like motor oil, the transmission fluid can become spent, contaminated, and thick over time. When this happens, the fluid no longer flows smoothly through the transmission. This can cause damage to the many moving parts and components within the transmission. If there is not enough lubrication, the moving parts …… ( more )

Making an Emergency Plan for your Teen Driver

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There is nothing quite as stressful as having a teenage son or daughter learning to drive. I’ve been there – so worried about my son’s safety that I wanted to wrap him in bubble wrap every time he got into the car. But without being able to control every driver on the road, including my teenager, there is no way to guarantee their safety. As parents, the best we can do is make an emergency plan so your teen driver is prepared for any situation. Spare Tire. Most vehicles have a spare tire, jack, and lug wrench kit, but make sure your teen knows where to find them and how to use them. Jumper Cables. With proper maintenance, battery failure can almost always be prevented. But if your teen leaves the lights on overnight or something unexpected fails, they might find themselves with a …… ( more )