Have you ever gone to Thorold to listen to an orchestra? The musicians take the stage early and tune their instruments. Each individual instrument must be in tune, but the critical thing is for the entire orchestra to be in tune with each other. That's why they tune up together.
Now this is no surprise; I'm going to relate the orchestra to your car. Your engine has many component systems that each need to be working properly. And the components need to be working in sync, all timed up together in order for the engine to work efficiently.
We call this, (ta-da) a tune-up. When an orchestra's out of tune you get a bad concert. When your vehicle's out of tune you get bad performance and bad fuel economy.
So check your owner's manual for recommended tune-up intervals. Or ask your Thorold service advisor at Hartzel Automotive & Marine what he thinks.
...Just be careful not to say you want to make beautiful music together – that kinda makes us uncomfortable.
Fuel Saving Tip: Car Weight And Your Ontario Driving
Posted on August 04,15 by napademo
Weight is the enemy of fuel economy. Everyone from here to Thorold knows this makes sense.
Some of us in the Thorold area carry a bunch of unnecessary weight, and I'm not talkin' what you see in the mirror.
Guys; sports equipment and tools. Ladies; well, just take a look around the passenger compartment and trunk. I think my car has about forty-five pounds of French fries on the floor.
All that extra weight wastes gas as you drive between here and Thorold, and everywhere else.
Lose the junk and save some money.
...And you really only need one of those spare tires.
Fuel Saving Tip: Auto Myths Around Thorold
Posted on June 17,15 by napademo
With high fuel prices in Thorold Ontario comes lots of gas saving advice. Some of it, like what you hear on AutoNetTV, is really great. Some is myth. And some is just designed to prey on Thorold Ontario people desperate to save some money on gas.
When you get one of those e-mails that's going around telling you how to save gas, try to think it through.
Does it really make sense? Does it defy the laws of physics?
There aren't any magic pills you can drop in your gas tank and the government hasn't suppressed a device you can clamp on your fuel line to make your car run on air. Not even in Thorold!
So next time you get one of those e-mails, check it out with an automotive professional. You'll get more bang for your buck with an oil change or an engine air filter replacement.
We're Hartzel Automotive & Marine, give us a call at 905.684.0050 for good honest advice about your car.
Direct Fuel Injection Update From Hartzel Automotive & Marine
Posted on March 31,15 by napademo
For those of you in Thorold Ontario who pay attention to these things, you may have been hearing about the new direct injection engines and want to learn more about them. Some deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.
For example, in one family of engines the conventional V6 makes about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version of the same engine makes over 300 horsepower and gets essentially the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version makes over 350 horsepower.
So what are the differences from a conventional engine?
The core difference is in the fuel injection system. The system most vehicles use now is called a port injection system. The fuel injector squirts fuel into a port just outside the cylinder where it's then drawn into the engine with the air.
With a direct injection system, the injector squirts the fuel directly into the cylinder. The gain in power and economy come because fuel injected directly into the cylinder during the combustion cycle is burned much more efficiently.
First, the fuel is squirted in at hundreds of times more pressure, so it's atomized much better and burns cleaner and stronger. The other big advance is in electronics. Faster engine management computers can control the additional precision required to manage direct fuel injection.
Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver a precise amount of fuel at exactly the right time. The design of the engine also dictates a particular spray pattern for the fuel. If a fuel injector is dirty or gummed up, it can't do its job as well. That means less power and worse fuel economy for your pickup and can lead to damaged fuel injectors.
Replacing fuel injectors isn't cheap. Direct injection injectors are even more expensive because of the extremely high-pressure they use. Same thing for diesel fuel injectors; we're talking mortgage payment-range to replace a set of diesel injectors.
A professional fuel system cleaning from Hartzel Automotive & Marine gets out the gum and varnish in the whole system, including the fuel injectors. Keep those injectors clean and they'll last a long, long time.
Maintaining Your Diesel in Thorold
Posted on March 10,15 by napademo
Diesel engines have been used extensively in Europe and Asia for many years. They haven’t been as common in Thorold because of the high sulfur content in our diesel fuel. But the government is now mandating lower sulfur content and, as a result, we are going to see more Thorold car owners driving diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV’s.
Diesels are popular in Thorold because they get better fuel efficiency than gas-powered engines. They also last longer. Modern diesel engines are quiet and powerful. And if you associate diesel engines with black smoke, then you’re not up with the times. That smoke is a thing of the past.
Diesels don’t produce any more pollutants than gasoline engines. The pollution standards for diesel-powered vehicles are as strict in Ontario as for other vehicles.
Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel fuel can be produced from vegetable oil or from cellulosic waste like wood chips and sawdust. In Thorold, we may soon see bio-diesel produced from algae. These fuel sources will lessen Thorold motorists' dependence on fossil fuels and may even become truly renewable and sustainable.
Diesel-powered vehicles perform as well as other passenger vehicles, also. Most Thorold people don’t notice a difference in driving one or the other. If you haul heavy loads or tow a trailer in Thorold, however, the diesel is a definite improvement.
So, you may be asking, if diesels are so great, why don’t all Thorold motorists drive them? Surely there are disadvantages you haven’t told me about. That’s true. Diesel engines are heavier than gas engines, and they cost more in Ontario. The better fuel efficiency of the diesel engine is partially offset by the higher purchase price.
Because of higher fuel prices, diesel engines used to be more expensive to drive in Thorold. But now, with higher volatility in the prices of both gasoline and diesel fuel in Ontario, that cost difference is less definitive. Whether a diesel or gas engine is more expensive for Thorold car owners depends now on the current price of fuel in Ontario and how many miles you drive.
Consider also that diesel-powered vehicles have a high resale value in the Thorold area, and the costs of owning and operating a diesel vs. a gas-powered vehicle in Ontario becomes a real toss-up.
Preventive auto maintenance for diesel vehicles has also become similar to that of gas-fueled vehicles in recent years. The major difference is that diesels require cleaner fuel, air and oil, so their filters are more expensive in Thorold than those for gasoline engines. The engine air filter must be changed more frequently as well.
The costs for car care and repairs in Thorold are similar. Wait, you may be thinking, but you just told me that filters are more costly and have to be changed more regularly. True, but that is offset by the fact that diesel engines have a much longer lifetime than gasoline engines. So if you are the type of owner who prefers to hang on to a vehicle for a long time, you will be more than rewarded with a diesel engine.
So if you have been looking for Hartzel Automotive & Marine auto advice on whether to switch to a diesel vehicle or stay with a gas-powered one, then we hope this helps. The answer as to which type of vehicle is better is that it depends on the Thorold driver and their driving habits. Now that you know the facts, you can make an informed choice based on your own priorities and needs.
Alternative Fuel Vehicles In Thorold, Ontario
Posted on February 26,15 by napademo
Let's talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions in our Thorold environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for Thorold drivers very soon.
For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the Thorold 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 Thorold motorists are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower fuel economy and that when gas prices are low, E85 can be more expensive than straight gasoline.
Thorold auto owners 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 the Thorold area 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 Thorold 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.
Natural gas engines don't make as much power and don't get as good fuel efficiency, but they cost Thorold car owners less per mile to run. The big inconvenience is that the tank that holds the compressed natural gas takes up a lot of room; even your whole trunk! And there may not be places to refuel on a road trip from Thorold to Thorold.
Plug-in electric vehicles are now available in our Thorold 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 Ontario 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 fuel efficiency 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.
Another breakthrough technology from car makers is hydrogen fuel cells. Fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to generate electricity. Several global auto makers have prototypes on the road. The appeal is that the only thing that comes out of the tail pipe is water vapor. It'll take some time to build a national infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations before there's widespread use in Ontario.
A quick word from Hartzel Automotive & Marine 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 Thorold service technician at Hartzel Automotive & Marine 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.
Fuel Filter Service in Thorold Ontario
Posted on February 18,15 by napademo
There are a surprising number of small, inexpensive parts that can lead to expensive engine damage when they fail. It doesn't seem right.
Fortunately a lot of those things can be taken care of in routine maintenance. They may not be easy to remember, because it is a long list, but your service center at Hartzel Automotive & Marine can help you know what's scheduled to be taken care of.
Some of us in Thorold Ontario really don't look forward to going in for an oil change and then getting a list of the other things the manufacturer recommends.
But automotive maintenance is all about prevention, and addressing small problems before they get big. Let's take the fuel filter for example.
You may not know this but the median age for private vehicles on our Thorold Ontario roads is over nine years. When cars get older, five years or so, they've accumulated a lot of dirt and rust in their gas tanks. If that dirt gets into the engine it can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. So somewhere between that dirty gas tank and the price of a great vacation – is the lowly fuel filter: a very inexpensive part that doesn't cost too much to replace. And your car'll just run better too.
A clogged fuel filter can't let enough fuel through. You might notice at first that your car is running fine around town, but struggles or sputters on the Thorold Ontario freeway or when you accelerate. Enough fuel can't get through to meet the demands of higher speed. If it gets bad enough your engine might just shut off or not start at all, which could be dangerous.
Some fuel filters have a bypass. When they get clogged, they allow dirty fuel to move around the filter element so dirt ends up in the engine. We've already talked about how expensive that can be.
The fuel filter is even very important for newer cars. The fuel is still dirty even if there isn't rust in the tank. It's just that the fuel filter will need to be changed more frequently as the vehicle gets older.
How often should you change your fuel filter? Check your owner's manual. Your Thorold Ontario service advisor at Hartzel Automotive & Marine can tell you as well. It's usually around thirty thousand miles or so. Ask if it's time for a full fuel system cleaning as well. They often go hand in hand.
It's good to know that your Thorold Ontario service center has your back. When you're motivated to maintain your vehicle's performance and to reduce operating costs, you'll think of Hartzel Automotive & Marine as your ally - and maybe even your memory.
Deep Clean Your Fuel System At Hartzel Automotive & Marine
Posted on January 28,15 by napademo
Having trouble with your fuel system? Bring your pickup into Hartzel Automotive & Marine for a check up.
96 Ormond St. S. Thorold, Ontario L2V 4V6 905.684.0050
In today's Hartzel Automotive & Marine auto post,we're talking about fuel system cleaning. The first thing to know is how important it is to have a clean fuel system. Thorold drivers need fuel to go, and the cleaner the fuel system, the more efficiently the fuel will burn. That means more power and better fuel efficiency.
A clean fuel system saves money for Thorold motorists at Ontario gas stations. We guess you could say, it all starts and ends at the pump. One of the most important things Thorold motorists can do to keep their pickup fuel system clean is to buy good quality gas. Major brands have detergents that keep gum and varnish from rapidly building up in the fuel system.
So buying cheaper gas in Ontario can actually be more costly for Thorold auto owners in the long run. Now, most cars on Ontario expressways are more than five or six years old. That means they've had time for some dirt and rust to start accumulating in the fuel tank. This junk needs to be filtered out of the fuel before it hits your pickup engine. That's the fuel filter's job.
When the fuel filter is clogged, the dirty fuel will bypass the filter and go on up to the engine where it can clog fuel injectors and get into the cylinders. That could be dangerous. So Thorold motorists should have their fuel filter changed when recommended. Check your owner's manual or ask your knowledgeable Hartzel Automotive & Marine technician if your fuel filter is due for replacement.
The fuel then goes up into the throttle body. This is another area where varnish and gum can accumulate. A professional fuel system cleaning at Hartzel Automotive & Marine in Thorold will use a combination of special cleaning chemicals and old fashioned swabbing to clean out the throttle body. Now, the fuel injectors are the last stop in the fuel delivery system.
It's essential for Thorold auto owners to keep those fuel injectors clean. The fuel injectors need to deliver a precise amount of fuel, at exactly the right time, in a particular spray pattern. They just can't do that if they're dirty. Dirty fuel injectors really rob power and hurt fuel efficiency.
It is important for the fuel system proper, but there are a couple other things that will help keep your pickup engine clean as well. Of course, air is mixed with the fuel before it's burned. Dirty air means dirt gets into your engine, so you need to replace your engine air filter when it's dirty.
The PCV value routes unburned fuel that escapes into the lower engine back up into the intake system to be burned. A sticky PCV valve needs to be replaced at Hartzel Automotive & Marine to make sure that system is working properly for Thorold drivers and the breather filter needs to be replaced if it's dirty as well.
Do all these things and your pickup engine's air and fuel will be as clean as possible. You'll get much better fuel economy and better power.
Fuel Injection: It Keeps Getting Better for Thorold Drivers
Posted on January 16,15 by napademo
Thorold auto owners know that engines need to burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your pickup engine where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine’s cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.
There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with air and before it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the pickup engine.
Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional pickup engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.
For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same gas mileage. The turbocharged version delivers 350 horsepower.
Why the big difference in power? Direct injection systems allow fuel to be squirted into the pickup engine at hundreds of times the pressure of a conventional engine. This atomizes the fuel better (breaks it down into tinier droplets), which means more of it gets burned, which translates to more power for your engine. It also results in cleaner emissions.
Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver the right amount of fuel at exactly the time the pickup engine needs it. They are also engineered to inject fuel with a specific spray pattern. This spray pattern allows for maximum fuel efficiency and proper atomization. Direct injection engines require a much higher degree of precision than conventional engines. For this reason, they are equipped with more sophisticated computers.
When fuel injectors get dirty, their precision drops off. The spray pattern won’t be precise, and the timing of fuel delivery may be off. This decreases fuel efficiency and gas mileage as well as delivering less power to the engine.
Thorold car owners should understand that fuel injectors are not cheap to replace. Direct injection fuel injectors are even more expensive. And we’re talking a mortgage payment to buy a set of new fuel injectors for a diesel engine.
So keeping your fuel injectors clean is just good auto advice. The best way to do this is to change your air and fuel filters regularly and practice other habits of good car care and preventive maintenance. Cleaning additives in your fuel can also help.
If you do end up with gum or varnish in your fuel system, you’ll need a professional fuel system cleaning. This will clean out your whole system, including the injectors. The good news is that with proper maintenance, Thorold car owners will enjoy better fuel efficiency and their fuel injectors will last for a long time.
How Do You Save Gas In Thorold Ontario?
Posted on January 07,15 by napademo
No one in Thorold, Ontario likes to spend a chunk of change at Thorold gas pumps. Rising Ontario fuel prices, however, have spurred Thorold car owners to focus on how to improve their fuel economy. North Americans literally drive billions of miles less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we are car-loving Americans, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.
Let's look at a real life example of one of our AutoNetTV producers. He has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here's what he did to cut his fuel costs:
First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his Thorold service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.
Now this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway – it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.
So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a ton of trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he tallied his MPG. Turns out, he got the best fuel economy on that vehicle up to that point. It had improved 25 percent! He saved $48.00 on that trip alone. And the savings keep on coming every day.
Here's a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel in Thorold, Ontario. First get caught up on your critical routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can boost gas mileage. If it's time for a tune-up, git'er done at Hartzel Automotive & Marine. That's a big item.
If your check engine light is on, have your knowledgeable Hartzel Automotive & Marine technician figure out why and fix it. Check engine problems can be real gas wasters.
Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment can really help Thorold car owners as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra hundred pounds can cost a mile per gallon.
Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most Thorold folks is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy on Ontario freeways and Thorold streets: don't speed and plan ahead.
Finally, you may have noticed that we haven't mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That's because there aren't any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot of "miracle fuel saver" scams in Ontario. Don't shell out any bucks to swindlers, you need it to buy gas!
Do some research and check with your service professional at Hartzel Automotive & Marine in Thorold before spending your hard earned cash.
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