If you are looking for a gas station to fill up your tank, you might be searching for the station with the cheapest prices or with easy access to get in and out quickly. But there’s another consideration that you might not have thought about before: if you see the refueling tanker at the station. It’s something that’s important to consider, because getting gas from a station which recently had its own tanks filled could mean trouble for your car.
Gas stations store their gasoline in underground tanks. Over time, massive amounts of sediment can stack up in these tanks over time. The process of refueling empty gasoline tanks can loosen and stir up this sediment and put it into the gasoline you get from the pump. Over time these sediments will sink back to the bottom of the tanks but are mostly likely to make their way through filters and into your car immediately after the underground tanks have been filled.
So if you see a large tanker filled with gasoline refueling the underground tanks at your local gas station, it’s a good idea to drive past it for a day or two until any loosened sediments have had a chance to settle to the bottom of the tanks again. You don’t want your fuel lines being clogged with that type of debris.
With winter weather fast approaching, many car owners are starting to think about preparing their cars for driving in cold temperatures, rain, snow and other adverse conditions. Drivers in the Midwest and East Coast should absolutely be ready for winter driving, but even drivers in places like California and Florida need to have their car ready for colder weather and heavy rain storms. Here are a few things to do to prepare your car for the winter months:
Replace your wiper blades: Having worn-out windshield wipers can make driving in rain, snow or sleet almost impossible and very dangerous. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that their wipers need to be replaced until the first storm hits. Check your wipers to see if they are cracked or worn before bad weather conditions start.
Check your antifreeze levels: Many people only fill their coolant systems with water during the summer months when they “top off” their cars. However, this can leave you low on antifreeze, which is very important when cold weather hits. Make sure to flush your system and fill it with the proper amount of antifreeze before the cold weather strikes.
Switch to synthetic oil: Modern blends of synthetic oils help you to avoid “rough starts” in the winter and make it easier to get your car going first thing in the morning. Replace your regular oil with a synthetic before the winter, especially if you have an older car.
When most people bring their car into a mechanic or oil change place for routine maintenance, they simply drop the keys off and pay the bill after work is completed. They don’t think much about it and generally agree to whatever recommendations that mechanic might make about services to perform. This is a big mistake! Not asking questions or paying attention during even the most basic of car care procedures can cost you hundreds of dollars immediately or down the road.
Being a smart car owner means asking questions. Here are a few things that you should be prepared to ask your mechanic when you bring your car in for an oil change, tune-up or any other scheduled maintenance procedure:
- Are you putting the right oil in my car? If you have an older car, you will want to consider motor oils designed for high mileage vehicles. If you drive in cold weather or frequently haul things, you might want to consider different viscosity oil than what is standard for your model.
- Is it time to change my oil filter? A dirty oil filter can hurt your engine’s performance and rob you of gas mileage.
- Are my fluid levels where they should be? If your fluid levels are lower than would be expected for the amount of time between maintenance visits, this could be a sign that you have a leak or some other mechanical problem which is draining your fluids and could be something to look at.