Quick solutions to car repairs

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11823637376572.jpg’, ‘Image courtesy of ARA Content’, ‘GM’s Oil Life System informs the driver when an oil change is due based on driving conditions and not on a predetermined time or mileage basis (three months or 3,000 miles, as was recommended in the past). ‘);

Approximately 50 percent of people say a lack of time is a bigger problem in their lives than a lack of money, according to the 2006 Yankelovich MONITOR “Finding Time Perspective” report. Seventy percent of consumers 16 years and older say they don’t have enough time to do all the things they need to do.

With such a lack of time, things like servicing a vehicle tend to take a back seat. Because of hectic schedules, drivers seek simple, quick solutions to car repairs so they can focus on daily commitments.

Searching through an owner’s manual is time consuming and confusing for many people. And when time becomes more valuable than money, technology can help.

Yankelovich also reports that the use of technological tools is one of the top strategies time-starved consumers rely on most to buy back time in their lives. A number of automotive technologies make it easier for vehicle owners to maintain and service their vehicles.They help save time by preventing unnecessary maintenance, make it easy to travel safely, and preserve gas and oil.

“GM has the right equation of automotive technology to simplify service and maintenance,” says Peter Lord, executive director, GM Service Operations. “Each of the industry-leading technologies GM has implemented is intended to make life easier for the consumer.”

Simplified maintenance

GM’s Oil Life System informs the driver when an oil change is due based on driving conditions and not on a predetermined time or mileage basis (three months or 3,000 miles, as was recommended in the past). The system monitors engine speed and temperature, and the computer continuously examines engine conditions to determine when it’s time to change the oil.

This system can double or even triple the time between oil changes. If used properly, it can help to save time and money connected with unnecessary oil changes. “A driver whose fuel tank is still two-thirds full wouldn’t empty the tank and refill it, or a driver whose tires are half worn wouldn’t replace them,” says Lord. “It is the same idea with prematurely changing oil that still has life.” Simplified maintenance based on the system is a convenience to drivers because it takes the guesswork out of when to change oil, and it eliminates decision-making for other routine maintenance.

OnStar vehicle diagnostics

OnStar provides free monthly diagnostic reports via e-mail, including crucial information about tire pressure, remaining engine oil life, emissions, engine, transmission and braking systems, as well as air bag system checks. Subscribers can enroll at the Web site (www.onstar.com) or press the vehicle’s blue OnStar button and sign up through an adviser.

Save fuel with Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS)

Nearly 1.2 billion gallons of gas are wasted each year because of under-inflated tires, according to a recent U.S. Department of Energy statistic cited in a study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. They also estimate drivers can improve fuel economy by up to 3.3 percent just by making sure tires are properly inflated.

Checking tire pressure is something drivers often forget or don’t make time to test. The TPMS helps alleviate this issue by tracking tire wear and pressure and helping motorists avoid tire failure and potentially dangerous, costly breakdowns. The system uses sensors mounted in each wheel to monitor tire pressure. Drivers are alerted to tire pressure changes so the issues can be checked and remedied quickly.

Goodwrench.com is a great online resource to learn more about these technologies and get helpful vehicle safety and maintenance tips.

Courtesy of ARA Content

from the June 20-26, 2007, issue

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