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HELPFUL INFO

Are You Ready For The Road?

An average of 13,000 Americans are killed between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, some as a result of unperformed vehicle maintenance, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Each year, neglected maintenance leads to more than 2,600 deaths, nearly 100,000 disabling injuries and more than $2 billion in lost wages, medical expenses and property damage.

Most mechanical failures can be traced to neglected maintenance. For example, the U. S. Department of Transportation reports the leading cause of mechanical breakdown on our nation's highways is overheating, a condition that is easily avoidable. Other deficiencies that are simple to detect include low antifreeze/coolant, worn or loose drive belts and defective cooling system hoses.

Checking tire pressure and inflating a tire costs nothing, yet an average of 21 percent of cars inspected in check lanes during National Car Care Month have under inflated tires. This can lead to a blowout and a serious accident.

Fuel Saving Tips
Condition Effect MPG Penalty up to
Under inflated tires Increase rolling resistance 1-2mpg
Dirty air filter Causes excessively rich fuel/air mixture 2.0mpg
Worn spark plugs Cause inefficient combustion, wasted fuel 2.0mpg
Worn O2 sensor Unable to detect and adjust air/fuel mixture 3mpg
Dirty or substandard engine oil Increases internal engine friction 0.4mpg
Loose gas cap Allows fuel to evaporate 2.0mpg
Potential loss in fuel economy if all of the above were neglected
11.4mpg


The Car Care Council offers these fuel-saving tips:
  1. Vehicle gas caps -- About 17 percent of the vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
  2. Under inflated tires -- When tires aren't inflated properly it's like driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon.
  3. Worn spark plugs -- A vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced as recommended by the manufacturer.
  4. Dirty air filters -- An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a "rich" mixture -- too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving about 20 cents a gallon.
Fuel-saving driving tips include:
  • Don't be an aggressive driver -- Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets, which results in 10 to 66 cents per gallon.
  • Avoid excessive idling -- Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.
  • Observe the speed limit -- Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mpg driven over 60 will result in an additional 10 cents per gallon. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.
WIPERS - In the 2001National Car Care Month vehicle check lanes, 21percent of participants had wipers that smeared, streaked or chattered across their windshields. Although climates vary, wipers generally need replacing every six months. An easy reminder is to change wiper blades in the spring and fall when you change your clock. Be sure the windshield washers are working properly, too, and keep the reservoir filled with solvent.

LIGHTING - Another important pre-trip check should be exterior and interior lighting. Vehicle check lanes revealed an overall failure rate of over 25 percent in the lighting category. The Car Care Council reminds motorists to check their lights monthly. Other suggestions from the Council include turning on headlights both day and night. This helps define your car's position on the road, and its distance from other drivers. When your vehicle's lighting is defective, other motorists may not get the message that you intend to stop or turn. The end result could be disastrous.

10 Minute Pre-Trip Checkup Can Pay Off

Car Care Council offers three suggestions for a traveler's 10-minute pre-trip checklist:
  • Check all fluids. There are several fluids, in addition to antifreeze, that require attention, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids and windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  • Check hoses and belts. A belt that fails can affect the electrical system, air conditioning and power steering, as well as the cooling system. Cooling system hoses may be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps in marginal condition might need to be replaced.
  • Check the tires. Check tire inflation and inspect the tread for uneven wear, indicating the need for wheel alignment. Also look for bulges and bald spots.
"While a last minute checkup is better than no checkup, motorists should plan ahead to allow time to perform necessary maintenance themselves or at the local service facility. A properly maintained vehicle is safer and more dependable and will even save a few dollars at the gas pumps," said the Car Care Council's Executive Director, Rich White.

Not only can a pre-trip inspection help reduce chances of costly and possibly dangerous road trouble, it also provides an opportunity to have repairs made at home, with one's own technician who knows the vehicle. Especially important, it provides peace of mind. While no inspection can guarantee a car's performance, it's comforting to know proper precautions were taken.


What Our Customers Are Saying

Great service, on time, on estimate. Felt like family while I was there. Highly recommend.


-Greg M.

Thank you to Mitch Smith Auto Service for taking such good care of the APL van. Thank you for your kindness and your support of the Animal Protection League.


-Maleah S.

Great people, with a good shop that stands by their work. Would definitely recommend.


-Josh P.

They go above and beyond. Great prices and great service.


-Tom R.

Good people. Good Service. Would Recommend.


-Cindy R. J.

Called for price on battery, on a Tuesday, got it installed free next day total time there 20 minutes! Fast and friendly service! Would recommend to try Mitch Smith auto service.


-Marc O.

The best shop in Anderson for all of your automotive needs. Go visit the staff and facility to see for yourself!!!


-Jacob W. S.

It's so nice to have a shop that offers honesty and integrity as the basis of their service!


-Terry A.

Great people ! Very professional, provide great service while finding the cheapest route for you ! Choose this place. I will take all of my cars there.


-Derrick A.

Wow! These guys are great! I bought a street rod on line with all kinds of things to fix and finish. They got right on it and are doing a top notch job. They are so friendly I feel like I've known them all my life. They are always ready to show me their progress and include me in the process. I really appreciate that as I'm not able to do the work myself. I feel confident that when it's finished it will be the best work at the best price around, and I've made some good friends in the auto service business.


-Charles C.

Very clean on the inside :-) friendly staff, asked me if I or my kids who waited with me wanted anything .. It was a good experience, will be coming back


-Regan H.

Awesome facility!!! Cleanest shop around with the friendliest staff. Won't take my vehicles anywhere else!!!


-Adam H.

You are always so attentive to your customers' needs and go over the top to make our experience with you the best we've ever known.


-Cindy B.

Mitch Smith always services my RV. He and his staff are very friendly and Always go above and beyond to make sure that we are safe on the road.


-Becky T.

We have always received excellent service @ Mitch Smith's. They have completed work on our vehicles (over the last couple years) beyond normal oil changes and maintenance. Some of these services included transmission replacement, brake work, and recently, a power window repair. In every case, the proposed services were explained in detail, with an accurate estimate of cost. After the work was done, we have always been satisfied. It is such a rare pleasure to be able to drop a vehicle off for service with complete confidence that the work will be done not only quickly but also accurately. Everyone we have dealt with @ Mitch Smith's has been friendly & respectful of our needs. This is exactly the way all businesses in America should treat their customers.


-G. User

You guys are really the only people I trust with my vehicles. Prices may or may not be cheaper other places, but either way I choose Mitch Smith!!


-Nick R.

I really liked their attention to the customers needs and the little things they did while my vehicles have been in for repair. Such as vacuum the floor board or painting the calipers.


-G. User
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