When asked, most people think they are good at multi-tasking. Scientific studies, however, reveal that only around 2% of the population can truly demonstrate the capacity to effectively multi-task. For the rest of us who are not so biologically wired, no amount of practice can increase our effectiveness at multi-tasking. Turns out, multi-tasking is almost a superpower. Think of fighter pilots: capable of maintaining their orientation in three dimensional space and performing specific and highly complicated functions while accessing life threatening situations and coming up with an appropriate response. Admit it – you can’t do that.
Yet when it comes to driving, we seem to think we are very capable of safely operating a motor vehicle with myriad distractions. 77% of young adults feel somewhat confident that they can safely text and drive while 55% claim it’s easy to text and drive. Can they possibly be right? Let’s look at some statistics.
Nearly 23% of all accidents in the United States involve cell phones. Every day, 11 people are killed and over 900 are injured in texting-related accidents. In fact, texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated. Just think back at your own experiences: how many of your “near misses” as a pedestrian or in a vehicle have involved a driver with a cell phone in their hand?
There are three types of driving distractions:
Of course, texting or using a cell phone involves all three. Eating, applying make-up, arguing and working on-board features like the stereo and navigation system are all very real distractions. You may be interested to know that hands-free cell calls are not substantially safer than using a handheld phone. Any time you glance away from the road (like looking at a text or incoming phone call) your eyes are off task for at least 5 seconds. At 55 miles per hour/90 kph, you will cover the length of a football field in that time. Would you ever consent to strapping on a blindfold and driving off down the road for that distance?
So what do you do? First, accept the fact that you are not part of the 2% of all the people on the planet who can truly multi-task (if you are one of the lucky ones you would know by now because your performance does not degrade no matter how many additional tasks are added). Next, don’t EVER drive distracted. Incoming text: it will wait for later. Juicy hamburger: eat it in the parking lot. No exceptions, ever. And don’t accept anything less from drivers of vehicles in which you are a passenger.
Another way to avoid distractions is to keep on top of scheduled maintenance and necessary repairs so that your vehicle itself doesn’t become a distraction. We can help you with that.
Give us a call.
George's Complete Auto Repair4804 coronado pkwyCape Coral, Florida 33904239-542-1588
Have you ever thought about all the little things we do to keep our lives running smoothly - like vacuuming? It makes a room feel fresher and more comfortable. We may not consider that we're also prolonging the life of the carpet by keeping it clean. But Cape Coral drivers don't always extend those good habits into the garage. Our vehicles need regular maintenance just like our rugs need vacuuming. We may not notice a difference in the feel or appearance of the vehicle, but just as cleaning a carpet carries the hidden reward of prolonging its life, maintaining our vehicles incurs a hidden reward that becomes noticeable at Cape Coral gas stations.When it comes to reduced fuel economy, there are two culprits: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. That means that anything Cape Coral drivers can do to decrease friction and increase the efficiency of their engines will translate to savings on fuel. Friction increases the amount of energy it takes to move something. So if we can reduce friction, we can decrease the amount of fuel it takes to run our vehicles. Engine oil is usually at the heart of friction problems in an engine. Too little oil means parts are not getting lubricated, which increases friction; dirty oil doesn't lubricate as well as clean oil. So one secret to good fuel efficiency is to stay on top of oil changes. Don't skip them and don't procrastinate. The same auto advice applies to transmission fluid. Keep it full and keep it clean, and your vehicle will run with less friction and better fuel economy.If your tires are underinflated, it increases the friction between the tire and the road. Again, there is increased drag, and it takes more fuel to move your vehicle. Cape Coral drivers should check their tire pressure every month and keep their tires properly inflated.
Alignment and brake problems can also increase friction. Besides saving fuel, keeping these systems in good repair has the added benefit of saving you on tires and brake pads. These items wear out more quickly when the alignment is off or when the brake system isn't in good working order. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at George's Complete Auto Repair.The second culprit that stealthily steals our gas is inefficient fuel combustion. It depends on the engine getting the right amount of clean fuel to the right place with the right pressure at the right time in the right pattern. The key to peak engine performance is to keep the fuel system clean. Varnish and gum can build up in a fuel system, which will interfere with the fuel injectors. The fuel injectors are responsible for all those “rights” we spoke of. If they're dirty, amounts, timing, pressure and spray patterns can all get out of whack. The result? Reduced fuel efficiency. A fuel system cleaning at George's Complete Auto Repair in Cape Coral can get your injectors back on track, improving performance and efficiency.There are a few other maintenance items that can improve your fuel economy. One is to replace your PCV valve when it gets sticky. This valve allows unburned fuel in your engine exhaust to return to the engine. Cape Coral drivers can also replace worn spark plugs and dirty fuel filters. A well-maintained vehicle will require fewer repairs and save at Cape Coral gas pumps.
George's Complete Auto Repair 4804 coronado pkwy Cape Coral, Florida 33904 239-542-1588
The cooling system in an engine has five components: the radiator, the radiator cap, the hoses, the thermostat and the water pump. The water is literally the heart of the system. Just as your own heart keeps your blood circulating through your body, the water pump keeps coolant circulating through your engine.The water pump is driven by a belt, chain or gear and only operates while the engine is running. It has a limited life span and sooner or later will have to be replaced. You can check your owner's manual to find out how long your water pump should last. Some can fail at only 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers), but almost all of them fail by 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers).Water pumps don't gradually wear out; they fail. In other words, they're either working or they're not. A failed water pump has to be replaced.Water pumps can fail in two ways: they can spring a leak or their bearings fail. Leaks can come from a cracked pump but usually develop at the gasket where the pump attaches to the engine.If you hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump, it's time for a new one. If you see coolant leaking in the area near the pump, it needs to be replaced. Also, coolant on the driveway could indicate water pump failure. Many water pumps aren't visible because they're under a plastic cover, so you may have to take your vehicle to George's Complete Auto Repair to know if the water pump has failed. If your water pump is run by the timing belt, then it should be replaced when you replace the belt. Most timing belts need to be replaced at around 60,000 to 90,000 miles (100,000 to 150,000 kilometers). The labor for replacing a timing belt is about 90% the same for replacing a water pump, so it's cost-effective to take care of them both at the same time. Also, if your water pump develops a leak (if it's powered by the timing belt), you have to replace the timing belt as well since contamination by coolant fluid damages the belt. It just makes sense for Cape Coral residents to replace both of these parts whenever either one needs it.Replacing a water pump at George's Complete Auto Repair is a vehicle care issue that almost all of us Cape Coral residents face eventually. They don't last forever. On the other hand, we can extend the life of most of the components of our vehicle through preventive maintenance. Just as exercise and diet keep our heart healthy, regular check-ups and fluid changes will keep our vehicles healthy. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable George's Complete Auto Repair service advisor.
Some Cape Coral drivers figure that anything they can attach to their trailer hitch can be towed by their vehicle. Nope. If you're going to do any towing around Cape Coral, you should be aware of safety issues, Florida towing laws and potential liability.Understanding tow ratings is important for safe towing. A tow rating is the weight limit that your vehicle can safely tow. They calculate the tow rating for every vehicle, but different options on the vehicle can affect that rating. Cape Coral drivers need to read the towing section in their owner's manual to get the specific tow rating for the vehicle they own.Your trailer hitch also has a weight limit, and it may not match the tow rating for your vehicle. Your vehicle may be rated for 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg), but if you have a 2,000-pound (900 kg) hitch limit, you shouldn't be towing more than 2,000 pounds (900 kg). If you tow a 10,000-pound (4,500 kg) trailer on that hitch, it could break free and you would be liable for any resulting damages.Another example, one popular pick-up truck has a tow rating of 10,300 pounds (4,600kg). But in the owner's manual, it specifies that a sway control device be used for trailers weighing over 2,000 pounds (900 kg) and that a weight-distributing hitch is required for trailers over 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg). If the vehicle owner tows a 6,000-pound (2700 kg) trailer without a weight-distributing hitch and ends up in an accident, the owner will be held liable for not complying with the towing requirements in Florida.Cape Coral auto owners also need to keep in mind that tow weights include the weight of passengers and cargo inside the tow vehicle. So if your tow rating is 7,000 pounds (3,200 kg), and you're carrying 700 pounds (320 kg) of passengers and cargo, you can only tow a trailer weighing up to 6,300 pounds (2,880 kg).Two numbers that Cape Coral drivers should be aware of are the GVWR and the GCWR. These codes are usually imprinted on the inside of the driver's side door. GVWR stands for gross vehicle weight rating. Take GVWR and subtract the total weight of the vehicle, and you have the maximum weight the vehicle can safely carry in passengers and cargo. GCWR stands for Gross Combined Weight Rating. Take that number, subtract the weight of the tow vehicle and the trailer, and you have the maximum weight of passengers and cargo that the tow vehicle and trailer together can safely carry.This may seem a bit complicated, but you ignore these ratings at your own peril. If you haul or tow loads over the maximum ratings around Florida, you become liable in event of an accident.Local Cape Coral laws require that safety chains be attached when towing a trailer. Some Florida jurisdictions may require trailer brakes as well. Others mandate trailer brakes only in certain situations. If you are going to tow a trailer, you should find out the local Cape Coral laws regarding trailer brakes and hitches, as well as weight and length restrictions.To tow safely, Florida drivers also need the proper tires on the tow vehicle. Tires need to be in good condition with adequate tread, and they need to have a load rating high enough to handle the weight of the trailer. Your trained George's Complete Auto Repair tire professional can help you select the right tire to use when towing around Cape Coral.Your 's owner's manual is your primary source for auto advice regarding towing since it is specific to your vehicle. Be sure to read it carefully before doing any towing. And as always, keep your preventive maintenance up-to-date, and practice good car care to ensure the safety of your vehicle on the road—especially when pulling a trailer.
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Hello Cape Coral drivers! Need a new battery? There is a good chance that you do – 70% of batteries need to be replaced within four years. As your battery discharges and then recharges as you drive around Cape Coral, bits of the surface of the battery plates disintegrate. As this process continues over a few years, the alternator has to work harder to supplement the battery charge. Over time, enough of the battery is damaged that it can no longer hold a charge and it needs to be replaced. This also speeds up wear on the alternator.Your George's Complete Auto Repair service advisor can help you determine the right vehicle replacement battery for the way you drive around Cape Coral, as well as the Florida climate and durability needs.Contact George's Complete Auto Repair for information on battery replacement.Give us a call.
Warm weather or cold, Cape Coral drivers still need to think about their vehicle's air conditioning. Most Cape Coral people don't service their air conditioning until after it fails. At George's Complete Auto Repair, we can advise you on your vehicle manufacturers preventive maintenance schedules for air conditioning service, just as we do for transmission service, oil changes and so on.
Maintaining your air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job. Small leaks in the vehicle's air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can't cool the air as well. We see that a lot at George's Complete Auto Repair in Cape Coral.The refrigerant also contains oil that lubricates air conditioning components and keeps the seals resilient. Low refrigerant and lubricating oil means that the air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and all Cape Coral vehicle owners know that air conditioning repairs can be costly. At George's Complete Auto Repair, we recommended that the air conditioner be run regularly, even during winter months, to keep the parts and seals lubricated.Cape Coral drivers need to be aware that there's one more thing that isn't directly related to air conditioning service but does impact the quality of the air in your vehicle. And that's your cabin air filter. This filter cleans dust, pollen, pollution and other impurities in the air that come from the heater and air conditioner. The cabin air filter needs to be replaced when it's dirty. If you don't, it'll start to smell. Not all vehicles have one, so ask your George's Complete Auto Repair service advisor to check your cabin air filter at the same time they're doing your air conditioning service.
Whether we're trying to save money, save gas or save the environment, most of us Cape Coral drivers have an interest in decreasing fuel consumption. We've all heard about ways to save money on gas in Florida, but does it really add up to much? How much can we boost our fuel economy through preventive maintenance and more courteous driving?The US government has a website that actually answers that question. Let's look at some of the data and find out if any of these fuel-saving ideas are really worth the effort. We've all heard that a tune-up can improve gas mileage. It turns out that it can save us 4% at the pump. At $3.50 a gallon, that's 14¢ per gallon in savings, and at $4.00 a gallon, that's a 16¢ per gallon savings.Other common repair items can also save you at the pump. For example, if your oxygen sensor is faulty, it's not delivering the information to your engine's computer that allows it to calculate the right fuel-to-air ratio. The result? The fuel doesn't burn efficiently. Replacing that faulty sensor can save you 40% at the pump. That's certainly a reason to improve your car care and have the automotive professionals at George's Complete Auto Repair inspect things once in a while.A faulty oxygen sensor will activate the check engine light. So will a lot of other problems that are big fuel wasters. Finding out why your light is on and fixing the problem will also improve your fuel economy. Bring your car into George's Complete Auto Repair in Cape Coral and we will take care of it for you.What about tires? Cape Coral drivers have all heard that keeping them inflated will improve our gas mileage. True? Yep. It's a 3% savings for that one. And even small drops in tire pressure can start to add up, so a weekly tire check is in order.Using the correct weight in motor oil is another way you can save at Cape Coral area gas pumps. It adds up to a 2% savings.What about that courteous driving? That doesn't cost us anything and doesn't require our Cape Coral service center to implement anything. Is it worth the bother?Again, the answer is yes. Sudden acceleration, such as charging away from stoplights, sudden stops and quick lane changes all add up in lowered fuel economy. Taking it easy when you drive on Florida roads amounts to a 5% savings around town and a whopping 33% savings on the freeway. Is it worth your time to slow down? How much do you get paid?Speeding is another way we ding ourselves at the gas pump. We've all heard that it's okay to drive five miles over the speed limit, but that actually hurts our wallets. Eventually it could add up to more than a speeding ticket. An extra five miles over the speed limit ends up costing us 7% per gallon. Fifteen miles over? 23% Now there's a reason to slow down.Another thing Cape Coral vehicle owners can do to improve that costs nothing is to toss the junk out of our trunks. In other words, clean out the car and stop hauling around non-essentials. Don't treat your vehicle like a storage locker. Dumping one hundred pounds of extra weight adds up to a 2% savings at the pump.So when you tell someone you were going somewhere anyway and they're welcome to come along, that's okay. But if someone tells you they need to come along and it's no harm to you since you were going anyway—well, now you can tell them, “Sorry, dude, but you're an extra fifteen cents a gallon!”All joking aside, let's all do ourselves a favor and fatten up our wallets by practicing good car care and better driving habits in Florida.
Cape Coral area residents may remember when the U.S. government's “Cash for Clunkers” program made a splash on the news scene. People were offered incentives to trade in old vehicles for new, in the interest of better and improved air quality from reduced emissions.But a lot of Cape Coral drivers want to hang onto their old clunkers. They're dependable and they're paid for. Owners would love to see the odometers on those vehicles turn past 200,000 miles (320,000 km), as long as the repair bills don't get too expensive.There are a lot of vehicles on Florida roads that have run past the 200,000 mile (320,000 km) odometer reading. Is there something that their owners are doing that keeps these vehicles on the road? Or did they just win the “lemon lottery,” and luck out by getting a particularly good vehicle? Not surprisingly, most of these owners have something in common. They never skip an oil change. Can keeping a vehicle on the road for 200,000 miles (320,000 km) really be that easy for Cape Coral drivers?Actually, it makes sense. Oil is the lifeblood of a vehicle. Clean oil ensures that the engine will run efficiently and staves off the build-up of sludge that can eventually damage engine parts. Oil changes remove dirty oil and replace dirty oil filters, keeping an engine clean and running smoothly, just like eating right keeps our hearts healthy by preventing build-up in our arteries.But there's another reason why not skipping an oil change can result in a longer life for your car. When you bring your car in to George's Complete Auto Repair for an oil change, all of the fluid levels are checked and topped off. If these fluids are depleted, dirty or low, they can damage the engine.If a fluid is significantly low, it usually indicates a leak somewhere, leading to an inspection of relevant parts. This inspection and the replacement of the worn part can prevent repair bills and maintain the health of the engine.At an oil change, your technician at George's Complete Auto Repair will also do a quick check for worn belts or hoses, uneven tread wear, leaking shock absorbers and other signs of wear and tear. This advance notice allows the owner to replace parts before they break down and possibly damage your vehicle.The oil change is also a good time to review any other service that the vehicle might need. Many car owners rely on their pros at George's Complete Auto Repair for good auto advice on check-ups and follow-up vehicle care that will keep older cars running well.Parts wear out on older vehicles. There's no avoiding it. As the odometer chugs upward toward 200,000 miles (320,000 km), the vehicle will need several batteries, a couple of alternators and water pumps, a new set of shocks and possibly some brake rotors. But these items—all together—add up to far less than the cost of a new vehicle.Good vehicle care and preventive maintenance are the hallmark of Cape Coral drivers who have kept their vehicles on the road and running past the age when most of us have given up and headed back to a car lot. We can learn from their wisdom.So treat your car right: Take good care of it and don't skip the check-ups at George's Complete Auto Repair in Cape Coral.
Do you like to shop for shoes in Cape Coral?When buying a running shoe, is quality important?Does durability matter as long as the shoes look fabulous?Would you rather have one pair of long lasting shoes or two pairs of lower quality shoes at the same price?Is the warranty important when buying tires?
Cape Coral drivers should also think about the safety aspect of tires. The tires do a lot of work – they carry the weight of the vehicle and you and your passengers. You want to be sure they hold the road and provide good traction on Florida freeways and surface streets. If you carry heavy loads or tow a trailer on Florida highways, the tires need a high load rating.Ask your friendly and knowledgeable Cape Coral tire professional at George's Complete Auto Repair. I think it's important that Cape Coral residents understand the effect of price on a tire's quality, performance and durability. When I was a kid, my dad would say, “Pay twice as much and buy half as many.”The same principle applies to tires. The major tire brands that you're familiar with in Cape Coral are known as Tier 1 tires. These tires are high quality and well-engineered. Comparable vehicle Tier 1 tires are usually priced similarly.Stepping down, you come to private label tires. Some large Florida tire store chains carry tires with their own brand. It's important to know that most private label tires are built by the same Tier 1 companies that you are familiar with – so you are pretty safe in choosing them. To be sure, you can ask your George's Complete Auto Repair tire professional which manufacturer makes their private brand.The lowest priced tires on the market in Cape Coral are Tier 3 tires which are usually imported from China or South America. Since you get what you pay for, you can't expect a Tier 3 tire to deliver the same performance and durability as the others.
What's the difference in the tires with high mileage warranties? It's the rubber compounds and the amount of tread material. As you might expect, you'll pay more for the longer-lasting tire.Your tires are the only parts of your vehicle that touch the road. You're only as safe as your tires are well built. Buy value – not price.Give us a call.