444 Wiscasset Rd Whitefield , ME 04353 207-549-7441

How to save Gas

High ME gas prices have hit most of our budgets here in Whitefield. If increased fuel costs are consuming a bigger portion of your budget, you may be tempted to skimp in some other areas – like scheduled maintenance.

According to ME news reports and industry studies, you're not alone. Nine out of ten personal vehicles on the road have at least one maintenance or repair item that hasn't been . Some of these items are serious safety concerns. Others are just more likely to affect the cost of operating your vehicle.

In this area, we can take a lesson from professional vehicle owners in the Augusta area: fleet owners and operators like trucking companies and Whitefield delivery services. Because their livelihood depends on it, they have gotten scheduled maintenance down to a science. And the last thing they skimp on is regular maintenance.

Why is that? Well, for one thing they know that routine maintenance prevents repairs and costly breakdowns. They also know that a well-maintained vehicle uses less fuel. For them, even a small decrease in fuel economy may mean not being profitable.

Here are some services that could potentially save you some gas in Whitefield:

Fuel system cleaning, transmission service, differential service, wheel alignment, oil change, tune-up. Ring any bells? Is there at least one thing on the list that hasn't been done? Let's suppose you chose to spend $150 at Hardman's Auto Sales and get caught up on some of these services and that they combine to improve your fuel economy by 15 percent. What would that mean to your pocketbook?

Well, the average personal vehicle in ME is driven about 12,000 miles a year. If you get 20 miles per gallon, over the course of one year you would pay for the $150 worth of service and save an additional $165 if gas is $3.50 in Whitefield. If gas is $4.50, you would save $255. And you'd rack up savings of $345 with gas at $5.50.

From this you can see that the more fuel costs in Whitefield, the more it pays to take care of your vehicle. Some of us Whitefield drive trucks for work or recreation – or want a large SUV for family needs. A 15 percent improvement in fuel economy can generate huge savings – $660 a year if gas is $4.50 a gallon at your Whitefield gas station.

So catch up on those services at Hardman's Auto Sales in Whitefield. Talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Hardman's Auto Sales about your vehicle's needs. Get a couple done now and a couple next time. Chances are you'll save a lot of on fuel this year – and a lot more on repairs in years to come.

Give us a call.

Hardman's Auto Sales
444 Wiscasset Road
Whitefield, ME 04353
207.549.7441
http://serviceassistant.autonettv.com


At Hardman's Auto Sales we install quality NAPA replacement parts.

     

Air Conditioning Service

Most Whitefield people don't service their vehicle air conditioning until after it fails. Maintaining your air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job. Small leaks in the air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can't cool the air as well.

Along with the refrigerant, a special oil circulates in the system. The oil lubricates air conditioning components and keeps the seals resilient. Low refrigerant and lubricating oil means that the vehicle air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and all Whitefield know that Whitefield AC repair can be costly.

Affordable air conditioning service at Hardman's Auto Sales in Whitefield starts with a thorough visual inspection of the components for signs of damage or leaks. The compressor is driven by a belt from the engine, most often the serpentine belt, so it's inspected for cracks or wear.

The vehicle air conditioning compressor and other components are checked for proper operation. Then comes the leak test. If an air conditioning leak is detected, often in a hose or connection, it's repaired and the system is retested. Your friendly and knowledgeable Hardman's Auto Sales will also perform a temperature drop test. If needed, the old refrigerant is evacuated and the system is recharged with clean, fresh refrigerant. A final test insures that the vehicle air conditioner is working, and you're on your way. How often this should be done varies from vehicle to vehicle. Your owner's manual will have the manufacturer's recommendation and, of course, your Hardman's Auto Sales can tell you. It's typically every two years.

Give us a call

Hardman's Auto Sales
444 Wiscasset Road
Whitefield, ME 04353
207.549.7441
http://serviceassistant.autonettv.com

At Hardman's Auto Sales we install quality NAPA replacement parts.

     

Power Steering Service

It's easy for Whitefield drivers to take power steering for granted – you spin the steering wheel and your car turns. But behind the scenes your power steering is making it easy.

The vast majority of vehicles on Augusta roads have hydraulic power steering systems, which means that pressurized fluid is used to help you do the work of steering. A pump pressurizes the power steering fluid to provide the boost you need. In some Whitefield vehicles the pump is driven by the serpentine belt, while in others there is an electric pump.

The problem for Whitefield vehicles is that over time, the fluid becomes contaminated and can actually cause leaks in the hoses and connections. It gets harder to steer and could even cause total failure of the power steering system.

Periodically, your friendly and knowledgeable Hardman's Auto Sales service advisor may recommend you change transmission fluid, which involves removing the old, dirty fluid and replacing with fresh fluid. This helps the power steering components last longer, maintains your vehicle's steering performance and keeps you safely on the road in Whitefield. Your Hardman's Auto Sales technician will also have your system checked for leaks and the belt inspected for other pending needs. Ask if it's time to perform a power steering service on your vehicle today.

Give us a call.

Hardman's Auto Sales
207.549.7441
444 Wiscasset Road
Whitefield, ME 04353
http://serviceassistant.autonettv.com

     

Fuel Economy

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Question:
What can I do to improve my fuel economy?

Hardman's Auto Sales Answer:
There are actually a lot of things Whitefield drivers can do – some of them are pretty easy. One of the first things is make sure their tires are properly inflated. On the inside of the driver's door or door jamb is a plate that indicates the correct tire pressure. Careful – there might be a different pressure for the front and rear tires. Check them at least once a month.

Carrying extra weight in the vehicle hurts . Leave unnecessary stuff home. Do we even need to mention driving fast around Whitefield and jackrabbit starts? Gently accelerate and plan your stops so that you can ease into them a bit. This really makes a big difference. Now there are a number of maintenance items that improve fuel economy for Whitefield drivers. Lubricants should be replaced on schedule – dirty oil, transmission fluid and differential fluid cause more friction and drag which hurt . A big one is having a fuel system cleaning done if needed. A dirty fuel system can really reduce engine efficiency and increase fuel consumption.

And if your Check Engine light is on, take your vehicle in to Hardman's Auto Sales in Whitefield for a diagnosis. Some conditions that trigger the light can really hurt your fuel economy. Getting the necessary work done to correct the fault will help your engine run better and may bump up your fuel economy.

And watch out for miracle cures. There are a lot of products being sold in ME that claim to increase fuel economy. Check them out before you buy. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Hardman's Auto Sales for ideas to improve your vehicle's fuel economy.

Give us a call.


Hardman's Auto Sales
444 Wiscasset Road
Whitefield, ME 04353
207.549.7441
http://serviceassistant.autonettv.com

     

Skipping Oil Changes

Some new are now recommending much higher oil change intervals than they have in the past. As much as 5,000 to 10,000 miles, or 10,000 to 15,000 kilometers, or more. Following these recommendations is very important to avoid engine damage. When Whitefield drivers go too long between oil changes, oil starts to turn to sludge. This causes small oil passages to clog and engine parts to fail.

What causes oil sludge? It's a factor of time and mileage. There are hot spots in every vehicle engine that cause oil burn off that leads to sludge. Also, water from normal condensation can build up in the oil. This water also creates sludge. Severe driving conditions in ME lead to more rapid sludge formation.

Severe driving includes short trips around Whitefield or trips in freezing ME conditions. The engine just doesn't get warm enough for the water in the oil to evaporate. Severe conditions are at the heart of the problem. Stop and go driving, towing, dusty conditions, heavy loads, very hot or very cold Augusta temperatures, a car top carrier – these are all conditions that would suggest that the severe service schedule should be considered.

The severe service schedule has much shorter oil change intervals. Whitefield drivers just need to honestly evaluate how they drive to determine if they should change their oil closer to the severe service schedule or to the standard schedule.

Some vehicles give oil change reminders. But it's important to know how that reminder is determined. For some, the reminder simply comes when the standard mileage interval has rolled around. Others use a computer algorithm that takes into consideration the number of cold starts, trip length, engine temperature and so on. It's programmed to approximate where on the standard/severe service spectrum you fall. Some more expensive vehicles actually have sensors that test the cleanliness and effectiveness of the oil.

For the rest of us Whitefield drivers, better safe than sorry should be the guiding principle. Talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Hardman's Auto Sales service advisor and work it out together. Find out what kind of oil the factory sends out in your vehicle. Sometimes it's a premium grade that costs more than standard oil – but it may be what's needed to meet a higher factory recommended interval.

Give us a call.

Hardman's Auto Sales
444 Wiscasset Road
Whitefield, ME 04353

Timing Chain

As your engine runs, the intake valves need to open up to allow air into the engine. They remain closed while the air and fuel is compressed and ignited, powering the piston. Then the exhaust valves open to release the exhaust. This all has to be timed very precisely. It is the job of the timing belt or timing chain to make sure all of this is synced up properly.

Timing belts are made of a very tough compound that can last for a long time. Timing chains are made of metal and last for a very long time as well. If your vehicle has a timing belt, your vehicle's owner's manual has a schedule for replacing the belt. If your vehicle has a timing chain, there may not be a specified schedule for replacing it, but that doesn't mean that the timing chain system is indestructible and never needs attention.

For example, the chain runs on sprockets on the crankshaft and the camshafts. A broken tooth on a sprocket can cause the chain to slip a little. When timing is off a little your engine will not run as smoothly. When timing is off enough, your engine won't run at all and could even be severely damaged. There is also a tensioner that keeps appropriate pressure on the timing chain. This keeps the chain tight while allowing it to absorb pulsations from the engine. The tensioner can wear out. There are also guide rails that keep the chain on the proper path that can become worn.

The bottom line is that at some time, one or more of the timing chain system components will become worn to the point that they are no longer performing within specifications. Your Hardman's Auto Sales service advisor can help you with recommendations for when timing chain components should be replaced on your vehicle and for signs of timing chain system wear.

Since timing chains (and dozens of other parts) are lubricated by engine oil, smart Whitefield residents stay on top of regular oil changes to prolong their life. Always use a high quality oil filter and oil of the recommended type and grade.

Give us a call.

Hardman's Auto Sales
444 Wiscasset Road
Whitefield, ME 04353
207.549.7441
http://serviceassistant.autonettv.com

     

Suspension

Let's talk about your suspension – you know, the system that connects your wheels to your vehicle, controls your handling and delivers a good ride as you cruise around Whitefield, ME. Your suspension is critical for proper steering, stopping and stability.

Hey, it's a rough world out there in ME – every time you hit a pothole, a bump or an object in the road, your suspension system has to absorb the impact and maintain control.

As you can imagine, your suspension has a lot of joints and pivot points that allow your wheels to move up and down over bumps and to turn as you steer. These parts include ball joints, tie rod ends, the pitman, idler arms and the control arm bushing. They simply wear out over time.

When a joint or other part is worn the suspension parts don't fit together as tightly as they should.Handling and steering has a loose feel and you may hear strange noises. Your tires will wear unevenly because they're bouncing down the Whitefield, ME, road a little off kilter.

A loose joint has the effect of stressing other suspension components so they wear out faster than they should. Sometimes a suspension part can be bent from hitting a rock or curb or by slamming into a big pothole.

When your Whitefield, ME, service advisor at Hardman's Auto Sales inspects your vehicle, he'll look for signs of suspension problems: things like uneven tire wear, excessive play in suspension components and other visible damage. He can replace the worn or damaged parts and restore safe handling.

It's a great idea to take care of these problems right away before they become more expensive to repair. And nobody in Whitefield likes to see a tire that should last for several years get worn out in a matter of months because of a bad suspension part.

Let us help you keep your vehicle operating safely. And saving some money on repairs and tire replacement is a good thing too.

At Hardman's Auto Sales in Whitefield, ME, 04353, we install quality NAPA replacement parts. You can reach us locally at 207.549.7441.

     

Battery Upgrades

When that car battery finally gives up the ghost and it's time to replace it,  Whitefield drivers have options. First, let's be clear that you should always get a replacement battery that meets or exceeds your vehicle's specifications. But you may have some special needs. When they first put the battery into your vehicle at the factory, they had no idea where it would end up over its life or how YOU would use it where you drive in ME. That battery was chosen to meet the needs of a wide range of motorists. Replacement time is a good opportunity to talk to your service advisor about how you use your vehicle so you can get just the right battery.

An obvious criterion is where you live, whether in Whitefield or somewhere else. Cold starts require a lot of power from your battery. The colder the climate, the more power needed. This comes from a combination of cold sluggish oil and the slower chemical reaction within the battery itself when it is cold. If this sounds like you, talk to your service advisor Hardman's Auto Sales about a battery with more Cold Cranking Amps (CCA).

The next consideration for Whitefield drivers is reserve capacity. This is the number of minutes of reserve power the battery has under a particular load. If your driving is mostly short stop-and-go trips around Whitefield, your battery may not have time to fully recharge while driving. You may need to tap into those reserves to get started again. Also, modern vehicles have a lot of always-on systems that draw on the battery – things like the security system, remote sensors, and vehicle computers. These combine with the electronic entertainment system, sensors, heated seats and even chargers for phones, tablets and computers to put a fairly high load on the battery. Your service advisor Hardman's Auto Sales can give you advice on the reserve capacity you might need.

Most standard batteries are “wet-cell,” meaning they are filled with liquid battery acid. New Absorbed Gas Mat (AGM) batteries are “non-spillable” which makes them safer Whitefield . They also have a longer life span and greater cycle life than wet-cell batteries. Augusta off-roaders like these batteries because their performance is not affected by steep inclines and odd angles. They are also well suited for Whitefield RV and boat owners.

Lastly, consideration for Whitefield drivers is warranty. Premium batteries come with a longer warranty. Warranties are typically either full-replacement (the battery is replaced if it fails within the warranty period) or pro-rated (a partial credit is given for the failed battery depending on how far into the warranty period you are when it fails).

When the battery is replaced, your friendly and knowledgeable Hardman's Auto Sales technician may need to recalibrate some accessories such as power windows and sunroofs. Also, some vehicles may need to have the battery registered into the engine computer.

Your Hardman's Auto Sales service advisor can help you know how to decide which battery is right for you and your vehicle.

Give us a call.


Hardman's Auto Sales
444 Wiscasset Road
Whitefield, ME 04353
207.549.7441

     

Brake Service

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Most Whitefield drivers know that braking means slowing or stopping a vehicle. The mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There's also the power brake system and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.

Let's step back. A car or truck rolls brand new off the showroom floor at a local Whitefield dealer. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and the power assist are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the vehicle tires are brand new, with full tread. Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance.
 
Now, as your drive from Whitefield to Augusta and back, the miles/kilometers start to add up. Most Whitefield car owners tend to focus on the brake pads. In the Whitefield automotive service community, the pads and shoes on drum brakes are called the friction material. That's because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life. It's not until they are worn so thin as to be out of spec that they lose stopping effectiveness.

The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while stopping the vehicle. Over many miles/kilometers, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail. That's why a regular brake inspection is important. At Hardman's Auto Sales, we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.

That leads us to brake fluid service at Hardman's Auto Sales. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the vehicle fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system deteriorate the performance of the brake fluid. Brake fluid replacement at Hardman's Auto Sales includes flushing the brake system to clean out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.

The tires are what connect the vehicle to the road. The stopping force is ultimately dependent on the traction provided by the tires. The better they grip the road, the quicker you'll stop as you drive around Whitefield.

Give us a call.

Hardman's Auto Sales
207.549.7441
444 Wiscasset Road
Whitefield, ME 04353
http://serviceassistant.autonettv.com

     

E85 Fuel Safety

This Hardman's Auto Sales automotive safety warning is coming from a very unusual source: Whitefield fire fighting experts. 

You've probably heard of E85 gasoline. Some newer vehicle models sold in ME are specifically built to run on E85 – the rest are 

not. E85 gasoline has been developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption in ME. E85 fuel is a mix of 85% ethanol, 

a grain-base alcohol, and 15% gasoline. So-called Flex-Fuel vehicles are designed to use either normal gasoline or E85 gas. 

The result is lower harmful exhaust emissions in our Augusta area environment. All gas engines can run with up to 10% ethanol, 

and in fact a lot of Whitefield gasoline does contain some ethanol. The problem comes when well meaning Whitefield drivers 

without Flex-Fuel certified vehicles put E85 into the tank. At an 85% concentration, the potential for problems arises. Because 

of the chemical differences between ethanol and gasoline, special seals and gaskets are needed for Flex-Fuel vehicles. In a 

normal engine, the ethanol in E85 gas will eat away important seals and gaskets. This leads to gas and oil leaks. You can 

imagine the fire hazard caused by leaking gasoline. ME fire fighting experts caution Whitefield to only use E85 if they know 

their vehicle is certified to handle it. In fact, service and repair center owners are being warned to purchase fire extinguishers 

that use the special foam needed to extinguish ethanol fires as a precaution in case starting up an ethanol damaged engine

leads to a fire. Obviously, this isn’t something you want to have happen in your garage at home, either. If you have a 

Flex-Fuel certified vehicle, feel free to protect the environment by using E85 gasoline. If not, please do not use E85 in an 

engine that’s designed to run on unleaded gasoline only. If you have questions or want to find out how to determine if your 

vehicle can safely use E85, go to www.e85fuel.com for more resources.

Give us a call if you have any questions.

Hardman's Auto Sales
444 Wiscasset Road
Whitefield, ME 04353
207.549.7441
http://serviceassistant.autonettv.com

 

At Hardman's Auto Sales we install quality NAPA replacement parts.

     
- See more at: http://hardmansautosales.napaautotools.com/2017/05/31/e85-fuel-safety-for-whitefield-drivers#sthash.Pvfdpi5u.dpuf