Tis the Season… for Soaring Gas Prices!

Soaring gas prices Victoria

We hear it all the time: “Wasting a quarter-tank, just to save 5-cents a litre at Costco… who has time for that?!” 

While there’s lots of pain at the gas pumps right now, here’s some great advice to help you save money year-round despite soaring gas prices:

Check the owner’s manual

Dealerships provide a list of recommended services and timeline in which to get things done.  Searles qualified service technicians can help with that.  We also specialize in warranty-approved maintenance!

It’s easier than ever to get the quality service you want, from people you can trust.

Looking to minimize your carbon footprint?

Your vehicle can burn up to 30% more fuel if proper maintenance isn’t performed regularly, so book a regular engine check-up.  Corroded battery cables cause the alternator to work harder, using more gas. So it’s best to have them cleaned with each check-up.

Between visits? Check your tire pressure at least once a month. Under-inflated tires burn more fuel, and their rolling resistance can increase by 5%. And SUV owners should consider switching from a patterned off-road tread to a fuel efficient highway tread.

Check what octane is suggested for your particular make and model. Octane ratings measure fuel’s ability to resist engine knock, but the higher the octane, the higher the price.

Only about 6% of cars sold need premium gas. Resist the urge to buy higher octane gas for “premium” performance.

When filling up, keep the hose in the tank until after the pump shuts off.  Then be sure to allow all the fuel to pour out. As much as a ¼ cup can pour from the hose.  You paid for it, so don’t leave a drop.

Packing to leave? Remember the lighter the load, the lower the fuel consumption and emissions. An extra 46 kilos (100 lbs) in the trunk reduces your car’s fuel economy by 1 to 2%. Not using your roof rack? Why not leave it at home until your next trip? Carrying excess weight wastes fuel.

Don’t idle for more than a minute

Idling consumes anywhere from half to a full gallon of gas per hour and needlessly pumps CO2 into the atmosphere. The modern engine consumes less fuel turning off-and-on than idling for extended periods of time.

Car idling in traffic

To effectively warm up an engine, simply start the engine, wait for 20 seconds to build up the oil pressure and drive away.

Speaking of driving, did you know you can save up to 6% in fuel consumption by using “Cruise Control” on the highway? Avoid excessive high speeds. At 120 km/h, a vehicle uses about 20% more fuel than at 100 km/h. Also: maintain a steady speed. Frequently varying your speed can really affect your tank and lead to higher consumption. The harder you accelerate the more fuel you consume.  So accelerate gently, and coast to decelerate. The same goes for braking. “Jackrabbit” starts and stops can increase fuel consumption by up to 40%

Speaking of highway driving: Speeding not only leads to unwanted tickets and run-ins with the law, aggressive driving can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% in town.  According to the US Department of Energy and the EPA’s website on fuel economy: you can save up to $477 a year (or between 13 and 89 cents a gallon) depending on how you drive.

This next part comes right from the A/C Repair services link on our website.

These are warning signs that your car’s air conditioning system may be failing:

  • Rough idling or high engine temperatures whenever you run the A/C
  • A fan or blower that’s louder than usual; dash controls that don’t work
  • Musty odors and/or water on the floor

If you’ve noticed any of these things or book our summer maintenance special call (250) 475-2000.  Get an Oil-Lube and Filter change, tire rotation and comprehensive multi-point visual inspection all for just 99.95+tax before August 31st, and you’ll also be entered-to-win you’ll be entered-to-win one of 75 Toro Lawnmowers.

Announcing the Searles Fall-Winter Maintenance Contest Winner

Bob Heyes contest winner

Congratulations to Bob Heyes, who entered the draw for our Fall-Winter Maintenance Special and won a Nest Learning Thermostat. Enjoy smart thermostat, Bob!

Our Spring-Summer Service Special contest is still on until August 31, 2018. Book now and enter to win one of 75 Toro 22 inch lawn mowers!

Book your appointment today!

Tips for Teaching Your Teen How to Drive

While teens may approach their 16th birthday full of excitement, many parents will find themselves feeling the opposite. The thought of one’s precious baby handling an expensive machine that weighs a few thousand pounds can be a terrifying prospect.  Fortunately, with a little pre-planning and patience, the task of teaching your teen to drive doesn’t have to be a hair-greying experience

how to teach your teen to drive Read More

Hybrid Vehicle Maintenance: What to Expect

Hybrid Vehicle Maintenance

As gas prices continue to rise, you may be thinking about making your next car a hybrid. While it’s difficult to argue with the fuel savings, hybrid vehicles have their own set of maintenance requirements that differ from gas-powered vehicles.  If you’re considering a new, more energy efficient set of wheels, here’s what you need to know.
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Why Your Gas Direct Injection Engine Needs Regular Service

Carbon Build Up on Intake Valves

What to do to keep your fuel intake valves from becoming this

Once confined to diesel and high end gas vehicles, direct injection engines have gone mainstream in recent years.  Offering noticeable improvements to fuel efficiency, this high performance system comes with a downside the average driver doesn’t know about: intake valve gunk.

Technically the remnants of oxidized fuel, this build up is easy to manage with regular maintenance.  Unfortunately, most vehicle owners aren’t made aware of the additional needs of their GDI engine – at least, not until they roll into the local service shop with the ‘check engine’ light on.  Read More

Low Beams vs High Beams: When to Use Your Headlights

guide to headlights canada

Your vehicle’s headlights let you see and be seen.  But making sure your lights are on and working is only half the battle. Weather, location, brightness and time of day all have an effect on safety and visibility, and how you use your lights will greatly affect how effective they function.

In Canada, headlights come with three settings – daytime, low beam and high beam. Each mode offers its own set of pros and cons depending on environmental conditions, so knowing when to switch between them can help make your car ride safer. Read More

Announcing the Searles Spring-Summer Maintenance Contest Winner

Congratulations to Gavin Larson, who entered the draw for our Spring-Summer Maintenance Special and won an iRobot Roomba. Enjoy your clean floors, Gavin!

Our Fall-Winter Service Special contest is still on. Book now and enter to win a Nest Learning Thermostat!

Book your appointment today!

Seasonal Service Special

8 Simple Tips for Looking After Your Vehicle this Winter

Winterizing your car

Winter’s just around the corner here in Victoria, and while the west (wet?) coast may escape a traditional Canadian winter, BC drivers aren’t exempt from the hazards of cold weather. Whether it’s a struggling engine or a surprise ice patch, dropping temperatures mean extra challenges for car owners everywhere.

Fortunately some simple care can go a long way in keeping your vehicle running smoothly this winter. Here are some of our favourite cold weather maintenance tips for cars! Read More

How to Talk to Your Elderly Parents About Driving

One of the most difficult conversations we can have with our elderly parents is about driving.  Cars bring us independence in daily life, and the thought of having to give that up is frightening.  However the prospect of seeing our loved ones in an accident can be equally upsetting.  If you’ve recently become concerned about the driving habits of a parent or think it may be time for them give up driving altogether, here are some ways to bring up the topic before the unthinkable happens.

elderly drivers

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Tips for Foggy Windshields

You’re running late. Thermos in one hand, fingers digging frantically for keys with the other. Maybe, everything will be okay, you tell yourself. Maybe all the lights will be green this time.  You look up at your vehicle and your heart immediately sinks.

Not again.

how to prevent a foggy windshield

We’ve all experienced the pain of a foggy windshield in the fall and winter months. Dropping temperatures combined with damp weather make for the perfect storm to sabotage your commute.  Fortunately, there are ways to win out against these early morning surprises. Read on for our tips! Read More