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Sergeant Clutch Discount Transmission & Auto Repair Shop

6557 Walzem Road San Antonio, Texas 78239 Call 210-239-1600
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Transmission Shop
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FAQ's
About Sergeant Clutch

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Fuel & Gas Frequently Asked Questions


1.

 What's Up With Gasoline Prices In San Antonio?

After the dramatic spike and then drop in gasoline prices in 2008 to about $1.60 per gallon for Regular, prices generally increased through 2009 and the Spring of 2010 up to a national average of around $2.90 per gallon for Regular in early May, and then decreased to and hovered around $2.75 per gallon to September. EIA analysis of the petroleum market points to the price of crude oil as the main contributor to the general increase in retail gasoline prices since the start of 2009. Gasoline production and inventory levels relative to demand also influenced prices.


2.

What Are 4 Things I Can Do To Have A More Fuel Efficient Vehicle?

1. Tune Up: Probably the biggest waste of gas in an improperly tuned engine. A rough running engine uses more gas quicker than a properly tuned engine.

2. Tire Pressure: Under inflation or over inflation of tires can lead to decreased fuel mileage and improper wear, shortening the life of your car or truck tires. Check your automobile owner manual for the recommended tire pressure and check your tires regularly with a good tire gauge. Beware of cheap air gauges they tend to give misreading. Also check the drivers door on the side usually has a sticker with the tire pressure information. Sometimes the gas door has tire pressure information. Important Note if you have aftermarket tires check the tires sidewall for air pressure information. May times the aftermarket tires have different air pressure levels then OEM tires.

3. Air Filter: Dirty air filters can also cause your engine to run at less than peak efficiency. Regular visual checks of the air filter will tell you if it needs replacing and your vehicles owner manual will also recommend appropriate replacement.

4. Motor Oil: Using the correct viscosity motor oil is important because higher viscosity motor oils have greater resistance to the moving parts of the engine and therefore use more gas. 


3.

What Is A Fuel Filter?

A fuel filter is a filter in the fuel line that screens out dirt and rust particles from the fuel. Fuel filters are normally made into cartridges containing a filter paper. They are found in most internal combustion engines. Fuel filters serve a vital function in today's modern car and truck engine fuel systems. Unfiltered fuel may contain several kinds of contamination, for example paint chips and dirt that has been knocked into the tank while filling, or rust caused by moisture in a steel tank. If these substances are not removed before the fuel enters the car of truck fuel tank, they will cause rapid wear and failure of the fuel pump and injectors, due to the abrasive action of the particles on the high-precision components used in modern fuel injection systems. Fuel filters also improve automobile performance, as the fewer contaminants present in the fuel, the more efficiently it can be burnt.

Fuel filters need to be maintained at regular intervals. This is usually a case of simply disconnecting the fuel filter from the fuel line and replacing it with a new one, although some specially designed fuel filters can be cleaned and reused many times. If a fuel filter is not replaced regularly it may become clogged with contaminants and cause a restriction in the fuel flow, causing an appreciable drop in engine performance as the engine struggles to draw enough fuel to continue running normally.

Some fuel filters, especially found on diesel engines, are of a bowl like design which collect water in the bottom as water is more dense than diesel. The water can then be drained off by opening a valve in the bottom of the bowl and letting it run out, until the bowl contains only diesel. Many fuel filters contain a water sensor to signal to the engine control unit or directly to the driver lamp on dashboard if the water reach the warning level. It is especially undesirable for water to be drawn into a diesel engine fuel system, as the system relies on the diesel for lubrication of the moving parts, and if water gets into a moving part which requires constant lubrication (for example an injector valve), it will quickly cause overheating and unnecessary wear. This type of fuel filter may also include a sensor, which will alert the operator when the fuel filter needs to be drained. In proximity of the diesel fuel filter there might be a fuel heater to avoid the forming of paraffin wax (in case of low temperatures) inside the filtrating element which can stop the fuel flow to the engine.


4.

How Do Diesel Fuel Filter Work?

Fuel filters found on diesel engines, are of a bowl like design which collect water in the bottom as water is more dense than diesel. The water can then be drained off by opening a valve in the bottom of the bowl and letting it run out, until the bowl contains only diesel. Many fuel filters contain a water sensor to signal to the engine control unit or directly to the driver lamp on dashboard if the water reach the warning level. It is especially undesirable for water to be drawn into a diesel engine fuel system, as the system relies on the diesel for lubrication of the moving parts, and if water gets into a moving part which requires constant lubrication (for example an injector valve), it will quickly cause overheating and unnecessary wear. This type of fuel filter may also include a sensor, which will alert the operator when the fuel filter needs to be drained. In proximity of the diesel fuel filter there might be a fuel heater to avoid the forming of paraffin wax (in case of low temperatures) inside the filtrating element which can stop the fuel flow to the engine.


5.

What Does Fuel Injection Service Do For My Vehicle? 

The fuel injectors particularly the injector nozzles exist in an environment where tremendous heat is generated. The burning of the fuel leaves hardened carbon deposits on piston valves and fuel injector nozzle heads that interfere with the spray pattern and flow of fuel. A fuel injection cleaning service will improve engine performance, gas mileage, and several other benefits. Schedule a Fuel Injection Cleaning Service today and start enjoying the benefits.


6.

When Should I Consider A Fuel Injection Service?

When your car or truck is hesitating, having trouble starting, check engine light on, achieving poor gas mileage or operating sluggish with poor performance, bring it in so our experts can determine if a Fuel Injection Cleaning Service will improve your vehicles performance.


7.

How Can I Save Money While Driving?

Here Are 6 Money Saving Fuel & Gas Tips

1. Drive Sensibly: Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.

2. Observe The Speed Limit: While each car or truck reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas. Observing the speed limit is also safer.

3. Remove Excess Weight: Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your car or truck, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your car or truck could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle's weight and affects smaller automobiles more than larger ones.

4. Avoid Excessive Idling: Idling gets 0 miles per gallon. Cars or trucks with larger engines typically waste more gas at idle than do cars with smaller engines.

5. Use Cruise Control: Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.

6. Use Transmission Overdrive Gears: When you use overdrive gearing, your car's engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear. 


8.

4 Tips On Keep Your Car or Truck In Shape

1. Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned: Fixing a car or truck that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent

2. Keep Tires Properly Inflated: You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver's side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner's manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire's sidewall.

3. Use the Recommended Grade of Motor Oil: You can improve your gas mileage by 1–2 percent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by 1–2 percent. Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by 1–1.5 percent. Also, look for motor oil that says "Energy Conserving" on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.

4. Replacing a Clogged Air Filter on Modern Cars Improves Performance But Not MPG: A new study shows that replacing a clogged air filter on cars with fuel-injected, computer-controlled gasoline engines does not improve fuel economy but it can improve acceleration time by around 6 to 11 percent. This kind of engine is prevalent on most gasoline cars manufactured from the early 1980s onward. Tests suggest that replacing a clogged air filter on an older car with a carbureted engine may improve fuel economy 2 to 6 percent under normal replacement conditions or up to 14 percent if the filter is so clogged that it significantly affects drivability. The effect of a clogged air filter on diesel vehicles will be tested in the near future.


9.

How Do I Know Its Time For A Tune Up?

The first indication that your car or truck needs a tune up is when gas mileage begins to drop. Drivers should always keep a running tab that shows the average miles per gallon your car or truck is achieving. You can check the average mileage that you are getting and if the mileage has begun to drop 10% to 15% there is a good chance that your car or truck would benefit from a tune up service. By perform routine fluid maintenance and tune-ups on your vehicle you achieve better mileage and performance.

Here Are 10 Signs Your Car Or Truck Needs A Tune Up

1. Misfiring of the engine becomes more frequent

2. Engine runs rough, coughs and sputters

3. High engine idling is noticeable, especially when the engine is warm

4. Low engine power is obvious, especially on hills or when accelerating

5. Rough idling can be felt and sometimes feels like a vibration

6. Engine pings and knocks

7. Black or white smoke from the exhaust pipe

8. Engine continues to run for a few seconds after the vehicle is turned off

9. Engine hesitation

10. Problems starting the engine

Usually you will notice one or more of these signs.

The more signs that are present, the greater the chance that you should take your car or truck in for a check up. Some drivers occasionally exhibit one or two of these problems; this is not necessarily an indicator that a tune up is needed. If you have been driving a car or truck that has always had an engine ping it may be normal. You should have a professional mechanic check it out for you.


10.

Here Are 10 Signs Your Car Or Truck Needs A Tune Up

1. Misfiring of the engine becomes more frequent

2. Engine runs rough, coughs and sputters

3. High engine idling is noticeable, especially when the engine is warm

4. Low engine power is obvious, especially on hills or when accelerating

5. Rough idling can be felt and sometimes feels like a vibration

6. Engine pings and knocks

7. Black or white smoke from the exhaust pipe

8. Engine continues to run for a few seconds after the vehicle is turned off

9. Engine hesitation

10. Problems starting the engine

Usually you will notice one or more of these signs.

The more signs that are present, the greater the chance that you should take your car or truck in for a check up. Some drivers occasionally exhibit one or two of these problems; this is not necessarily an indicator that a tune up is needed. If you have been driving a car or truck that has always had an engine ping it may be normal. You should have a professional mechanic check it out for you.


11.

Can I Tell Where The Gasoline At My Local Gas Station Comes From?

The Energy Information Administration does not collect data on the source of gasoline sold at retail outlets. Several factors make it difficult to say where gasoline at a local station originated. At a local station, a company may sell gasoline that was not produced by its own refineries. Gasoline from different refineries, owned by different companies, is often combined for shipment by pipeline. Many companies may purchase gasoline at the same bulk terminal. The source of the crude oil used at a company's refinery varies daily. Most refiners use a mix of crude oils from domestic and foreign sources based on the oils’ cost and availability

 


12.

What Do I Pay For In A Gallon Of Regular Gasoline?

The national average retail price of a gallon of regular gasoline in September 2010 was $2.71. There are four main components that make up the retail price of a gallon of gasoline. The cost of crude oil as a share of the retail price varies over time and among regions of the country. In September 2010, refiners paid an average of about $76 per barrel of crude oil, which accounted for about 67% of the national average retail price of a gallon of regular grade gasoline. Refining costs and profits were 7% of the retail price of gasoline in September 2010. Distribution, marketing, and retail dealer costs and profits made up roughly 11% of the retail price of gasoline in September 2010. Federal, State, and local government taxes (not including county and local taxes) accounted for about 15% of the national average retail price of regular gasoline in September 2010. Federal excise taxes were 18.4 cents per gallon and State excise taxes averaged 22.44 cents per gallon. 


13.

How Much Gasoline Does The United States Consume Per Year?

In 2009, the United States consumed about 137.93 billion gallons (or 3.28 billion barrels) of gasoline, about 3% less than the record high of about 142.35 billion gallons (or 3.39 billion barrels) consumed in 2007. Consumption in 1998 was about 126.52 billion gallons (or 3.01 billion barrels).


14.

How Much Tax Do We Pay On A Gallon Of Gasoline?

The Federal gasoline tax is 18.4 cents per gallon and the average State tax is 22.01 cents per gallon, as of January 1, 2010.

 


15.

How Many Gallons Of Gasoline Does One Barrel Of Oil Make?

U.S. refineries produce between 19 and 21 gallons of motor gasoline from one barrel (42 gallons) of crude oil. The remainder of the barrel yields distillate and residual fuel oils, jet fuel, and many other products. Refinery yields of individual products vary from month to month as refiners focus operations to meet demand for different products and maximize profits.


16.

How Many Retail Gasoline Stations Are There In The United States?

 

There are 159,006 retail gasoline outlets in the United States.



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