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  • The Affordable Transmissions Guide to Saving Fuel: Beware of Myths

    Mar 11, 2018

    There's a lot of auto advice in MN right now on how to save money on gas. Some of it is good advice. Some of it isn't. Some of it is myth. And it may well be a scam. Plain and simple. When someone offers you a product designed to save money on gas, ask yourself, “Does this sound too good to be true?” If the answer is yes, do more research.

    The internet offers us a convenient and quick way to research someone's claims about gas savings. MINNEAPOLIS drivers can usually find out in only minutes whether that claim is questionable or not.

    Chances are other MINNEAPOLIS drivers have already tried what you're being offered. If you find evidence that others feel they have been scammed, you should be wary of becoming the next victim. There aren't any pills, magic or otherwise, that you can drop into your gas tank to improve your gas mileage. Drop in enough of those pills and you can actually harm your vehicle. The last thing you need is a bunch more sediment or unknown, dissolved additives in your fuel.

    There actually are proven, sensible ways that you can maintain good gas mileage, however. Good car care and consistent preventive maintenance are the keys to good fuel economy. An oil change at Affordable Transmissions in MINNEAPOLIS and a new fuel filter, when needed, will keep your engine running efficiently, which will translate to good fuel economy. It may be mundane, but it's solid, proven advice.

    So be smart. Listen to advice from qualified Affordable Transmissions professionals, and stay away from unverified “magic” and conspiracy theories. Your wallet—and your vehicle—will thank you in the end.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169

     

     




    Fuel Injection Keeps Getting Better for MINNEAPOLIS Motorists

    Jan 24, 2018

    MINNEAPOLIS residents know that engines burn fuel to operate. Fuel is pumped from your fuel tank to your engine where it is squirted—or injected—into your engine's cylinders. This is the function of the fuel injectors.

    There are two ways to inject fuel into an engine. Fuel needs air to burn, so in the first method, fuel is injected into a port and allowed to mix with airand before it is drawn into the cylinders. In the second method, fuel is injected directly into the cylinders and mixes with air after it enters the engine.

    Direct injection engines burn fuel more efficiently than conventional engines. Some models can deliver the power of a V8 with the economy of a V6.

    For example, in one family of engines, the conventional version (a V6) delivers about 250 horsepower. The direct injection version delivers over 300 horsepower and gets about the same . The turbocharged version delivers 350 horsepower.

    Why the big difference in power? Direct injection systems allow fuel to be squirted into the engine at hundreds of times the pressure of a conventional engine. This atomizes the fuel better (breaks it down into tinier droplets), which means more of it gets burned, which translates to more power for your engine. It also results in cleaner emissions and improved fuel economy.

    Fuel injectors are precision instruments. They have to deliver the right amount of fuel at exactly the time the engine needs it. They are also engineered to inject fuel with a specific spray pattern. This spray pattern allows for maximum fuel efficiency and proper atomization.

    Direct injection engines require a much higher degree of precision than conventional engines. For this reason, they are equipped with more sophisticated computers.

    When fuel injectors get dirty, their precision drops off. The spray pattern won't be precise, and the timing of fuel delivery may be off. This decreases fuel efficiency and fuel economy for MINNEAPOLIS drivers as well as delivering less power to the engine.

    Fuel injectors are not cheap to replace. Direct injection fuel injectors are even more expensive. And we're talking a mortgage payment to buy a set of new fuel injectors for a diesel engine.

    So keeping your fuel injectors clean is just good auto advice for MINNEAPOLIS residents. The best way to do this is to change your air and fuel filters regularly and practice other habits of good vehicle care and preventive maintenance at Affordable Transmissions in MINNEAPOLIS. Cleaning additives in your fuel can also help.

    If you do end up with gum or varnish in your fuel system, you'll need a professional fuel system cleaning. This will clean out your whole system, including the injectors. The good news is that with proper maintenance, your fuel injectors will last for a long time.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169




    Deep Clean Your Fuel System at Affordable Transmissions

    Nov 21, 2017

    Having trouble with your fuel system? Bring your vehicle into Affordable Transmissions for a check up.

    In today's Affordable Transmissions auto post, we're talking about fuel system cleaning. The first thing to know is how important it is to have a clean fuel system. MINNEAPOLIS residents need fuel to go, and the cleaner the fuel system, the more efficiently the fuel will burn. That means more power and better mileage .

    A clean fuel system saves money for MINNEAPOLIS drivers at MN gas stations. We guess you could say it all starts and ends at the pump. One of the most important things MINNEAPOLIS residents can do to keep their vehicle fuel system clean is to buy good quality gas. Major brands have detergents that keep gum and varnish from rapidly building up in the fuel system.

    So buying cheaper gas in MN can actually be more expensive for MINNEAPOLIS drivers in the long run. Now, most cars on MN roads are more than five or six years old. That means they've had time for some dirt and rust to start accumulating in the fuel tank. This junk needs to be filtered out of the fuel before it hits your vehicle engine. That's the fuel filter's job.

    When the fuel filter is clogged, the dirty fuel will bypass the filter and go on up to the engine where it can clog fuel injectors and get into the cylinders. So MINNEAPOLIS residents should have their fuel filter changed when recommended. Check your owner's manual or ask your friendly and knowledgeable Affordable Transmissions service advisor if your fuel filter is due for replacement.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169




    Clean Fuel Makes a Happy Engine in MINNEAPOLIS, MN

    Sep 5, 2017

    If the fuel system in your vehicle is dirty, you will be hurting your engine and losing performance as you drive around MINNEAPOLIS, MN.

    Unless they drive a vintage car, MINNEAPOLIS auto owners have fuel injectors which need to be properly maintained. That is why your vehicle owner's manual has a schedule for cleaning your fuel injectors and other parts of your fuel system.

    Your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Affordable Transmissions in MINNEAPOLIS has the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Affordable Transmissions uses a process that gives your car a deep, professional fuel system cleaning. The particles, gum and varnish that build up in your fuel system are removed so that it can run cleanly and efficiently.

    After a professional fuel system cleaning at Affordable Transmissions, you'll notice more power, improved and reduced exhaust emissions. We strongly recommend you follow your fuel system cleaning service recommendations to keep your vehicle running strong.

    MINNEAPOLIS drivers don't need the added expense of replacing a fuel injector that's been damaged by neglect. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Affordable Transmissions service advisor and see when your car is scheduled for fuel system cleaning.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169




    Diesel Maintenance for MN

    Aug 29, 2017

    At Affordable Transmissions we hear from a lot of people who are excited about the new diesel engines that will soon be available in passenger cars and SUV's. But our MN friends are often curious about the preventive maintenance requirements. People may not know that diesel engines have long been used extensively in Europe and Asia. In fact, in some markets, there're nearly as many diesel powered passenger cars as there are gasoline.

    Here's who's announced or is expected to announce new diesels for North America: BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and Subaru. Of course, the US auto makers will be expanding their diesel offerings as well. Diesels will become a very big deal here in MN.

    You may ask, why has it taken so long getting to MN and North America? There are a bunch of reasons like fuel tax policies and such, but the biggest hurtle was that MN diesel fuel had a high sulfur content – too high for the latest generation of highly refined diesel engines. Recent government mandates to remove sulfur now opens up MN to the engines the rest of the world's been enjoying for a long time.

    Why are diesels so popular worldwide? Well, for starters, diesels get up to 30% better fuel economy than gas engines. And they last a lot longer. And modern diesel engines are refined, quiet and powerful – and there's none of that black smoke we used to see.

    Some people may think that diesels create more pollution. But, you need to rethink diesels. Environmental pollution standards for diesel cars and light trucks are scheduled to be as strict as they are for gasoline vehicles. A modern diesel engine is as clean as a gas engine.

    Repair costs are similar to vehicles with gas engines. As with gasoline engines, proper maintenance is the key to long engine life and to avoiding repairs. So pretty much what we have come to expect with gas vehicles; coolant system service, transmission service, power brakes, power steering, differential, filters, fuel system and so on. And the payoff for you, if you're the kind that likes to keep your vehicles for a long time, is that a properly maintained diesel engine can last for many, many years.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169




    Fuel Saving Tip: Dirty Oil in Your MINNEAPOLIS Vehicle

    Jul 30, 2017



    If you're a quart low in your vehicle, there isn't enough motor oil to lubricate your engine properly. The extra friction causes drag that reduces fuel economy while you're driving around the MINNEAPOLIS area.

    The same goes for dirty oil; it doesn't reduce friction properly. The result is you get to watch those numbers at your local MINNEAPOLIS gas pump rolling higher and higher.

    The transmission also needs the proper amount of clean fluid to do its work. When it's in need of service, the transmission drags your fuel economy down.

    So keep it clean at Affordable Transmissions  and give yourself a fighting chance.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169




    Fuel Injectors

    May 7, 2017



    The last new American vehicles sold in MINNEAPOLIS with a carburetor rolled out of the MN dealerships in 1990. Since then, all new vehicles here in MINNEAPOLIS, and nationally, have had fuel injectors. In very simple terms, a fuel injector is a valve that squirts fuel into your engine. Your engine control computer tells the fuel injector how much gas to deliver as well as the precise time it should be delivered. Of course this happens thousands of times a minute. Fuel injectors deliver fuel far more precisely than carburetors. That translates into better fuel economy and more power for MINNEAPOLIS drivers. Virtually all fuel injectors for gas engines are known as port fuel injectors because they deliver the fuel to a port just outside the cylinder. Port fuel injectors operate at about 40 to 80 pounds per square inch of pressure.

    A few vehicle manufacturers have introduced gas direct injection systems on some engines recently. These systems inject the gas directly into the cylinders under very high pressure - hundreds of times the pressure of port injection systems. Although more complicated, direct injection technology promises greater power with improved fuel economy, so MN drivers can expect to see more of it in the future.

    As MINNEAPOLIS residents can see, the level of precision required of fuel injectors is very high. It's important that they operate properly in order for your vehicle to run right.

    High temperatures under your hood and variations in MINNEAPOLIS gas quality cause fuel injectors to become fouled with wax, dirt and carbon. Injectors can become partially clogged, preventing them from delivering the proper amount of fuel at the correct pressure. The design of each engine requires a specific spray pattern from the fuel injector that might be altered when the injector is dirty. When injectors are dirty, the fuel doesn't burn as efficiently, resulting in poor fuel economy and loss of power. So it is important to keep your vehicle fuel injectors clean.

    Skilled service technicians at Affordable Transmissions in MINNEAPOLIS can perform a fuel system service for you. That is a fuel system service - not just fuel injector cleaning. That is because the fuel has a lot of ways to become dirty or contaminated between the MINNEAPOLIS gas pump and your fuel injectors. A fuel system service at Affordable Transmissions starts with a fuel filter replacement. This filter cleans the gas as it leaves the tank. The various parts of the fuel intake system need to be cleaned from time to time to remove harmful gum deposits and varnish. Finally, the fuel injectors are cleaned so that they operate properly for you and deliver the right amount of fuel at the right time.


    Our pros at Affordable Transmissions use a process for cleaning your vehicle fuel system that includes state-of-the-art cleaning chemicals as well as some old fashioned scrubbing. Proper maintenance of your fuel system means that you will enjoy strong performance and prevent repairs down the road.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169




    Higher Mileage Service Intervals for MINNEAPOLIS

    May 1, 2017



    MINNEAPOLIS drivers have probably noticed that the government mandates a lot of equipment on cars: emission devices and control computers, safety equipment like airbags and crash worthiness requirements. All of this is great for the motoring public in the MINNEAPOLIS area, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car.

    Because new cars are more expensive, MINNEAPOLIS residents are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old. 68% of vehicles on the road have more than 75,000 miles/120,000 kilometers. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today's cars are up to the challenge - but they need a little help to keep on going.

    Some owner's manuals don't outline service requirements and schedules at higher mileage. Of course, that doesn't mean it doesn't have to be done. In fact, it's more important than ever for MINNEAPOLIS drivers to stay on top of routine auto maintenance for cars with more than 120,000 miles/190,000 kilometers. Just extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that's recommended every 24,000 miles/38,000 kilometers should be performed at 24,000 mi/38,000 km; 48,000 mi/77,000 km; 72,000 mi/116,000 km, 96,000 mi/154,000 km; and on and on.

    Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule may be more appropriate than the regular schedule. Watch for leaks - seals and gaskets dry out over time and do not hold the fluids as well as they used to. If you don't already have one, it is more important than ever to get a good technician, like any one of the automotive professionals on our team at Affordable Transmissions. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put some clicks on the odometer, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course.

    Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints for MINNEAPOLIS vehicle owners that trouble is brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into repair. Regular wash and wax will help maintain your car's appearance. One of the things MINNEAPOLIS drivers can do to really help a high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, transmission fluids and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have higher mileage.


    High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older vehicle engines are dirtier inside - and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better fuel economy and excellent wear protection. Come into Affordable Transmissions in MINNEAPOLIS for a checkup.

    Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high mileage vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 mi/80,000 km, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. The fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids in MINNEAPOLIS because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold in terms of preventing repair costs down the road.

    It does cost more for  vehicle owner's to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle in MINNEAPOLIS - but it's much cheaper than a new car payment!

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169




    How to Get Better Gas Mileage in MINNEAPOLIS

    Apr 9, 2017

    There is no escaping it: things work better when you take care of them. Something most of us in MINNEAPOLIS can relate to is our computers. You've probably noticed how they get slower and slower over time. It takes longer to start up and programs take forever to load. Eventually, many of us just get a new computer at our nearest MINNEAPOLIS computer store. But computer experts know that there are things you can do to delay the need for a new computer purchase. You can run utilities that clean off temporary files and clean your memory registry. You can optimize your hard drive and a number of other things.

    What you're doing is maintaining your computer to make it efficient. It's the same thing with your vehicle. You maintain it to make it more efficient. It works the way it was designed to and that means it uses less fuel while you drive around MINNEAPOLIS. And you save money.

    To help organize our discussion, let's think of things that rob us of fuel economy in two ways: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion.

    Friction. Anything that increases friction increases drag or load on the vehicle engine. It has to work harder to overcome the drag – and that takes more fuel. The first thing that comes to mind is engine oil. Low oil means there's not enough to fully lubricate the engine so there's more friction. Dirty oil won't lubricate as well as clean oil. The same principles apply to transmission fluid. Getting your oil changed and transmission serviced on schedule at Affordable Transmissions will reduce friction and help you get better fuel economy.

    Another friction related problem is underinflated tires. When your vehicle tires are low on air, it's like driving on MN highways through sand – your vehicle has to work harder to move every mile. Check your tire pressure at least once a month.

    Wheels out of alignment and dragging brakes also increase friction. And your tires and brake pads will wear out much sooner as well. At Affordable Transmissions, we provide quality brake and wheel alignment services.

    Let's move on to Fuel. You have to get the right amount of clean fuel to the combustion chamber at precisely the right time. A dirty fuel system has varnish and gum interfering, and the fuel injectors may be unable to deliver the correct amount of fuel at the right pressure  and in the spray pattern — that the engineers intended. A vehicle fuel system cleaning at Affordable Transmissions will get all of that working right and really improve fuel economy.

    Replacing your fuel filter on schedule will help keep your fuel clean. Replacing a sticky PCV valve will allow unburned fuel from the engine to be returned to the intake system to be used. Replacing worn spark plugs will burn your fuel as efficiently as possible.

    All of these things can help you save money on gas at MINNEAPOLIS pumps.

    Give us a call.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169