Tech Tuesday Tips

Vehicle & Computer Technology Tips

  • What's that puddle in the garage? ARRGH!

    With the super-nice weather this weekend, I thought it would be a great day to clean out the garage.  You know- get all that winter grime off the floor, sweep out all the gravel and really just make it a presentable place again.  I back the cars out into the driveway and head back inside, ready for an afternoon of some zen-like quality time in the garage.  Since the cars are always inside, the floor has really gone un-inspected for a couple months. So when I came back inside and saw a monster oil stain on the floor, I was shocked!  Let's ride the emotional roller coaster that comes along with a newly discovered oil leak:  First, denial.  I thought to myself, "That's not oil.  That's probably just something that leaked out of a trash bag."  Then I became angry:  "This can't be happening to my car!  ARRGH!".  Then the depression set in-  "Oh, well, it's been a good car.  Sorry to have to let it go..." Then finally, … more

  • Heading out into the storm? Take these with you...

    Recently, I've heard the question asked "Should I get a set of tire chains for my car?"  As with most things automotive, the answer is a firm "Well, it depends..."  I been on a few road trips in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming, and when those steep, hilly mountain roads (which can be dangerous enough when they're dry) become snowy and slick- Lookout!  Often times the Highway Patrol or State Police in those areas will impose a "chain law" over some of those passes.  They can make such a difference, that if you don't have chains installed, you're made to turn around and go back the way you came.  Conversely, some areas prohibit chains because of the wear they cause to road surfaces. Here in middle America, I don't see the chains as often as I used to.  While they're great in deep snow, and they make your two wheel drive car seem like an entirely different winter wonder-mobile, they're not for everyone.  I'll use myself as an example- the most … more

  • Having a little trouble with that morning motivation? Now that the temperature has plummeted, I'm having a hard time getting motivated in the morning. Once I finally do get around and warmed up, the old "winter beater" has the same problem that I do- morning motivation. If your vehicle has trouble starting on those cold, dark mornings, it might be because the oil in your deep-freeze of an engine is too thick, or because you have a weak battery. Thick engine oil In the cold, most motor oils will get thicker. If it's really cold outside, or it's been awhile since your last oil change, it could thicken up more than you realize. Depending on your vehicle, the owner's manual may suggest a different oil specification for the colder seasons. If this is the case, and you're due for an oil change, this is the perfect time to change to the lower viscosity winter oil. Another easy fix is to use an oil pan heater.  It should be no problem to walk into an auto parts store or big-box store and pick up a heating element. & … more

  • Learned my lesson? I thought so... still wiping with cold hands? Yep...

    Some #TechTuesday tips are so simple, I can't believe I didn't think of them sooner.  And yes, this tip also involves wiping.  Or at least how to keep the wiping to a minimum.  So we're going to eat in Kansas city the other night, and everything starts out fine.  I've got the new wipers installed on the car and I can actually see the road- so far, so good!  My wife and I are driving along and it seems like the headlights just keep getting dimmer and dimmer.  Pretty soon, it seems like they're not on at all.  Now what?  Well, all the snow that dumped on us last week was melting and everything was coated in a nice, fine layer of crud.  I was driving on I-35, and the tires from all the traffic out there did a phenomenal job of keeping a fine mist of road grime suspended in the air.  Well, apparently my headlights are just the right height to pick up all that mist- after just a little while, it's like I had no headlights at all.  I … more

  • Hate wiping with cold hands? I have a solution...

    Even though it's the dead of winter, it hasn't been that bad in the Woody's neck of the woods... Until yesterday.  And probably tomorrow.  But there's going to be a big difference between my drive yesterday and my drive tomorrow morning- I'm going to be able to see through the windshield tomorrow!  I know, right? It's brilliant!  It's not like I neglected to scrape my windshield yesterday- I didn't intend to get to work by looking through that little peep hole. You know, that little hole in the snow that some people think is enough to navigate their vehicles on the open road? Well, unless you've had some advanced training as a tank commander, that little hole is just not enough.  So how did I end up with very little visibility?  Cruddy wipers and poor planning.  I have to confess, even after doing several blog posts about winterizing your car, my wipers were a disgrace.  I didn't think they were really that old, but I tore& … more

  • Gas pains? Diesel might be just what the doctor ordered!

    So you want a vehicle that has lots of power and lots of torque.  I get that- I mean, who doesn't want that?  What? you also want something with a respectable set of MPG's?  Consider this:  Diesel.  While gasoline is the dominant fuel in the United States, diesel remains a very popular fuel choice for the rest of the world- and for good reason.    Diesel engines get better fuel economy, and it's not a close race either.  When it comes to your fuel mileage, diesel is 1/3 more efficient than gasoline.  Suppose you have a vehicle with a gasoline engine that gets 30mpg.  An equivanent vehicle with a diesel engine would get 40mpg!  Did you know that a Volkswagen Golf or Jetta TDI can get 40mpg on the highway and 31 in town? It's true that other cars can get amazing mpg's like that, but the TDI makes them seem like roller skates.  Not into European styling? Don't need a large diesel truck?  There are in-between diesel … more

  • 5 Tips When Buying Your Next Vehicle

    Tags: 5 tips, carbuying tips, carshopping tips, finance tips, trade in tips

    By: Sonja Griesbach Buying a car should not feel like a trip to the dentist. This is a huge investment, so It should be exciting and fun as well as a learning opportunity. You should feel confident you're getting the best price for the vehicle your purchasing and your trade-in. Your sales advisor should be looking out for your best interest like a family member. Unfortunately, we can't guarantee that to be the case at most dealerships but we can here at Woody's Automotive Group. All our sales advisors at Woody's Automotive Group in the Greater Kansas City Area are paid a salary to provide that level of service to all our customers. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind before buying your new or used vehicle whether at our car dealership or another car dealership. Researching your car online Do your homework before visiting the dealership. The Internet is a great resource for your car buying needs. Check out reviews for the make, model, and specifications of the car that you are … more

  • I want the best gas! That's the 91 octane stuff, right?

    by Mark Jenkins You want to keep your car running smoothly, so you need the "good gas", right?  Well, it depends. It depends on whether your car has a high-compression engine, and it also depends on what you're calling the "good gas".  Remember high octane does not mean high quality. Every time you pull up to the gas pump, you're confronted with a choice. Should I use the "cheap" gas and save a little money, or use the "good" gas and spare my engine?  Maybe you're thinking "I should use the mid-grade fuel to save money and not have to use that cheap gas".  Based on the wear and tear on the buttons at the pump, I think most people go with the mid-grade fuel.  Actually, if you're using the octane rating to decide which gasoline is of better quality, you might be wasting your money.  Barring any "no-ethanol" options (which are actually kind of rare), the quality of the available gasoline choices is probably the same.  The 87 octane, the 89 octane, … more

  • Gas is cheap right now, but you can still save more!

    Gas prices have been falling for awhile now, but that's no reason waste cash by not thinking about how you fill up your fuel tank.  There are some easy little tricks to make sure you get the best bang for your buck when you're filling up the tank.  These may not add up a huge savings every time you fill up, but they'll add up over time.  That makes a big difference to cheap frugal guys like me! Trick 1:  Fill up the tank early in the morning, before the ground temperature has a chance to come up (I know- it's winter, but remember this one for later!)  The fuel storage tank is buried in the ground, and the cooler the fuel, the more dense it becomes.  Warmer fuel is less dense and the pump isn't smart enough to adjust for that, so that gallon of fuel you buy in the afternoon or evening may not be exactly a gallon. Trick 2:  Don't dispense the fuel as fast as you can.  By not pulling the trigger on the pump all the way back, it will minimize … more

  • Your car is COLD... How long should you warm it up?

    by Mark Jenkins It's been common knowledge (for at least as long as I can remember) that you're supposed to warm up the car for a few minutes when it's really cold out.  Well, just because it's an old practice, it must be the correct thing to do, right? You might be surprised to hear that letting your car idle in the cold weather really doesn't do much to benefit the vehicle.  In fact, it may actually by hurting the vehicle if you let it sit in the cold too long.   Modern vehicles are built with electronic fuel injection, and they're designed for colder weather.  The vehicle's computer will leave the fuel injectors open a little longer when the engine is cold, and as the engine warms up, the injectors will return to normal.  This means that until the car is warm, it's using more fuel than it normally would.   If you're car is older, you could actually do a little damage to the car.  If your car is equipped with a carbureator, an extended idle … more