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NAPA Easy PayAC DELCONAPA AutoCare Center

HELPFUL INFO

Are You Ready For The Road?

An average of 13,000 Americans are killed between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, some as a result of unperformed vehicle maintenance, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Each year, neglected maintenance leads to more than 2,600 deaths, nearly 100,000 disabling injuries and more than $2 billion in lost wages, medical expenses and property damage.

Most mechanical failures can be traced to neglected maintenance. For example, the U. S. Department of Transportation reports the leading cause of mechanical breakdown on our nation's highways is overheating, a condition that is easily avoidable. Other deficiencies that are simple to detect include low antifreeze/coolant, worn or loose drive belts and defective cooling system hoses.

Checking tire pressure and inflating a tire costs nothing, yet an average of 21 percent of cars inspected in check lanes during National Car Care Month have under inflated tires. This can lead to a blowout and a serious accident.

Fuel Saving Tips

Condition Effect MPG Penalty up to
Under inflated tires Increase rolling resistance 1-2mpg
Dirty air filter Causes excessively rich fuel/air mixture 2.0mpg
Worn spark plugs Cause inefficient combustion, wasted fuel 2.0mpg
Worn O2 sensor Unable to detect and adjust air/fuel mixture 3mpg
Dirty or substandard engine oil Increases internal engine friction 0.4mpg
Loose gas cap Allows fuel to evaporate 2.0mpg
Potential loss in fuel economy if all of the above were neglected
11.4mpg

The Car Care Council offers these fuel-saving tips:

  1. Vehicle gas caps -- About 17 percent of the vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
  2. Under inflated tires -- When tires aren't inflated properly it's like driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon.
  3. Worn spark plugs -- A vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced as recommended by the manufacturer.
  4. Dirty air filters -- An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a "rich" mixture -- too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving about 20 cents a gallon.

Fuel-saving driving tips include:

  • Don't be an aggressive driver -- Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets, which results in 10 to 66 cents per gallon.
  • Avoid excessive idling -- Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.
  • Observe the speed limit -- Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mpg driven over 60 will result in an additional 10 cents per gallon. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.

WIPERS - In the 2001National Car Care Month vehicle check lanes, 21percent of participants had wipers that smeared, streaked or chattered across their windshields. Although climates vary, wipers generally need replacing every six months. An easy reminder is to change wiper blades in the spring and fall when you change your clock. Be sure the windshield washers are working properly, too, and keep the reservoir filled with solvent.

LIGHTING - Another important pre-trip check should be exterior and interior lighting. Vehicle check lanes revealed an overall failure rate of over 25 percent in the lighting category. The Car Care Council reminds motorists to check their lights monthly. Other suggestions from the Council include turning on headlights both day and night. This helps define your car's position on the road, and its distance from other drivers. When your vehicle's lighting is defective, other motorists may not get the message that you intend to stop or turn. The end result could be disastrous.

10 Minute Pre-Trip Checkup Can Pay Off

Car Care Council offers three suggestions for a traveler's 10-minute pre-trip checklist:

  • Check all fluids. There are several fluids, in addition to antifreeze, that require attention, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids and windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  • Check hoses and belts. A belt that fails can affect the electrical system, air conditioning and power steering, as well as the cooling system. Cooling system hoses may be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps in marginal condition might need to be replaced.
  • Check the tires. Check tire inflation and inspect the tread for uneven wear, indicating the need for wheel alignment. Also look for bulges and bald spots.

"While a last minute checkup is better than no checkup, motorists should plan ahead to allow time to perform necessary maintenance themselves or at the local service facility. A properly maintained vehicle is safer and more dependable and will even save a few dollars at the gas pumps," said the Car Care Council's Executive Director, Rich White.

Not only can a pre-trip inspection help reduce chances of costly and possibly dangerous road trouble, it also provides an opportunity to have repairs made at home, with one's own technician who knows the vehicle. Especially important, it provides peace of mind. While no inspection can guarantee a car's performance, it's comforting to know proper precautions were taken.



ASSOCIATIONS

  • AAA Approved Auto Repair
  • ASE Master Technician
  • ACDelco
  • NAPA AutoCare Center
  • Car Care Aware

Testimonials

  • Matt Jr. went above and beyond. He found out what problems we had, took care of them in a timely matter and explained in writing what was done, why it was done, and had us on our way. Matt, Jr.. Thank you so much for being honest and dependable.
    -Tere B.

  • I love working with Atherton and the service guys! This has been the only shop I use in town for the last few years. Junior always treats me fair and takes great care of my car. They always accommodate a loaner car if I need it. I would recommend them for your service needs!
    -Carrie L.

  • Matt Jr and his employees did a great job getting my car fixed and back on the road in a very short time, actual in shop time of about 4 hours; they even dropped me off and picked me back up at the motel I stayed at for the night, great bunch of guys.
    -David G.

  • Great service and friendly staff!!
    -Hayley M.

  • Great customer service, honest and dependable. I highly recommend Atherton Automotive to anyone needing any type of work done to their vehicle from standard maintenance to fixing major issues.
    -Sean C.

  • We have been doing business with Atherton's for over 40 years. Great bunch of people. They get the job done at a fair price. Thanks guys!
    -Jolan B.

  • My boyfriends car broke down on our 1000 mile trip to Colorado. We got stranded in Council Bluffs and were afraid we would not make it to Colorado in time. Athertons helped so immensely. They had the car fixed in one day at a decent price I am so grateful for there help!
    -Phoebe H.

  • My family and I have done business with Athertons for years and I would not go anywhere else. The "guys in the back" are all very professional and I question NOTHING they tell me. They know what they are doing and go above and beyond to take care of their customers!! Love them. Always will.
    -Karen C.

  • Great service, great people
    -Hannah F.

  • Very knowledgeable bunch of guys. Went beyond what the dealership offers as far as checking the vehicle over for any potential issues or safety concerns. Very honest and take good care of their customers.
    -Michelle F.

  • Reliable, Trustworthy, Excellent automotive care.
    -Jarin M.

  • I have known this family for over 30 years, and my husband has known them for over 50! Very trustworthy and hard workers. Easy to get your car in. Always fix what's wrong with it. Easy to work with! Smart and nice group of guys!! I'm so glad I cannot hear anymore squeaks from my car!!!!!!
    -Rita W.

  • I recently had my wife's SUV serviced at Atherton Automotive and was moved to post this review because of their excellent work. Atherton Automotive services all of my family's vehicles - a new truck to a well used SUV. They are professional, knowledgeable, courteous, and efficient. Their pricing is very reasonable. We highly recommend Atherton.
    -Robert L.

  • Atherton Automotive is the only place I will take my cars to get serviced. They have earned my trust with the honesty and quality work they provide. They are very personable and friendly and once you talk to them you know you can trust them. I own a small business and I know the importance of having great customer service and Atherton's is exactly that. Thanks you guys!
    -Wayne C.

  • Quality work, fair prices, and professional courtesy every time...highest recommendation for any automotive service needed.
    -Scotty S.

  • Atherton's has always been our place to go for service. A family owned business you can trust. Great service, great prices, very knowledgeable techs.
    -Jake D.

  • Great work and easy to get things done; also, they are always explaining options.
    -John P.

  • The crew at Atherton's did a great job on my 1997 F250 and it's nice to have someone who knows what there doing.
    -Ray P.

  • Very good service, friendly and helpful. Over the years, we have grown to depend on them for all our vehicles' needs. Matt always lets us know what's critical and what can wait. This is a well-run, family-owned business and I'm happy to support a local small business enterprise.
    -Kit C.

  • Atherton Automotive is the most thorough repair shop in the local area - they spell everything out in detail and let you make the decisions you want to. Solid advice and timely service. I've been taking vehicles to them for the past ten to fifteen years - they are also a certified AAA shop and provide the related discount.
    -Jeff G.

  • Atherton Automotive Service has great service, experienced techs, and reasonable prices. Their courtesy inspection was great and kept me informed of what needed to be done and gave me quotes before work was done. I definitely recommend Athertons.
    -Lynn S.

  • These guys are very professional and always fix my vehicle when I bring it in the first time! I never feel like they take advantage of me and the price is always fair.
    -M. Turpen

  • Anytime I have any questions, they are very good to explain things so I will understand the issue. They have always been really helpful and understanding when need some service done and have never tried to "sell" me on things that I don't need.
    -Karen J.

  • Great guys that do quality work!
    -Yevett P.

  • Great fast, friendly service ! Done before they promised and works great.
    -Jim M.

  • I have taken my cars here for several years. They have always great! I can't recommend them enough. Jr, Nick and the guys do good work and stand behind it.
    -Byron T.

  • Great service!
    -Kristina C.

  • These guys are fantastic! They went above and beyond to help me out! They are super cooperative and friendly and will do anything to help you out. They don't try to sell you extra things, or rip you off in any way. They are just genuine and wonderful people to work with! It's good to know that I have a permanent mechanic I can trust since moving here!
    -Mikaelyn K.

  • We dropped our car off and they were fast and efficient and quick to get our car back to us. I would recommend anybody who has car troubles to take it into Atherton's.
    -Alyssa D.

  • My vehicle lost power about 30 miles outside of Council Bluffs while traveling across country. Had the van towed to Atherton Auto about 10:00am. I had an fair estimate (alternator) by 4:00pm the same day and approved the work. I was back on the road by 10:00am the following morning with the cost being below estimate. The breakdown could have cost me several days. Very pleased.
    -Scott M.

  • Very professional, honest and friendly. I would highly recommend Atherton Automotive to my family and friends.
    -Michelle T.

  • They provide quality service at a fair price and I highly recommend them for all your automotive repairs and service. Just got my 2006 F-150 back for the first go around of numerous repairs needed and I'm completely satisfied with what they've done so far.
    -Larry H.

  • I've been taking my vehicles here for at least 20 years. Matt and Junior have always been honest and helpful. They provide top quality service at a reasonable price. They tell me what repairs are needed and which can wait. I always get my vehicle back quickly. I highly recommend them!
    -Susan P.

  • Great place the guys there are honest and truly care about their customers. Took my old truck in for some repair and the work was done promptly and affordably. Definitely recommend bringing your vehicle here!
    -Jessica G.

  • I was VERY impressed with Jr's ability to allow me to feel comfortable to trust him. The quality and efficiency of service is BAR-NONE! Not only did he do what I came in for, he went above and beyond my expectations. From now forward, they will be the only ones who work on my car.
    -Lisa W.

  • I've never dealt with a better automotive repair center in my ENTIRE life. I was driving from San Diego to Connecticut, and I happened to break down there in Council Bluff, IA on the highway. I felt quite isolated and far from home. Right off the bat I could tell this company was a tight, clean, friendly operation. And then I learned they were a family run business - two sons, both ambitious and hard working. They got to my car quickly and had me back on the road that night. And the friendliness is was made this experience so pleasant. I met the whole family and each guy was just incredibly nice and thorough. When I made it back to Connecticut I called them back and they were giving me troubleshooting advice over the phone for unrelated problems. Just utterly top notch guys. A+++++
    -John V.

  • Excellent, timely service. I took in a used car that I was considering buying and they did a very thorough examination that turned up a number of issues. As a result I was able to make an informed decision about the purchase. I would definitely take future business there.
    -Kevin P.

  • So glad I found a 'neighborhood ' mechanic I can trust. Thorough, yet practical.
    -Kat D.

  • Perfect service. All three vehicles were serviced professionally, including some mechanical work on steering mechanism (Buick Riviera) and water pump (Chevy Silverado pick-up). Communications with Atherton Automotive are exceedingly articulate and clearly easy to understand. I heartily recommend Atherton Automotive for your auto maintenance and service needs.
    -Dr. J. Christensen

  • Great communication here at Atherton. Even though I know very little about cars Matt Jr. seemed to value my input about my truck's symptoms and took down a thorough history of my truck before actually working on it. I also liked how the shop explained WHY I needed things done, instead of just telling me "you need to do this." The quality of service was very good and I'll definitely be back in the future.
    -P. Schauwecker

  • Not only excellent technical work but a safe and friendly environment to visit while your car is being serviced for an oil change, etc.
    -J. Bixler

  • Gosh I miss this place! I basically grew up here, the Atherton family was like a family to me! Butch, Matt Sr., Linda and all the kids had such an influence on me growing up. Thank you for you kindness and I'm glad to see the place is still going stronger than ever ! Much love for you all from Florida!
    -C. Dennis

  • Really appreciate the great job you guys do for us when the van needs TLC. Trust you to do what is necessary to keep me and my family safe on the road. Thanks.
    -J. McQuinn Owen