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West Texas Automotive Often Asked About Premium vs. Regular Gas

Posted November 25, 2018 08:10 AM

Midland residents often ask the question: "Will using premium gas make my car run better?" The answer is simple. But first, let's talk about what exactly premium gasoline is.

Different grades of gasoline have different octane ratings. Regular gasoline has the lowest octane rating and premium the highest. Most gas stations around Midland, Texas, also carry a mid-grade that falls in between the two. The octane range for the different grades of gas varies by region due to altitude differences.

Engines require different octane ratings because of design differences. For example, turbocharged engines usually require premium gas.

There's a sticker on your gas tank filler lid that tells you the minimum octane rating your vehicle manufacturer recommends.

For help identifying the type of gasoline your engine needs, come by West Texas Automotive in Midland.

West Texas Automotive
4703 Andrews Hwy
Midland, Texas 79703
432-689-5414
http://www.themobiletirestore.com



Engine Air Filter from West Texas Automotive

Posted August 05, 2018 04:44 AM

Many Midland drivers have found themselves in the following situation: They go to get their oil changed and their friendly service advisor at West Texas Automotive recommends a new engine air filter. They say yes, but don't know what an air filter is or what it does.

If this has happened to you, rest assured that you did the right thing by getting a new one. But you should never be too embarrassed to ask your West Texas Automotive service advisor for more information. It's your vehicle and you have a right to understand what you're paying for.

Let's review: "What does an air filter do?"

Air is the focus of this discussion. What is the air like outside in Midland right now? Can you see any smog? Is it full of pollen? How about dust? Anyone in Texas with hay fever can tell you that there's plenty in the air that you can't see. Well, the engine air filter's job is to clean that air before it goes into your vehicle engine, to mix with the fuel and be burned. Without an engine air filter, the inside of your vehicle engine would be extremely dirty from all the gunk that was burned in the cylinders.

In fact, your engine needs 12,000 times as much air as fuel for it to run. That little filter does a very big job. It's no wonder that the air filter gets dirty and needs to be replaced. Think about a vacuum cleaner. When the bag gets full of dust and dirt, the vacuum doesn't clean as well. It can't move enough air to create good suction. A clogged engine air filter is the same way - the vehicle engine can't get enough air to burn the fuel efficiently. That means less power and reduced fuel economy.

That's why your owner's manual has recommended that you change your filter at regular intervals. Of course the Midland conditions you drive in will affect how quickly the filter gets dirty. If you drive in Texas where it's very dusty or where there's lots of pollen or pollution, you may need to change the filter sooner. The filter is easy to check visually, so your friendly and knowledgeable West Texas Automotive service advisor can quickly make the call. He might recommend immediate replacement or simply let you know that it is getting close and that you'll need to replace it soon - like at your next oil change.

Because a severely dirty vehicle air filter hurts your vehicle, many Midland residents find that a new air filter pays for itself in better fuel economy before the next oil change. They also make premium air filters that have been proven to increase your horsepower and torque. If more power is important to you, a high performance air filter is some of the cheapest horsepower you can buy.

The better your car breathes, the better it runs - kind of like people. And don't worry - if you have a question or don't understand a recommendation just ask your West Texas Automotive service advisor.

West Texas Automotive
4703 Andrews Hwy
Midland, Texas 79703
432-689-5414
http://www.themobiletirestore.com

 



Introduction to Diesels for Midland, Texas

Posted July 30, 2018 01:12 AM



Something you're going to be hearing a lot about around Midland, Texas, is diesel engines. We're not talking about semi-trucks and buses; we're talking about diesel engine cars, pick-ups and SUVs.

Most people in Texas are surprised to learn that around half the cars on the road in Europe have diesel engines. Nearly all import brands offer a range of diesel engines abroad – even the ultra-luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. For the most part, these diesel engines haven't been available in Midland, Texas. But that's about to change.

In the past, North American diesel fuel has had a much higher sulfur content than European fuel. Recent environmental laws have required changes in diesel formulation and emissions standards here in Midland, Texas, so we are now ready to start seeing more diesel options offered over the next few years.

Why are so many Midland drivers interested in diesel engines? Well first off, diesel fuel is more energy dense. There's more power in a barrel of diesel fuel than there is in a barrel of gasoline. The result? Better performance and improved fuel economy.

Diesel powered vehicles get about 20 percent better fuel economy. And as for power – why do you think that the majority of new heavy duty pick-up trucks are being sold in Midland with diesel engines?

If you think back to the late 1970's and early 1980's, you may shudder when you think of the diesel powered cars of the day – noisy, smoky, under-powered beasts that rattled and shook their passengers. Modern diesels sold in Texas have evolved considerably.

They are quiet, clean – and powerful. They're so refined that many Midland drivers can't even tell they're riding in a diesel powered vehicle. In addition to fuel savings, diesels generally last longer than gasoline engines because of their heavy duty construction.

Another thing the Midland green crowd takes advantage of is the use of bio-diesel in diesel vehicles. Bio-diesel is made from vegetable oil – even recycled cooking oil from Midland restaurants. There is a lot of buzz about hybrid cars in Texas. Look to diesel-electric hybrids in years to come to make a good idea even better.

Every year, manufacturers introduce new diesel models. Look for diesels in domestic light trucks, SUVs and passenger cars. Import brands have plans to bring more of their outstanding diesel engines to Texas as well.

New Midland diesel owners need to know that properly maintaining a diesel engine is somewhat different than a gasoline engine. Fluid change intervals are different. Emissions control devices have to work harder to filter diesel fuel and to scrub the exhaust so you will need to pay attention to that. And the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures than gas fuel injection systems, so it's important to keep your fuel system clean with a diesel.

The good news is that West Texas Automotive in Midland is keeping up with the new diesel technology and will be able to advise you on maintaining your diesel.

When we tell you to look for more diesels on Midland streets, you won't be looking for smoky tail pipes as a clue. You also won't be listening for that familiar big rig rattle. And, you certainly won't be waiting for them at the stoplight, because modern diesels are as quick as their gasoline counterparts.

West Texas Automotive
4703 Andrews Hwy
Midland, Texas 79703
432-689-5414
http://www.themobiletirestore.com



How Do You Save Gas in Midland, Texas?

Posted July 02, 2018 12:39 PM



No one in Midland, Texas, likes to spend a chunk of change at the gas pump. Rising Texas fuel prices, however, have spurred Midland drivers to focus on how to improve their fuel economy. North Americans literally drive billions of miles/kilometers less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive (we love our vehicles, after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.

Let's look at a real life example. This man has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here's what he did to cut his fuel costs:

First, he installed a new, high flow engine air filter. Then he had his service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV valve and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.

Now this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway – it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.

So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he tallied his costs.  Turns out, he got the best fuel economy on that vehicle up to that point. It had improved 25 percent! He saved $48.00 on that trip alone. And the savings keep on coming every day.

Here's a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel in Midland, Texas. First get caught up on your routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can boost fuel efficiency. If it's time for a tune-up, git'er done at West Texas Automotive. That's a big item.

If your Check Engine light is on, have your service advisor at West Texas Automotive figure out why and fix it. Check Engine problems can be real gas wasters.

Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment can really help Midland drivers as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra 100 pounds can cost a mile per gallon.

Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most Midland folks is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy on Texas roads and Midland streets: don't speed, and plan ahead.

Finally, you may have noticed that we haven't mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That's because there aren't any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot of "miracle fuel saver" scams in Texas. Don't shell out any to swindlers; you need it to buy gas!

Do some research and check with your service advisor at West Texas Automotive in Midland before spending your hard earned cash.

West Texas Automotive
4703 Andrews Hwy
Midland, Texas 79703
432-689-5414
http://www.themobiletirestore.com



Fuel Injection Keeps Getting Better for Midland Motorists

Posted January 08, 2018 09:31 AM

Midland 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 Midland 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 Midland 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 West Texas Automotive in Midland. 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.

West Texas Automotive
4703 Andrews Hwy
Midland, Texas 79703
432-689-5414
http://www.themobiletirestore.com



Higher Mileage Service Intervals for Midland

Posted March 19, 2017 07:36 AM



Midland 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 Midland area, but it does add quite a bit to the price of a new car.

Because new cars are more expensive, Midland 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 Midland 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 West Texas Automotive. 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 Midland 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 Midland 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 West Texas Automotive in Midland 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 Midland 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 Midland - but it's much cheaper than a new car payment!

West Texas Automotive
4703 Andrews Hwy
Midland, Texas 79703
432-689-5414
http://www.themobiletirestore.com



Fuel Filter Replacement

Posted February 26, 2017 10:53 AM



Hello Midland resident! You would never like to drink a glass of mud, right? Well, your vehicle feels the same way. It needs a steady supply of clean fuel in order to run well and deliver good fuel economy. The fuel filter's job is to clean dirt and rust out of the fuel before it gets to your engine. A clogged fuel filter can actually choke off the engine so that it won't start or run. Some fuel filters have a bypass valve that allows fuel to go around the clogged filter so your vehicle will still run. But, then the contaminated fuel can clog your fuel injectors and allow particles into your engine.

A vehicle with a partially clogged fuel filter might run well around Midland, but sputter and strain on the because it's starving for gas. There are two things that affect how often you need to replace the filter. They are: where you drive in Texas and the gas you buy. If you drive a lot on dirt or gravel roads in rural Texas, your fuel filter will have a harder time keeping the fuel clean.

And, we hate to say it, but buying the cheapest gas from bargain stations sometimes means dirtier fuel that'll clog the filter sooner. Major brands tend to be cleaner and certainly have higher levels of detergent additives.

Of course, manufacturers recommend intervals for changing the fuel filter. But, it's a little more complicated than that for Midland residents. Some manufacturers stopped listing recommended intervals for fuel filter replacement or have very long intervals like every five years or 80,000 miles (130,000 kilometers). So you may need to look to other sources for recommendations. Vehicles older than six or seven years are especially at risk because they have had time for dirt and rust to build up in the fuel tank. A clean fuel filter keeps the gas flowing. Even a partially clogged filter puts added strain on the vehicle fuel pump. That can shorten its life and result in repair.

As is often the case, spending a little money now on something as inexpensive as a fuel filter can save money for Midland residents down the road by improving and preventing repairs. At West Texas Automotive in Midland, we can check your fuel filter. It is better than fixing a burned-out vehicle fuel pump or ruined fuel injectors.

West Texas Automotive
4703 Andrews Hwy
Midland, Texas 79703
432-689-5414
http://www.themobiletirestore.com



Professional Fuel System Cleaning

Posted January 17, 2017 10:33 AM



Getting adequate fuel to your engine is very important for performance, fuel economy and safety. In order to accomplish this, your fuel system needs to be clean.

Today's production cars have fuel injectors, rather than a carburetor. The injectors need to be cleaned from time to time in order to deliver the fuel with the correct pressure, spray pattern and volume.

Midland drivers can buy fuel system cleaners that you pour into your gas tank to help maintain an already clean fuel system; however, they can't do a major cleaning. For that, you need to see West Texas Automotive in Midland. We have the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Our friendly and knowledgeable team at West Texas Automotive can remove particles, gum and varnish from your fuel system and get those injectors running cleanly and efficiently.

You'll find West Texas Automotive at 4703 Andrews Hwy in Midland, Texas 79703. Or just give us a call at 432-689-5414 to schedule an appointment.

You'll enjoy more power, better fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions. The cleaners also help prevent rust and corrosion in your fuel system and lubricate engine parts.

And, as with all maintenance, it can help prevent repairs that can happen because you didn't take preventative steps. Our advisors at West Texas Automotive can tell you when your car is scheduled for a fuel system cleaning.



Maintaining Your Diesel in Midland

Posted January 08, 2017 12:45 PM

Diesel engines have been used extensively in Europe and Asia for many years. They haven't been as common in the Midland area because of the high sulfur content in our diesel fuel. But the government is now mandating lower sulfur content and, as a result, we are going to see more Midland diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV's.

Diesels are popular in Texas because they get better fuel economy than gas-powered engines. They also last longer. Modern diesel engines are quiet and powerful. And if you associate diesel engines with black smoke, then you're not up with the times. That smoke is a thing of the past.

Diesels don't produce any more pollutants than gasoline engines. The pollution standards for diesel-powered vehicles are as strict in Texas as for other vehicles.

Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel fuel can be produced from vegetable oil or from cellulosic waste like wood chips and sawdust. In Texas, we may soon see bio-diesel produced from algae. These fuel sources will lessen Midland drivers dependence on fossil fuels and may even become truly renewable and sustainable.

Diesel-powered vehicles also perform as well as other passenger vehicles. Most people don't notice a difference in driving one or the other. If you haul heavy loads or tow a trailer around Texas, however, the diesel is a definite improvement.

So, you may be asking, if diesels are so great, why don't all Midland people drive them? Surely there are disadvantages you haven't told me about. That's true. Diesel engines are heavier than gas engines, and they cost more in Texas. The better fuel economy of the diesel engine is partially offset by the higher purchase price.

Because of higher fuel prices, diesel engines used to be more expensive to drive in Midland. But now, with higher volatility in the prices of both gasoline and diesel fuel in Texas, that cost difference is less definitive. Whether a diesel or gas engine is more expensive for Texas drivers depends now on the current price of fuel and how far you drive.

Consider also that diesel-powered vehicles have a high resale value in the Midland area, and the costs of owning and operating a diesel vs. a gas-powered vehicle in Texas becomes a real toss-up.

Preventive auto maintenance for diesel vehicles has also become similar to that of gas-fueled vehicles in recent years. The major difference is that diesels require cleaner fuel, air and oil, so their filters are more expensive than those for gasoline engines. The engine air filter must be changed more frequently as well.

The costs for car care and repairs in Midland are similar. You may be thinking, wait:  You just told me that filters are more and have to be changed more regularly. True, but that is offset by the fact that diesel engines have a much longer lifetime than gasoline engines. So if you are the type of owner who prefers to hang on to a vehicle for a long time, you will be more than rewarded with a diesel engine.

So if you have been looking for Midland auto advice on whether to switch to a diesel vehicle or stay with a gas-powered one, then we hope this helps. The answer as to which type of vehicle is better is that it depends on the driver and their driving habits. Now that you know the facts, you can make an informed choice based on your own priorities and needs.

 West Texas Automotive
4703 Andrews Hwy
Midland, Texas 79703
432-689-5414
http://www.themobiletirestore.com



Fuel Saving Tip: Dirty Oil in Your Midland Vehicle

Posted November 29, 2016 11:01 AM



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 Midland 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 Midland 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 West Texas Automotive  and give yourself a fighting chance.

West Texas Automotive
4703 Andrews Hwy
Midland, Texas 79703
432-689-5414
http://www.themobiletirestore.com