I decided to drain the factory fill early around 3,000 kms to help clear out any manufacturing contaminates and put in a high quality Signature Series ASM 0W-20 oil. I was also excited to have a look under the vehicle and see how difficult it will be to service in the future.
It was time to upgrade vehicles and I had been shopping around. The Ford Maverick with the hybrid engine checks most of the boxes for my use of a vehicle. I was very interested in the fuel economy numbers without going to a fully electric vehicle just yet. They are popular in Canada but I’m not ready to have to think about charging my vehicle – I can barely remember to plug in my phone at night.
Using the waste energy from braking and putting that into a battery system seems like a normal evolution for vehicle power plants. Why waste energy as heat if you can capture some of it to be used again – getting that last bit of energy out of the fuel. I much prefer a naturally aspirated engine over a turbo for my use – the electric generators act like the turbo when you stomp on the accelerator. I also love the mechanical simplification of everything being electric – water pump, AC compressor, fan, etc. No serpentine belts to change on this engine. The downside being a lot more computers and wires to run everything.
There are indeed disadvantages for towing, convenience/luxury – I miss my proximity unlock feature, unibody construction, FWD and the fact that this new-ish platform seems to have a few wrinkles to be worked out. I believe it is based on the Escape Hybrid platform – and isn’t completely new. I also appreciate that the transmission is very similar to the Toyota planetary gear CVT – not belt driven.
So far, so good. I personally prefer the more truck like appearance of the Maverick over the Hyundai Santa Cruz. It’s amazing to be able to reach over the side of the bed of a truck again to access contents. I think it was worth the wait for my order to be built.
Last month I went to my favorite gas station here in southern Ontario and found all 3 grades of gasoline had been labeled with “May Contain up to 10% Ethanol”. I used to be able to get pure gasoline in the Premium grade at this station. That made me a bit sad as I pumped fuel into my vehicle. I later read that at the start of the year the government had mandated ethanol in all grades of fuel.
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Most modern vehicles can handle that ethanol content and the fuel gets used up fast enough – I always seem to be filling my tank these days – that it doesn’t go stale or deteriorate too quickly. That may change for me though in the near future – stay tuned to more info about that!
Where ethanol really causes problems is in classic cars that don’t get daily driven and small engines which were never designed for alcohol content. Both categories often see more time in storage than use and suffer from stale fuel and incompatible materials.
Choosing supreme gas for an automobile that specifies regular won’t improve fuel mileage since octane ratings are for compression. You may see some improvements in fuel economy if you choose a fuel that has no ethanol in it since it’s energy content is lower than gasoline [wikipedia].
Sparkplugs last longer than a year. You may not want to go the full 160,000km on the same set and be sure to replace them with high quality plugs at or above OEM specs.
I would move the behaviour items further up the list too. Stops and starts as well as speeding can really increase your fuel consumption. Continue reading Save on Fuel
Signature Series Multi-Vehicle Synthetic ATF and Fuel-Efficient Synthetic ATF offer the most benefits in applications where heavy towing, elevated temperatures and challenging terrain are common. As transmission sumps are shrinking these robust fluids offer piece of mind and the ability to extend service life in some applications.
I’ve decided to do a yearly drain and fill on my 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander transmission fluid instead of the flush every 2 years as suggested in the manual. The dealership flushed the fluid after the first two years so I’m sure most of the contaminants from break-in are out of the system and now it’s just a matter of keeping the fluid fresh and making sure it isn’t breaking down. Transmission fluid quality is important for all vehicles but what stresses it the most is high fluid temperatures which can be generated while towing or on loose surfaces like sand and to a lesser extent snow.
The leaves turning, nights getting cooler and mornings crisper is a signal that the seasons are changing. It’s time to start thinking about putting away summer equipment while looking over any winter gear that may need some work before the snow flies. Don’t forget to maintain those daily drivers to help them make it through another winter.
The fall is the perfect time to change the oil on your daily driver if you’re on an extended 6-month/15,000-km schedule using either the Signature Series or the XL Series from the 3 tiers of AMSOIL engine oils. Our 2005 Vibe was changed last weekend and is now good until May of 2013 or 20,000-kms.
I think it’s too soon to put the bikes away but those early morning starts without synthetics in the crank case may become a bit more harsh. Try one of the AMSOIL motorcycle oils to help with extream temperatures like cold starts and hot idling in the heat of the summer. In my opinon fresh oil is the best way to store any piece of equipment/vehicle. AMSOIL motorcycle oils have excellent anti-corrosion additives that lesser oils may be lacking.
How do you remember what needs to be done? Especally if you’re maintaining the equipment for an entire house, family or small fleet? Continue reading Fall Maintenance
AMSOIL has given their Multi-Vehicle Synthetic Power Steering Fluid a formulation tune-up to meet more specifications than ever. This fluid now covers most all applications to go with its other merits which include all-weather capabilities and smooth performance.
Like many components on your vehicle, the power steering system will benefit greatly from a good synthetic fluid. Synthetics have the innate ability to resist breakdown in extreme heat and yet remain fluid under frigid conditions. That painful growling noise that you hear during cold start-ups is your power steering pump starving for oil. This product virtually eliminates that issue, providing tremendous year-round wear control and smooth operation. The power steering system is one of those over-looked maintenance items, but the benefits offered by this inexpensive upgrade are well worth it.