I have a friend who does a great deal of traveling for his job so he’s always in a rental car. Last week while on the road for his job, he pulled up to a gas station and had that dreaded moment of, “Oh no! I have no idea which side of my car the gas cap is located.” He went on to tell about how the initial “Uh-oh!” is typically followed by a few minutes of craning his head out the window to see (or not see) if the gas cap cover is on his side of the car. More often than not, he would guess and just pull up to the pump – only to back up and circle around when the guess was wrong. Auto Manufacturers to the rescue!
Arrow Indicators on New Cars
Admittedly, mistaking which side of the car the gas cap is on is not a big deal, I think it straddles the line somewhere between having to reach too far for the TV remote and setting the microwave for 10 seconds too long. But, what if there was a way to always know for sure…
Good news: The secret to the gas cap location has been on our dashboards all along, at least within the past 8 years. If you’re driving a newer car, take a look at the gas gauge on your dashboard. Depending on your car, there may be a little triangle or arrow pointing to the left or right. It’s actually a directional indicator that identifies which side of the car the gas cap is on!
What about older cars?
Older cars may have a gas pump icon located on the gauge. The pump handle either extends to the left or right, so does that correlate to the cap?
Sadly, no, the handle doesn’t always indicate which side the cap is located. Some manufactures did do just that; some did not, and worse yet? Some models within brands did and some did not. So unfortunately, this Internet rumor is false and we’re here to officially shoot it down, sorry.
A Fuel Indicator Myth Debunked
Not everyone is satisfied with this explanation of the mysterious gas gauge arrow. So leave it to the Internet to think up some crazy ideas about alternative meanings. One rumor says the arrow will light up when a car is driven a certain distance after its last refueling. Supposedly, this is a way for you to determine how “full” the gas tank is. News flash! That’s what the “E” and “F” and all the little lines in between indicate. Sorry, folks, but there’s no truth behind that rumor.
Did you know what the gas gauge arrow meant? What symbols or controls on your car remain mysteries? If you need any help deciphering them stop by any Koons Dealership and we’ll help you figure them out.
So far, for this decade there have been less than half the number of car recalls from the previous decade. Yet, from all of the hype, one would think that there is nothing but safety problems on the road and that any car that is recalled is a potential death trap. But that just isn’t true. There are a couple of developments that are causing this phenomenon and it is actually good news.
Car recalls are a common part of car-ownership and it is a sign that the safety system is working the way it should. True, there are more recalls than there used to be, but safety and the quality of cars have both improved in recent years. In general a recall notice provides peace of mind, it means the manufacturer or the government agency involved have decided that the defect in the vehicle is of concern and they want to make sure it never causes an issue.
Cars are more complex, so there are more components that can fail and Consumers have more ways to complain. We have access, electronically and instantly, to a global network that wasn’t available in the early ’90s.”
Sean Kane, President
Safety Research & Strategies Inc.
Most car recalls, aren’t a big deal. For instance, in 2013, automakers recalled almost 22 million vehicles — that’s about 40% more than all the new cars sold last year. However, almost none of those recalls made the news, since most required a quick trip to the dealer for a routine fix at the manufacturer’s expense. Interestingly one major manufacturer led the list with about 5.3 million vehicles recalled in 2013. That same manufacturer also faired well in Consumer Reports and J.D. Power surveys, so you could make the case that there is little to no connection between recalls and poor quality. If anything, a higher number of recalls might indicate the opposite.
In 2013 the total number of vehicles recalled by major automakers was the highest it’s been since 2004. In the ‘90’s recalls were relatively uncommon, but in the mid part of that decade they hit an elevated level and stayed there ever since. Some people feel that this reflects a greater attention by regulators, however, other trends may have more to do with it: an increase of new technology in cars and an increased availability of information to consumers on the Internet.
The digital revolution transformed automobiles improved performance, efficiency and safety, but also made cars a lot more complicated. Cars have become mobile computers that use millions of lines of code. That code affects the throttle, braking, steering, transmission and any other systems that have gone from mechanical (analog) linkages to electronic controls. This has improved performance, efficiency and safety, but it’s also made cars much more complicated.
Case in point a recent analysis shows that about 20% of the recalls in 2013 were for air bags — which barely existed 20 years ago and are large complex systems. Also, up to one-third of the 2013 recalls were related to electrical systems, things like seat heaters, automatic tailgates, sliding doors, and video systems. Some of the recalls were for things owners might notice — interior lights, blurred digital readouts, or weak A/C systems — these are not things that can cause harm.
Automakers are also more eager to fix issues due to social media and quality rankings. With the advent of third party rating sites like Edmunds or KBB it’s very easy for a buyer to get up-to-date info on how other owners regard their vehicles. These new “dis-interested third party” rating sites have become a greater factor in the purchase process. The availability of ratings and in-depth vehicle info has giving automakers more reasons to fix issues.
So, yes, there have been a few attention getting car recalls along with news grabbing manufacturer oversights and they’re obscuring the fact that driving is getting statistically safer. For the record the total number of traffic deaths in the U.S. peaked in 2006 at over 43,000, but since then it has fallen to less 33,000. Due in large part, to life-saving new technologies and perhaps even more aggressive recalls. So as consumers we should all be happy when our manufacturer recalls our vehicle, it means the system is working and we are more safe than ever. ♛
April 1st, 2014: After many years of serving the Northern Virginia area, Tysons Ford has moved their business to Koons Ford. For over thirty years, Tysons Ford has been at its Route 7 location and it will now close its doors for good.
We are very happy to have Koons Ford taking over the service and sales needs of our customers at the existing Koons Ford locations in Falls Church and Sterling.”
“We are grateful to the community for their support throughout the years,” said owner Kip Killmon. “We are very happy to have Koons Ford taking over the service and sales needs of our customers at the existing Koons Ford locations in Falls Church and Sterling.”
Both Koons Ford locations have served the Northern Virginia area for over 45 years and are well known for their customer service and incredible inventory of new and used cars. Service has also been a hallmark of all Koons Ford locations and the customers of Tysons Ford can expect nothing but the best when they come in for any kind of service.
Koons Ford will continue to:
- Handle all warranty services and factory recalls for your vehicle.
- Maintain your vehicle’s service history.
- Honor and maintain any active extended service plans.
Koons Ford is offering all Tysons Ford customers special savings on their first service visit! Or if you’re ready to upgrade to a new Ford, Koons is currently offering up to 125% of Kelley Blue Book for your vehicle and an additional $500 in savings only to previous customers of Tysons Ford. Just present the offers below to your service or sales representative.
For more information on the transition or to schedule a service visit at either Koons Ford location, visit us at ford.koons.com. ♛
Certificate may not be valid with any other discounts. Excludes governmental fees, deductibles and or taxes. Your certificate excludes discounts on tires. Copyright ©2014. All rights reserved.
Did you ever wonder what happens to all of that oil that gets changed? There is literally barrels of the stuff that flows out of car engines every day at our Koons Service Shops. So much oil that we thought we would look to see what happens to it. Here is a response from the American Petroleum Institute.
We are all familiar with recycling newspapers, aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles, but you may not be aware of the efforts of the petroleum industry and other groups to promote used motor oil recycling: providing convenient collection sites for the purpose of keeping used motor oil out of our waterways and ground water supplies and getting used oil into the recycling system.
There are many practical uses for used motor oil. A primary use is to re-refine it into a base stock for lubricating oil. This process is very similar to the refining of crude oil. The result is that the re-refined oil is of as high a quality as a virgin oil product. In fact, re-refining used oil takes from 50 to 85 percent less energy than refining crude oil.
A secondary use of the used oil is to burn it for energy. Large industrial boilers can efficiently burn the used oil with minimum pollution. As a result some used oil is sent to power plants or cement kilns to be burned as fuel. On a smaller scale small quantities of used oil are burned in specially designed heaters to provide space heating for small businesses.
So the next time you bring your car in, new or used, to get a tune-up and oil change you’ll know that your helping your vehicle and the environment as well. ♛
Getting your oil changed regularly is important, very important. Without oil your car will die. Oil allows for your engines metal parts to press against each other without causing damage. Not getting your oil changed can be just as harmful as not having any oil, because dirty oil becomes thick and collects microscopic dirt and metal shavings that are abrasive and that’s what causes engine wear.
I know what you’re thinking, of course they want us to follow their schedules because it’s to their advantage. It’s really to your advantage and your cars.
The old conventional thinking of getting your oil changed every 3 months or 3,000 miles is a thing of the past. Car Manufactures know their vehicles power plants inside and out, they’ve created engineering masterpieces that adhere to high tolerances and output incredible power. But there is a trade off with these engineering marvels, they demand consistent attention in order for them to preform at their best. To aid in that effort the manufacturers created recommended maintenance schedules that support that consistency and help to: extend the life of your vehicle, prevent high-cost auto repairs, and keep it running at its optimal best. You, the vehicle owner, are the beneficiary of all of that new technology and planning, you get all the power that these higher tolerances yield, along with the benefit of owning an engine that has a much longer life, more residual value, and is easier to maintain, provided you follow the manufacturers maintenance schedule.
I know what you’re thinking, of course they want us to follow their schedules because it’s to their advantage. It’s really to your advantage and your cars. Things have changed, with the introduction of these better engines, better service and maintenance has also been developed, better because its less expensive, more intuitive, and better integrated. Wouldn’t you want to take advantage of all of that? You can by seeing a registered trained technician at your dealership.
With the emergence of better technology and Synthetic oils cars can now sometimes go as long as 5,000 to 10,000 miles without getting their oil being changed (each car is different please consult your Vehicles Maintenance Guide). By coming in to the dealership for recommended service you get access to all of their diagnostic and maintenance options and you also get piece of mind. You can be certain that the right parts, consumables, and training are being applied to your vehicle. Small things like regular tire rotations for even tire wear, topping off fluid levels, or filter replacement are now expected with any regular maintenance. But while they’re taking care of those regular items technicians are also hooking up your vehicle so they can talk with your engine using manufacturer developed proprietary software, this allows them to head off developing issues before they become a major problem.
So as you can see, a simple oil change doesn’t cover all of the items your vehicle needs in order to run for years to come. It does go a long way to keeping your car on the road, but keeping it in top form requires a bit more. With advancements in technology, training, better parts, more intuitive diagnostics, and by following your vehicles Factory Recommended Maintenance Schedule you are helping maintain your vehicle for years to come. Koons has a whole army of trained and dedicated vehicle technicians to make sure that your car is always running at its best. ♛