When we're strapped for time, servicing our vehicle tends to take a back seat. We crave simple, quick solutions to car repairs so we can focus on daily commitments. For most of us, combing through an owner's manual is time consuming and confusing. And when time becomes more valuable than money, technology can help.
Yankelovich also reports that the use of technological tools is one of the top strategies time-starved consumers rely on most to buy time back. There are a number of automotive technologies that make it easier for vehicle owners to maintain and service their vehicles. These technologies help prevent unnecessary maintenance, make it easy to travel safely, and preserve gas and oil.
"GM has the right equation of automotive technology to simplify service and maintenance," says GM Service Operations Executive Director Peter Lord. "Each of the industry-leading technologies GM has implemented is intended to make life easier for the consumer."
GM's Oil Life System informs the driver when an oil change is due based on driving conditions and not on a predetermined time or mileage basis (the conventional three months or 3,000 miles). The system monitors engine speed and temperature, and the computer continuously examines engine conditions to determine when it's time to change the oil.
This system can double or even triple the time between oil changes. If used properly, it can help to save time and money connected with unnecessary oil changes. "A driver whose fuel tank is still two thirds full wouldn't empty the tank and refill it, or a driver whose tires are half worn wouldn't replace them," says Lord. "It is the same idea with prematurely changing oil that still has life." Simplified maintenance based on the system is a convenience to drivers because it takes the guesswork out of when to change oil and it eliminates decision making for other routine maintenance.
OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics
OnStar provides free monthly diagnostic reports via e-mail, including crucial information on tire pressure, remaining engine oil life, emissions, engine, transmission and braking systems, as well as air bag system checks. Subscribers can enroll at the Web site (www.onstar.com) or press the vehicle's blue OnStar button and sign up through an advisor.
Save Fuel with Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS)
Nearly 1.2 billion gallons of gas are wasted each year due to under-inflated tires, according to a recent U.S. Department of Energy statistic cited in a study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. It also estimates that drivers can improve fuel economy by up to 3.3 percent just by making sure tires are properly inflated.
Checking tire pressure is something drivers often forget or don't make time for. The TPMS helps alleviate this issue by tracking tire wear and pressure and helping motorists avoid tire failure and potentially dangerous, costly breakdowns. The system uses sensors mounted in each wheel to monitor tire pressure. Drivers are alerted to tire pressure changes so the issues can be checked and remedied quickly.
To learn more about these technologies and get helpful vehicle safety and maintenance tips, visit www.goodwrench.com.