Treat Your Vehicle to Good Tires at Gustafson Brothers

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When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost. If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.

Buying tires at Gustafson Brothers in Huntington Beach is a lot like buying shoes, except that Huntington Beach motorists’ vehicles don’t have changeable apparel and don’t need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work shoes: they have to deal with a lot of California road conditions, all while carrying the weight of a vehicle and its passengers.

Bad tires, like cheap shoes, can also be a safety concern for Huntington Beach area drivers. Tires need good traction, and they need to be strong enough to handle the loads they carry. Vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow trailers around Huntington Beach need tires with a high load rating, in the same way that you are better off on a rough California mountain trail with sturdy hiking boots rather than flip-flops.

The best tires on the market are called Tier 1 tires. These are high-quality tires engineered to stand up to a lot of wear while maintaining good traction. They are also the most expensive tires on the Huntington Beach area tire market, although prices don’t vary much from brand to brand.

Tire chain stores in Huntington Beach often carry tires with their own brand name. These are private label tires. They are less expensive than Tier 1 tires, but are still a quality product. In fact, many private label tires sold in Huntington Beach are manufactured by the same companies that make Tier 1 tires. Don’t hesitate to ask your Gustafson Brothers tire professional who makes their private brand.

The cheapest tires on the California tire market are Tier 3 tires. Most of these tires are imported from Asia or South America, and they just don’t have the same standard of engineering behind them that the higher-priced tires have. When it comes to Tier 3 tires, Huntington Beach folks get what they pay for.

At Gustafson Brothers, we sometimes express tire quality in terms of the warranty. In other words, we call a tire a “40-thousand-mile tire,” or a “60-thousand mile tire.” This refers to the number of miles a tire will be under warranty. Tires with a higher mileage warranty are made with higher quality rubber compounds and have more tread. As you might expect, they also cost more than tires with low mileage warranties.

Cheap tires often have no warranty at all. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need new tires and you’re really strapped for cash, purchasing Tier 3 tires is better than waiting until you can afford Tier 1. It’s always better for Huntington Beach car owners to drive on new tires, even cheap ones, than driving on tires that are worn past their safety limits.

That said, if you’re driving on Tier 3 tires, it’s a good idea to budget and plan to buy higher-quality tires the next go-around. Two sets of cheap tires may wear out in the same time as one set of quality tires, but the quality tires actually cost less than two sets of cheap tires. That’s the great fallacy of cheap tires. In the long run, they actually cost more than good tires, and come with significantly reduced performance and durability to boot. Not exactly the best value for Huntington Beach auto owners.

So, some good auto advice for Huntington Beach car owners would be to always buy as much tire as you can afford. That way you’ll get the most durability and performance and the most mileage out of every tire. Plus, with a better tire, there’s some peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t have to purchase tires as often.

Good car care requires checking your tires occasionally for tread wear and road damage. Practicing this preventive maintenance can help you avoid flats and blowouts.

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Cool Running In Huntington Beach

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Unless you live in Death Valley, you really don’t hear much any more about cars overheating. That’s because cooling systems in vehicles have been much improved. That doesn’t mean you can’t overheat your sedan engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the expressway in Huntington Beach waiting for your sedan engine to cool down.

When you service your cooling system at Gustafson Brothers, your service professional will check the condition of the coolant. It can become corrosive over time, which can damage a radiator — leading to an overheated engine. Changing the coolant periodically is good car care. Your sedan owner’s manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.

If your engine overheated, your friendly tech will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the sedan radiator for cracks and the radiator hoses for leaks. He’ll also check your water pump. They don’t need to be replaced on a regular schedule, but they do need an inspection regularly. They can and do wear out.

The water pump is a critical component of your sedan cooling system. It pumps the coolant to keep it circulating through the engine. The coolant is cooled in the radiator, then it travels through the engine, where it absorbs heat, then it returns to the radiator, where it releases the heat. And so on. But a water pump is something of a misnomer. The fluid pumped through your sedan cooling system is not just water. It also contains coolant, which is actually poisonous. You should never consider your radiator as an emergency water supply.

There are many types of coolant. It varies from vehicle to vehicle, and using the wrong kind could damage your engine. Your tech will know which kind your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends. The team of automotive professionals at Gustafson Brothers is always a good source for auto advice. We’ve been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in Huntington Beach for 40 years.

Keeping your cooling system in good repair will help keep your engine running well, and keep you out of the Huntington Beach repair shop. This means that a regular cooling system inspection should be on your schedule for routine preventive maintenance of your vehicle. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often you need to do this. It varies depending on what kind of car you drive, what type of driving you do and where you live in California.

At Gustafson Brothers, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.

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Blind Spot Safety For Huntington Beach Driving

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Blind spots may be a good thing when it comes to a spouse’s annoying habits, but when driving an automobile in Huntington Beach, they are definitely to be avoided. So, while it’s not good marital advice, it’s good auto advice to minimize your own blind spots and stay out of other Huntington Beach motorists’ blind spots, especially when it comes to large, heavy vehicles like trucks and buses.

First, minimize your own blind spots. Do this before you pull out of the driveway or parking space. Adjust your rearview mirror so that you see as much of the area behind you as possible. And, no, this doesn’t include the passengers in the back seat. The rearview mirror isn’t designed to be a baby monitor.

Next, lean to the side until your head almost touches the driver’s side window. Now adjust the driver’s side mirror so that it just catches the side of the sedan. Then, lean to the middle of the car and adjust the passenger’s side mirror in the same way. These adjustments will ensure you the widest possible view behind your vehicle.

Of course, you can’t eliminate blind spots entirely. There is always an area behind any vehicle where the driver just can’t see what’s there. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. Toddlers are just the right size to hide in a pickup’s or SUV’s blind spot. The blind spot on an RV or tractor-trailer can actually hide your crossover! You should always check behind any vehicle before getting in and backing up. And if you sit in the sedan for a few minutes before backing up, it is vital to get out and check again, especially if you are pulling out of a neighborhood driveway in Huntington Beach. No precaution is too extreme if it saves the life of a child.

Once you have taken care of your own blind spots, be aware that other Huntington Beach drivers have them, too. And avoid them. Trucks and buses have large blind spots, and they have blind spots on all four sides, so they should always be given extra room on Westminster roads. They are also heavy, which means they need more room to stop, and their length means they need a wider area for turns, and their large size makes them less maneuverable than a car.

Trucks may cause about 60% of the accidents involving a truck and a car, but 78% of fatalities in such accidents are with the smaller vehicle. The number of fatalities in California, as well as the number of crashes, could be cut significantly if Huntington Beach drivers learned to properly share California roads with trucks.

Never follow a truck too closely. If you can’t see the driver’s face in his side mirror, then he can’t see you. If you need to pass a truck, it is essential to make sure you give yourself enough time to pass the rig. Wait for the right opportunity rather than “cutting it close.” On a two-lane California highway, it’s always a good idea to wait for a passing zone if they are available. A little patience could save your life or the lives of others. Turn on your turn signal so the truck knows what you’re planning, and pass on the left whenever possible. Remember those blind spots? They are much larger on the right side of a truck.

Once you’ve committed to passing the truck, don’t muck about. Pass it quickly and give yourself plenty of room to move back over. It is essential to wait until you can see both headlights in your rearview mirror before pulling back in front of the truck. Once again, use your sedan turn signals. After you pull in front of the truck, decelerate to the regulated driving speed slowly. Remember that the truck has a long stopping distance, which translates into a long slowing distance. And, since trucks are so big, we often perceive them as traveling more slowly than they really are. Trucks are a lot of weight moving at a high speed, and we need to treat them accordingly.

Never pull to the right of a truck at an intersection unless you are absolutely certain it is not going to turn. Check if its turn signals are on or if it has angled to the left or right. (Trucks often begin a right turn by angling to the left to widen their turning area.) Trucks need a lot of room on city streets, and they probably can’t see you if you pull along their right side. Too many cars have ended up in Huntington Beach body shops because the auto owners thought they could beat that truck to the right turn, or they only noticed the seemingly open lane, and not the truck angling into a turn.

While learning to share Huntington Beach area roads and expressways with trucks and other large vehicles may not seem like preventive auto maintenance, it does, in fact, go hand-in-hand with good Huntington Beach car care. Keeping your sedan out of the body shop can save you big bucks and prevent the stress of a major accident, along with the injuries that could come with it.

The team at Gustafson Brothers in Huntington Beach urges you to stay safe, and stay on the road!

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Following Recommended Intervals For Your sedan

If you’re reading this article in Huntington Beach, California, then you probably care about your car and how it runs. Even though you care, there is still that moment of dread when your friendly Gustafson Brothers service specialist tells you the manufacturer recommends some additional service. Your heart beats a little faster, your blood pressure rises. You worry about spending more money than you had planned. And you worry that if you say “no”, you might be harming your sedan or risking your family’s safety.

At the risk of sounding like your dad, you really should have done your homework. Service recommendations are in your owner’s manual. But it is not like you want to keep your sedan auto maintenance schedule on your nightstand for bedtime reading.

Cars are complicated machines and it takes some effort for Huntington Beach motorists to keep them running well. That is why auto manufacturers have maintenance schedules that explain how to keep your sedan performing efficiently and prevent expensive breakdowns. In a typical owners manual you’ll find: oil change, brake fluid and pad change, coolant system service, transmission service, battery electrolyte levels, cables and terminals, tire pressure and wear, CV boots, cabin air filter, air conditioning, heater, fuel filter, air filter, belts and hoses, power steering fluid, differential service, fuel system cleaning, and wheel alignment. And then there are mechanical service requirements like timing belt changes, valve adjustment, steering function, engine and exhaust leaks – yeah, it is a really long list!

Fortunately, this isn’t a test: Huntington Beach motorists don’t need to have it memorized. Your friendly Gustafson Brothers service specialist has access to your auto maker’s recommendations. Don’t be surprised when your tech at Gustafson Brothers reminds you something essential is due. Your vehicle manufacturer has taken great care in putting together your maintenance schedule. Let Gustafson Brothers help you stay on top of critical maintenance. You can expect them to suggest recommended services and tell you what problems they find under the hood. We’ll also explain how urgent these services are so you can work them into your budget.

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Gustafson Brothers Advice On Buying New Tires

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Today’s tires and wheels offer a lot of options for every Huntington Beach driver’s style, habits and driving conditions.

Tires are designed for high-performance in winter or summer and even come in a long-wearing variety for all California seasons.

Huntington Beach off-roaders should be excited about the options available to them as well. The tread on off-road tires is designed to handle the wear from bumps and rocks. The tires’ high profile protects rims from damage.

But what if you own an SUV but aren’t interested in off-roading around Huntington Beach? You can change out those high-profile beasts for a lower, wider look if it suits your style.

Gustafson Brothers tire professionals can offer great auto advice on how to choose tires that match your needs and style.

The same goes for wheels. When Huntington Beach motorists shop for new wheels, they can be hard-pressed to make a selection from the thousands of styles available at California tire stores. If they choose a wheel that is the same size as the ones that came with their vehicle, they can get them changed out and get back on the road, no worries. But if they change the wheel size, then they may need to make some important adjustments to their vehicle.

Upsizing a wheel may mean changing the suspension on the sedan. The wheel and tire need to fit inside the wheel well without any rubbing during turns or when driving over bumps. Rubbing can cause uneven tire wear and even damage the tires or cause safety issues.

Upsizing wheels also increases the unsprung weight of the vehicle which has a major impact on braking performance. The larger wheels increase rotational inertia, as well, which translates to longer stopping distance and lower brake performance. Upsized wheels may require upgraded brakes. Further, wheel size is used to calculate the speed and mileage of a vehicle. Changing wheel size will cause the speedometer and odometer to give inaccurate readings unless the vehicle’s computer is re-programmed to compensate for the difference.

So if you want to customize your sedan with new wheels, you should consult with a wheel and tire professional at Gustafson Brothers in Huntington Beach to ensure you get the style you want without sacrificing safety or performance — and without damaging your vehicle.

If you just need to purchase new tires, a tire professional can also help you select the tires that are best for your driving needs and habits. The right tires will protect you and your sedan on the road.

So personalize your vehicle, but don’t forget that good car care will keep that sassy ride on the road in Huntington Beach a lot longer.

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Cooling System Components


Today we want to talk about an essential system in our cars – the cooling system. It’s one of those things that Huntington Beach drivers don’t give much thought to until it fails and then they’re stranded by the side of a road in Huntington Beach.

Cooling systems fail more often than any other mechanical system – usually because of neglect. Don’t you hate it when something breaks, and you could have done something to prevent it?

The good news is that if Huntington Beach drivers take care of their cooling systems they can keep working for the life of their car.

Here at AutoNetTV and Gustafson Brothers in Huntington Beach, we emphasize important preventive maintenance services like replacing your coolant according to the factory schedule. But the various parts that make up the cooling system need attention too. The major components of the cooling system are the water pump, freeze plugs, the thermostat, the radiator, cooling fans, the heater core, the pressure cap, the overflow tank and the hoses.

It sounds complicated, but we Huntington Beach motorists don’t have to be experts – we can leave that to our friendly service specialist at Gustafson Brothers. But, having an overview will help us remember how to take care of your car’s cooling system.

Most Huntington Beach folks would be surprised to know that burning fuel in your engine produces up to 4,500 degrees of heat. And all that heat has to be dealt with. If the heat can’t be drawn off the engine, the pistons will literally weld themselves to the inside of the cylinders – then you just have to throw the engine away and get a new one. That would cost thousands of dollars.

Now the water pump is what forces the coolant through passages in the sedan engine to absorb heat. The pump is driven by a belt that needs replacement from time to time. And the water pump will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Spending some cash on replacing the belts and water pump is much less than the cost of repairing the extremely pricey damage that can be done when an engine seizes.

There’s another little but essential part of the coolant system that protects the engine. It’s called a freeze plug. If you remember from high school chemistry, water expands when it freezes. In very cold areas, the coolant can actually freeze when the sedan is left sitting.

It is hard to believe, but the expanding frozen coolant is strong enough to actually crack the engine block. The freeze plugs fit into the engine block. They fit tight enough to withstand the pressure of a running engine, but can expand or pop out if the coolant freezes. These little things save a lot of engine blocks.

That brings up a good point. An engine has to work in all kinds of California temperatures – extremely hot as well as very cold. How does the sedan cooling system adapt to external temperatures as well as varying operating conditions?

Well, it’s much like the way you keep your Huntington Beach house at a comfortable temperature all year round – with a thermostat. The thermostat in your sedan controls how much coolant flows through your engine. When the engine is cold, it restricts coolant flow until the engine comes up to an efficient operating temperature. Then it starts opening up to move more coolant to keep the temperature within a specified range.

The thermostat needs to be replaced from time to time as well. It’s easy for your Gustafson Brothers service specialist to diagnose a failed thermostat and is fairly inexpensive to replace. We can do this for you at Gustafson Brothers in Huntington Beach, just give us a call: 7148475600. Now we’ve been talking about all this heat we’ve got to get rid of, but haven’t really talked about where it goes. That’s where the radiator comes in. The hot coolant passes through the radiator. Air flows past the cooling fins and cools the coolant.

The radiator has two tanks that hold coolant: sometimes one at the top and bottom or one on either side. If you have an automatic transmission in your sedan, one of the tanks will also contain a second tank that cools the transmission fluid. Large SUV’s and trucks often have a separate transmission cooler. So when Huntington Beach auto owners drive around Huntington Beach, the air is forced past the radiator. But driving doesn’t produce enough air flow. So the radiator has cooling fans that force fresh air over the radiator. These fans may be powered by a belt or by electric motors.

Huntington Beach auto owners also have something called a heater core. The heater core is like a mini radiator. A small fan blows air over the heater core and into the passenger compartment of your sedan. That’s how Huntington Beach auto owners warm their cars when it’s cold out in California.

Next is the radiator cap. With most newer cars around Huntington Beach, you never remove the radiator cap, except to replace it. You add coolant through the overflow tank. The radiator cap is also called a pressure cap, because its important job is to maintain pressure in the cooling system.

High pressure raises the boiling point of the coolant, so it cools more effectively even in very demanding Huntington Beach conditions. That is why Huntington Beach drivers need to replace the cap from time to time. The team at Gustafson Brothers recommends changing it out every time you replace your coolant.

Coming back to the overflow tank, it is key because when the coolant gets hot it expands and the overflow holds the extra volume. The tank helps maintain the proper level of coolant and keeps air out of the system. Huntington Beach drivers should never open the radiator cap or over flow tank when the engine is hot. This could lead to serious burns.

What else do we Huntington Beach auto owners need to do to keep our cooling systems working well? Well, there are the hoses that hook all of these pieces together. They’re obviously very tough to deal with the pressure and high temperatures. But they do get worn. Sometimes they get spongy from the heat. Sometimes they lose their connection to the radiator, water pump, etc. It’s a great idea to have your Huntington Beach service center or friendly Gustafson Brothers technician inspect your hoses at least once a year and replace them, if needed, before they break.

The team at Gustafson Brothers can check your cooling system and make any necessary adjustments or repairs. Give us a call at 7148475600.

Gustafson Brothers
19161 Gothard Street
Huntington Beach, California 92648
7148475600

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Viva la Differential At Gustafson Brothers In Huntington Beach

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There are a lot of Huntington Beach people who are due for a differential service, but had never heard of a differential before. With front-wheel drive being so common in California these days, the differential is just taken care of during a transmission service, so most Huntington Beach folks don’t even have to think about it. And rear-wheel drive differentials don’t need to be serviced for years, so it’s understandable that it’s not something on the top of mind. So it’s not uncommon for Huntington Beach people to not know they have a differential let alone know that it needs service.

To better understand what a differential does, think about a track at any California high school. There are lanes marked off on the track. For the longer distance races, the starting lines are staggered. The starting lines for the outside lanes are ahead of the starting lines for the inside lanes. That’s to compensate for the longer length of the outside lanes. Staggering the starting lines means that each runner has the same distance to run.

The differential compensates for the difference in speeds between the inside sedan wheel and the outside wheel in a turn, because they have to travel together through slightly different distances.

It’s a very important function. When you think of it, all the power to get a sedan moving goes through the differential. Most cars weigh between three and six thousand pounds – trucks even more. The power from the engine goes through the transmission and then through the differential to the drive wheels.

That’s a lot of work and requires very heavy duty parts. And those parts need protection. The differential fluid lubricates the gears in the differential and keeps them cool. The fluid eventually gets dirty and worn down. Some kinds of differentials require special additives that break down over time. So manufacturers recommend intervals for when to replace your differential fluid.

Your friendly Gustafson Brothers service technician will drain the used fluid and check it out for metal bits, which could be a sign of excessive wear on the gears. He’ll then replace the fluid and install the additives if necessary.

Your Gustafson Brothers service advisor can look up the sedan manufacturer’s recommended service interval or you can check your owner’s manual.

At Gustafson Brothers, we’ve been providing quality automotive service for our valued Huntington Beach customers for 40 years. If you need to schedule differential maintenance, or any other automotive service, give us a call at 7148475600.

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Hitting The Brakes In Westminster

Hello Huntington Beach, let’s talk about brakes. Braking, as all California motorists know, is slowing or stopping your vehicle. As you can imagine, brakes are engineered to work well on a particular vehicle application. For example, you would expect more powerful brakes on a heavy-duty pickup that routinely hauls big loads and pulls trailers, than you would on a compact car. And a Corvette that can go over 180 miles per hour would have much different braking needs than the family mini-van you drive around between Huntington Beach, Huntington Beach and Westminster.

Hitting The Brakes In WestminsterBut the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There’s also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.

Let’s step back. A new sedan or truck rolls off a local Huntington Beach showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.

Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles start to add up on the sedan. Huntington Beach drivers tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads, and shoes on drum brakes, are called the friction material. That’s because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it’s not until they are worn so thin as to be out of car makers’ specs that they lose their ability to stop.

The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over many miles around California, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail – a scary possibility That’s why a regular brake inspection at Gustafson Brothers is important for your sedan and your family’s safety. At Gustafson Brothers we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.

That leads us to brake fluid service at Gustafson Brothers. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the sedan fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system reduce the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at Gustafson Brothers cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.

The tires are what connect the sedan to the road. Stopping force all comes down to traction. The better the tires grip the road, the quicker you’ll stop.

This is especially important on wet Huntington Beach area expressways and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. California auto owners need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.

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Fuel Saving Tip: Auto Myths Around Huntington Beach

With high fuel prices in Huntington Beach California comes lots of gas saving advice. Some of it, like what you hear on AutoNetTV, is really great. Some is myth. And some is just designed to prey on Huntington Beach California people desperate to save some money on gas.

Auto Myths When you get one of those e-mails that’s going around telling you how to save gas, try to think it through.

Does it really make sense? Does it defy the laws of physics?

Do some research on the internet or ask your Huntington Beach California service advisor at Gustafson Brothers.

There aren’t any magic pills you can drop in your gas tank and the government hasn’t suppressed a device you can clamp on your fuel line to make your car run on air. Not even in Huntington Beach!

So next time you get one of those e-mails, check it out with an automotive professional. You’ll get more bang for your buck with an oil change or an engine air filter replacement.

We’re Gustafson Brothers, give us a call at 7148475600 for good honest advice about your car.

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Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down Around Huntington Beach

There’s not much we can do about the price of gas in Huntington Beach California, but we do quite a bit about how much we use as we’re driving on our Huntington Beach streets.

Our driving habits can dramatically affect our fuel economy.

Slow Down In Huntington Beach for Fuel Economy The first thing we can do is watch the ‘go-pedal’. Hard acceleration just sucks the gas. Gently leave stop lights and plan lane changes so you don’t need to floor it. That can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Go a little slower on the freeway to Huntington Beach. Once you’re going more than sixty-five miles an hour your fuel economy starts to drop dramatically. Leave early so you don’t need to rush to be on time. And cruise control is your friend – steady speed uses less gas.

Plan errands ahead. Make fewer trips by combining errands.

Hey at current gas prices, a lead-foot might as well be a gold foot.

Gustafson Brothers
19161 Gothard Street
Huntington Beach, California 92648
7148475600

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