A: The first thing we would do is zero out the MPG history in your car’s memory. Start with a clean slate and you may find that your current fuel economy numbers are better.
Keep in mind that most cars’ fuel economy is poorer in areas where winters are cold. The fuel blend is a primary reason, but heavy use of power-robbing accessories such as the heater, wipers, rear defroster and so forth also have an impact.
A: The terms are pretty much interchangeable.
For instance, we talk about buying alloy wheels or alloy rims, but if you need to be exact about it, the rim is the outer circumference of the wheel to which the tire is mounted. The inner section, with the holes for attaching it to the car is technically the wheel disk. Wheel and rim are essentially synonymous.
A: I had never heard of that trick, but I am sure it works. I wonder if a microwave also would work, or if it would set the oil on fire! To keep the peace at home, perhaps you should have invested in a crappy used oven to keep out in the garage for oil heating.
By the way, our neighbor who has a home in Anchorage just dropped off a fresh blueberry pie to thank us for plowing her driveway.
ABOUT THE WRITER Bob Weber is a writer and mechanic who became an ASE-certified Master Automobile Technician in 1976. He maintains this status by seeking certification every five years. Weber’s work appears in professional trade magazines and other consumer publications. His writing also appears in automotive trade publications, Consumer Guide and Consumers Digest.