Red Shoulder Hawk

Red Shoulder Hawk

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

About that tune-up...

I've been promising to write about the tune-up I got for my van.

We leased this beast new, and then we ran up so many miles it was cheaper to buy than pay for the overage. And it's been an amazing car. The engine and tranny are superb. But the luxury items started to fail the day we drove it off the lot.

I don't mind. Who needs climate controls that light up? Do I really need cruise control? The CD player failing wasn't the car's fault; my boy fed it pennies and nickels.


We'd been getting it regular tune-ups. What was the previous mechanic doing, other than taking my money!? This was the first servicing by EMO's. I'd been complaining for the last three years about the ever decreasing fuel-economy every time I had it serviced but never had seen any improvement. The car has nearly 180k miles on it, has been passing smog, and running around pretty well, but lately the best I could get was 17 miles per gallon. I was really hating driving 250 miles and then having to put $40 into the tank!

I got a call when the van was ready.

"Hi, this is John, your van is ready."

"That's great, I'll be right over."

"I've got something to show you when you get here. Something I'll be stickin' up on our wall of shame. You'll have to see it to believe it."

He's right, I see it, but he's wrong, I still don't believe it. That supermarket sheet-cake looking thing is my van's air filter.

John said, "That's been in your car for at least 50k miles, as near as I can tell. Your rotor and wires were still original. The plugs were changed in the last 30k miles. You should see some improvement in the vehicle now."

He's right this time; I saw considerable improvement. On our 700 mile trip I only filled up twice! Plus I had fuel left over when I got home. When it was new 12 years ago, under different conditions the van would get from 20 to 25 miles per gallon. And now, after John at EMO's fixed her up, she gets anywhere from 19 to 23 miles per gallon.

In other words, before this tune-up I paid 16 cents per mile in gasoline. Now I pay as little as 11 cents per mile. And I'm throwing out 30% less CO2 per mile.

EMO's Automotive serves Alameda, Oakland and San Leandro drivers. When you call, Sandie will probably answer the phone. (510) 521-2302.


  1. Thanks! I am trying not to work at that... :)

    Like getting your wish by sitting in a corner and not thinking of a white bear.