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Archive for May, 2013

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Hybrid/electric vehicles range in size from compact two-seaters to nine-passenger full-size SUVs, but most can be categorized as compact or midsize sedans. Many hybrids, like the Ford Fusion Hybrid, are based on conventional vehicles, while some can be more unique styled.

In today’s hybrid cars, a battery provides an electric assist to the gas-powered engine, achieving 20–35 percent better gas mileage than conventional cars. The Ford Fusion Hybrid, available at Scottsdale Ford, gets 47 mpg overall in real-world driving, saving you en extraordinary amount at the pump. Buying an electric hybrid can also offer other savings, such as federal, city and state incentives, loan discounts and insurance discounts.

According to Edmunds, regular hybrids recharge their batteries by reclaiming energy through a process called regenerative braking and/or while driving on engine power. Regular hybrids do not need to be plugged in. When the battery is heavily taxed by a lot of electric motor usage without a lot of braking, the internal combustion engine picks up the slack while the battery comes back up to charge. In order to increase electric motor cruising time, some manufacturers are creating plug-in hybrids that have more powerful batteries which can be recharged by plugging in the vehicle to normal household current. This feature allows the vehicle to perform more like a true electric car and less like a conventional gasoline car, all the while delivering exceptional fuel mileage.

As far as safety, electric hybrid vehicles have multiple layers of safety built in. In a gas car, the battery uses the chassis for its ground, which means the current path actually passes through the body of the car. The battery pack in an EV does not. It’s called a “floating” system, which is completely electrically isolated from the chassis. In fact, some components, such as the speed controller and charger, will not function if they detect a current path to the chassis, even in milliamps.

Hybrid electric vehicles also have various safety disconnects built in. These include a circuit breaker, and fusible links. All of these can be used to manually disarm the battery pack circuit, or they operate automatically in the case of tool dropped across battery terminals, collision damage, or some other situation that causes a surge of current.

For more information on hybrid vehicle safety or how they work, visit Chapman Ford.

 

CAU Quick Lane Pix

The service bays are spacious, the waiting room features free coffee and a TV, and the staff are waiting to take care of your every need.  And while this facility is located in Scottsdale, it’s not a spa. It’s the Chapman Ford Quick Lane Tire and Auto Center.

The Quick Lane Center is celebrating its grand re-opening with specials on oil changes, inspections and other services, said Service Manager Rick Webb. In addition to changes within the service bays, the lobby of the Quick Lane Service area has undergone a transformation as well. You can read the newspaper, grab a cup of free coffee, and relax as your vehicle is serviced. The staff even throws in a car wash after servicing your vehicle – standard operating procedure for this Scottsdale Ford dealer.

“We provide a multi-point inspection – a bumper-to-bumper look at your vehicle, to keep it running in top form,” Webb says. “We can work on any make or model – even diesel vehicles. We’ve added employees to help get customers in and out without a lot of hassle.”

Victor Gonzalez, the Quick Lane Service Manager, says the customers who call ahead to schedule an oil change usually wait less than an hour for the service, which includes:

  • Replace oil, filter, and lube chassis (if applicable)
  • Check air filter, tire wear, wiper blades and tire pressure
  • Check brake/reverse lamps, headlamps, tail lamps, turn signals
  • Check and fill brake fluid, antifreeze, differential, power steering fluid
  • Check and fill transmission fluid, windshield solvent

 With high summer temps arriving, now is the time for Ford service center vehicle owners to get their cooling and transmission systems checked, Gonzalez says. These two items are often neglected, but with proper maintenance, costly repairs can be kept to a minimum, he says. Another vehicle part that’s often taken for granted are windshield wipers.

“Your wipers should be inspected before the monsoon season hits in July and August, and again afterwards. The summer sun can melt the wipers or cause them to disintegrate. That’s one of those things that when you need them and they don’t work, it becomes a hazard for the driver.”

The Chapman Ford Quick Lane Tire and Auto Center is open 7am-6pm Mon-Fri  and Sat 7am-3pm. The facility is closed on Sunday. For service coupons, or to schedule a service, visit www.chapmanfordaz.com/ford_service.aspx.