7 best ways to save money as a Lyft/Uber driver!

Car troubles can happen to anyone, especially if you’re driving around all day getting passengers from point A to point B. Rideshare drivers put immense amounts of miles driving around their customers, inevitably leading to the slow deterioration of your vehicle’s components. Fortunately for you, small hacks and tricks can be used to improve the longevity of your car and save you big bucks on upcoming car repairs. These tips are so simple to implement you won’t even break a sweat. Without further ado, here are 7 tips that can help you save money on car repairs:

  1. Shop around. Different shops are always running discounts. The trick is finding who’s got the best deal coming up. Luckily, we can do that for you! 
  2. Use better oil, but only change it every 6,000 miles. It’s 10% more expensive, but it only has to be done ½ as often. 
  3. Don’t buy the tires that came with the car. Get something cheaper. Tire manufactures sell tires on new cars at or near a loss. Then they mark them up to the aftermarket, knowing that people will default to the tires that came with the car.  
  4. Know when you can ignore a repair and when you can’t. Contrary to what your local mechanic says, not all repairs are urgent. Some can wait a while. Others don’t have to be fixed at all! Knowing which you can ignore will save you a lot of money. KarSavior can tell you when a repair is really serious or when it can be ignored. 
  5. Use reputable mechanics. “Bargain” mechanics get you to come in for a cheap oil change, then they insist the car needs a new air filter, even though the user manual says it’s good for another 20,000 miles. Thankfully KarSavior shows you the recommended maintenance in straight forward manner. Simply click to find out what you need and don’t get anything done that’s unnecessary. We also only work with the best mechanics. 
  6. Make sure your car gets good, quality parts. Some mechanics try to buy the cheapest possible parts to make the most money. However, it’s often penny wise and pound foolish. For example, just a small amount more money could buy you an air filter or oil filter that’s a whole lot better. 
  7. Don’t buy premium gas. For most cars, it doesn’t do anything. The car should require it. If your car does require it, chances are the car is expensive and the depreciation is too high. You should sell it, buy something with less depreciation, and make more money! 

The Car Savior is a car repair concierge service, finding you honest, quality car repair services without all of the games, mumbo jumbo, or gotchas you find elsewhere. When booked with our service, we allow only the best parts and best mechanics. Then we let mechanics bid against each other to get you the best deal – without sacrificing quality. That’s The Car Savior way. Visit us here!

Why You Make More Money With Ride-Sharing Apps Driving an Older Car

I once rode with a driver driving a brand new $60,000 Lexus complaining he wasn’t making any money because his car was depreciating so quickly. Really? I thought. That’s not higher math! 

  • Put 161 miles in an 8 hour shift. That makes depreciation and insurance a significant cost 
  • Figure out the cost of insurance and decreased resell value. 
  • Multiply the numbers out 
  • Determine the cost per mile. 

Assume 50,000 miles per year. 

We should do it for Ford Focus (new and 3 years old) and Hyundai new and 3 years old. 

  • Price to figure out how much age costs (same car same mileage (maybe 50k, getting older and older) 
  • Then price to figure out how much mileage costs (start with a 5 year old car, price to very high mileage) 

Worried your car is going to be in the shop for a week? Think again. Schedule your repair with KarSavior. You can likely get your car repaired at your house!  

Why Driving Like Vin Diesel is Actually Good for Your Car

Burning fuel isn’t always a perfect process. The best known example is soot in a fireplace or campfire. It occurs when combustion isn’t complete.

While engines have a lot of electronics to make sure combustion is well controlled, soot still builds up inside. The result is a layer of grime on everything. The grime causes all sorts of problems. Valves don’t close. Air doesn’t flow very well.

The inside of the cylinder can be particularly problematic. There is buildup, normally carbon, which is a thermal insulator. The insulation means the surface gets hotter than it would normally (since steel and aluminum are good at carrying the heat away from the surface). The thicker the carbon, the hotter the surface. Eventually the surface of the carbon gets so hot, the fuel auto ignites, causing knock.

So what’s the solution? Drive it like you stole it! High engine temperatures combined with lots of air and fuel flow often will knock carbon loose. It will probably need more than one 0 to 60 sprint. Generally four or five in close succession may do as much as a fuel treatment.

It isn’t just the engine that benefits. Transmissions have higher fluid flow at higher RPM. The higher flow blows out accumulated dirt in solenoids and valve bodies, resulting in better shifting.  Noisy brakes (due to dirt) can sometimes be cured with a hard stop. In certain Ford Focus transmissions, aggressive driving will even cure serious transmission issues!

So If you’re out driving, don’t be bashful. Step on it every once in a while! Your car might run better.

The Car Savior provides faster, cheaper, easier car repair by providing you an online diagnosis and quotes from vetted mechanics. If you’re having car issues and are looking for a deal, try us out. We are an easy-to-use service and help you learn more about your car so you can understand how to maintain your vehicle!

Car issues? Get a free diagnosis and repair bids from great mechanics: www.blog.thecarsavior.com 

 

Why 200k miles is the new 100k

People used to fear owning a car over 100,000 miles. 200,000 was uncommon unless the engine was replaced.

The truth is, most modern cars on the road will go 100,000 or even 150,000 with zero unscheduled maintenance. That’s right. Not a single thing will break. Even at 200,000 miles, most cars are still fairly reliable. A blown, well-maintained engine is almost un-heard of today.

The market reflects it. Check around for a Toyota truck with 200,000 miles or more. Chances are, it’s more expensive than you think. Why? Because people know there’s a lot of life left in them.

Cars are getting more reliable for a lot of reasons:

  • Reliable cars sell better, so every manufacturer has been fighting to make their cars better.
  • Emission standards oddly, inadvertently made cars more reliable too. Newer engines must burn gas more cleanly in order to pass emissions. Dirt and grime in the engine causes wear; so now the engines last longer.

Why did emissions standards make cars more reliable?

  • First, the EPA wanted to make sure cars didn’t accumulate a few miles and then start belching bad stuff so they implemented a rule that said a certain percentage of cars would be randomly selected after they accumulated 100,000 miles. A minimum percentage of the selected cars still had to pass an emissions test. Worn, poorly running engines won’t pass an emissions test so they were forced to be reliable. Because manufactures are often running right up against the limit of emissions, engines would have to run close to as well as they do new as they do at 100,000 miles.
  • Second, is because manufactures were forced to build engines that burn fuel more completely. One of the leading causes of engine wear is dirt circulating through the engine oil (this is discussed in detail here). The primary source of that dirt is incomplete combustion of fuel which also happens to be very bad for emissions. Because emissions laws are always stricter, combustion is getting better and better with time, wear is decreased, and engines last longer. The Chevrolet small block is a great example. A 1980’s vintage would barely survive 150,000 miles. A newer model commonly lasts 250,000 or more.

Walk through a junk yard and it becomes clear. Older cars have reasonable seats and interiors that look fine. They were sent to the junk yard because of a blown engine or transmission. Newer cars in the junk yard don’t look so good. Seats and Steering wheels are worn through to the foam. Carpets worn through. These cars didn’t die because of a blown engine. They died because of no one wanted to drive them.

-Christiaan Best
Ford F-150 with 227,000 miles (original engine and transmission)

The Car Savior provides faster, cheaper, easier car repair by providing you an online diagnosis and quotes from vetted mechanics. If you’re having car issues and are looking for a deal, try us out. We are an easy-to-use service and help you learn more about your car so you can understand how to maintain your vehicle! Visit us at: www.blog.thecarsavior.com 

Why Premium Gas Is Worthless

Lots of people buy premium gas when the car doesn’t call for it. You’d think that treating your car to better gas will result in it running better. In reality, that isn’t the case. Unless your car was designed for it, more expensive gas doesn’t make your car last longer, produce more power, or even have better emissions. Sadly, it’s just money down the drain.

So what is premium gas anyway? Premium gas has a higher octane rating. Generally everything else is the same. What is octane? Octane is a measurement of how much fuel can be compressed before it spontaneously ignites. While the fuel is supposed to burn in the engine, spontaneous burning is very bad. It causes all sorts of problems, like engine knock, premature engine wear, and other issues.

The higher the octane rating, the more it can be compressed. The more it can be compressed, the more power you can make. But guess what? The amount an engine compresses fuel is fixed (in most cases) from the engine geometry. So, if your engine isn’t designed for it and doesn’t have higher compression, it runs exactly the same

What if your car does call for it? Then it’s best to use the expensive fuel. Cheap gas can cause spontaneous burning. As mentioned, this is a problem. The electronics in some cars require high octane gas to compensate for lower quality gas (with lower power and worse fuel efficiency). However, not every car has good enough electronics to do this and it’s hard to identify if your car is one of the cars with good enough electronics to compensate. It’s better to be safe than sorry and use the more expensive fuel. Otherwise you could be risking engine damage.

How do you know if it’s designed for it? Check your gas cap. There’s almost always a label on cars that require expensive gas.

 

*check the average fuel station to see what % of premium fuel is sold

The Car Savior provides faster, cheaper, easier car repair by providing you an online diagnosis and quotes from vetted mechanics. If you’re having car issues and are looking for a deal, try us out. We are an easy-to-use service and help you learn more about your car so you can understand how to maintain your vehicle! Visit us at: www.blog.thecarsavior.com 

 

How Mobile Mechanics are Cheaper than Brick and Mortar mechanics

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get your car fixed at your home or office? You’d never have to drop off your car at a shop. You’d never have to deal with the inconvenience of being without your car.

The fact of the matter is that it’s often cheaper to have a mechanic come to you versus you going to them.

Brick and mortar shops have high overhead. When a job is booked, the mechanic actually working on your car is generally paid 25% or less of the net proceeds from your repair. When a mechanic comes to your house, they’re putting a much high percentage of the proceeds in their pocket. Of course, it takes a lot time to drive to your house. Sometimes it’s harder and slower to a repair a car without a full shop. But it’s more than made up for by the increase in pay.

The advent of smart phones accelerated the change. It used to be that only big shops could afford the expensive electronics necessary to interface with a car’s electronics and diagnose any issues. Now a smart phone and a $25 Bluetooth widget is all you need. Because of emissions laws, the interfaces are mostly standardized between cars, by law, for all cars made after 1996 (because of emissions laws). Now good mechanics can leave their shops, work less and make more money doing mobile work.

The mechanic makes more money, the customer saves money. Everybody wins!

Of course, big jobs still need a shop, however a good mobile mechanic is more than capable for 90% of most issues.

 

 

The key is finding the right mobile mechanic for your issue. No one person knows everything about everything or has the tools to disassemble every piece of the car. Mechanics tend to specialize in certain types of jobs. Some are perfect for transmission repair. Others are geniuses at electronics. Some aren’t physically strong enough to pull an axle (which can be surprisingly difficult).

 

 

Thankfully, KarSavior has you covered. We match expertise with your issue and making sure your car is fixed right – often without ever dropping off your car! Isn’t that nice?

Isn’t it better to go the dealer?

People assume that today’s cars are so complicated that only the dealer understands them and only the dealer can interface with the car’s electronics.

The fact is that the electronic interfaces are mostly standardized between vehicles made after 1996 (because of emissions laws). While the electronic interfaces used to cost $15,000+ ten years ago, the modern smart phone caused the price to plummet. Now a smart phone and $30 worth of tools is enough to diagnose almost any issue.   

Of course, there are exceptions. Sometimes, you need more than the $30 widget. These issues are easy to spot by the symptoms they display. Once identified, these repairs are automatically forwarded to mechanics with more extensive tools or expertise with the particular issue. Most of the time, this is a specialty shop KarSavior has found to be the best at repairing this type of issue – often better than the dealer. However sometimes, we will recommend the car to dealer. 

Rest assure that when a car needs to go the dealer, we will let you know. For everything else, you can enjoy 50% or even 80% off!  

Why Some Engine Oils Are So Much Better Than Others – The Differences Will Surprise You.

There’s a lot of religion and dogma about motor oils – both on the street and on the track. We thought we would apply some science to it. We’ll explain why it’s okay to change your oil every 10,000 miles with some oils and every 5,000 with others. The differences will surprise you. We’ll deep dive into the differences.

Here’s a quick summary:

  • Don’t believe the marketing of oil companies. Talk to an engine rebuilder. Often, companies that market the most have the worst oil.
  • Conventional oils vary widely. Some are terrible, some are good. Pay 5 or 10% more and get decent conventional oil that will last at least twice as long, or longer.
  • Don’t switch from conventional to full synthetic on an older car, it will leak – a lot.
  • If you have a turbo or supercharger, always use full synthetic.

Okay let’s dive in:

There are three basic types of oil on the market.

  1. Conventional
  2. Semi-synthetic
  3. Full-synthetic

So what does this mean? Let’s go through each:

Conventional: It’s made from oil that comes out of the ground. It’s natural and since nature doesn’t usually make anything pure, it has a whole lot of other stuff in it. The “stuff” depends on where it was drilled (for example Texas versus Canada) and how much of it was “cleaned” or refined. Most people also add some other ingredients, giving marketing something to talk about.

Synthetic: This doesn’t come from the ground, it’s made in a factory. This means that it comes out very pure. Most vendors will add good stuff back depending on the vendor and the application (for example street or race use, etc.).

Semi-synthetic: This is just a mix of both.

How do they vary among the brands?

Some brands are more refined than others (making them more pure). They also have different additives or different amounts of additives. The differences make a significant impact on the way the oil behaves with time and heat.

It’s kind of like saying boiled chicken feet and premium fried chicken are the same because they come from a chicken.

They’re both from a chicken, so they should be the same right?

The quality of the oil determines how long this process takes or how much heat is necessary. We should emphasize that heat dramatically accelerates the process, but it can happen with time alone. Conventional oil that sits in a stored engine for decades is just like driving for 30,000 miles without an oil change.As background, all oils breakdown with heat and time. Eventually, the oil starts to change thickness (or viscosity). It will begin to get clumpy, start to burn and leave a coating on everything.

When you pull apart an engine that’s had super cheap oil changes at the manufacturer’s recommended interval (normally 6,000 miles or more), you can instantly tell. Some engines will have clumps that feel like canned mushrooms in your oil (gross!). In spots, it will burn and deposit a thick coating on parts (think about the bottom of a pot of chili that was left on the stove too long). Clumps or solids are REALLY bad for the engine. The engine needs oil at the proper thickness to function. If it’s clumpy, it won’t flow to all the parts. Small passages might get blocked entirely.

Some gross, clumpy oil that is obviously past due for a change. Source: Quora (link)

Better performing conventional oils do the same, but break down at much higher temperatures and over longer periods of time.

The difference in performance between good conventional oil and poor conventional oil is dramatic. If you’re pulling apart a motor, it’s hard to tell if an engine had good conventional oil or full synthetic (assuming oil changes at 6,000 miles or less and no turbo or supercharger – more on that later).

Also, remember the old myth that states you should change your oil every 3,000 miles? Even the worst oil will last 3,000 miles in your average car. But why not spend a few dollars more and change the oil half as often?

What about synthetic oils?

Synthetic oils are really “stable” compounds. That means they take a lot of heat to break down or burn. As I recall, synthetic oils must get almost twice as hot to burn compared to conventional oils.

What does that mean? Some cars have engines that run really hot such as race cars, powerboats, or anything with a turbo and supercharger (especially if they are oil cooled superchargers or turbos). These cars really need full synthetic oil. Anything less will burn up and clog the oil system. Ever hear of a turbo that died with very few miles on it? Chances are cheap oil had something to do with it.

In most engines, the oil never gets hot enough to start burning high-end conventional oils. Therefore, the engine doesn’t know the difference between good quality conventional and synthetic oils – assuming reasonable (less than 10,000 mile) oil changes.

So how often do you have to change synthetic oil?

Marketers will have you believe it’s up to 15,000 miles or more. While that might be true for some engines, heat and chemical breakdown normally isn’t the limiting factor for synthetic oils. The limiting factor becomes contaminates.

Not everything burns in the cylinder. Some stuff gets left behind and can end up in your oil. The oil will absorb some amount of this “stuff” – like of like water will absorb salt up to a point. The amount of “stuff” oil can absorb is called “solubility”. With enough miles, the oil becomes so dirty that it needs to be changed. The oil can’t hold any more “stuff”. The stuff is also generally too fine to be caught by the filter.

Newer engines are much better at burning everything and leave less “stuff”. So while I wouldn’t go 15,000 miles between full synthetic oil changes in a 1964 Caddilac, I might consider it in a new hot hatchback.

One more important thing: Synthetic oils also have a low “solubility” when compared with conventional oils. That means they can hold less dirt. Diesel engines are very dirty. Because of the dirt, they are better off with a conventional oil that will absorb more dirt.

Should I switch to synthetic oils?

Here’s the interesting part. Conventional oils have all sorts of nasty stuff in them (some more than others). That nasty stuff makes your engine seals swell. If you switch to full synthetic, all the seals will probably shrink. Your car will leak from places you didn’t know it had. So, we wouldn’t recommend changing unless the car has few miles on it. If you’ve made this mistake, that’s okay just switch back and the seals will swell again.

What about blends or semi-synthetic?

This is hard to discuss. We haven’t seen enough engines to know whether the oil they’re selling is 1-part boiled feet and 10 parts premium Church’s fried chicken or the other way around. We suspect it’s probably 10 parts feet and 1-part Church’s.

What’s the difference between race oil (AMSoil makes some) and full synthetic street oil

Street oils must conform with emissions laws. In other words, they can’t put anything they want into the oil (for example lead) that will burn off and cause problems. For street use, there are some common industry specifications that oils must conform too. For race oil, the door is wide open (and often your pocketbook). These additives often increase temperature tolerance of oil and sometimes leave an anti-wear coating on parts. The difference can be tiny, if any, between the two. Plenty of race teams use street oil.

So, what do we recommend?

Thanks to attorneys, I can’t tell you which oils are terrible. I can tell you that Castrol GTX is a good conventional oil for daily drivers without turbos. There’s a reason why you see it called out by name on the refill cap of some high-end cars. I use Mobile1 for full synthetic when it’s needed, but I haven’t tested a lot of other oils. I stuck with Mobile1 after I asked an Indy car mechanic which oil they used. Their response was, “because we’re sponsored by an oil company [other than Mobile], we can’t tell you that we use anything else … but I can tell you that we have plenty of Mobile1 around the shop. We’ve found that it’s the only oil that holds up.” For old cars (60’s era), I use a zinc additive to keep my flat tappet cams from wearing – a problem that popped up after the removal of lead in gasoline.

In our customer’s cars, we never allow mechanics to use anything but quality oil – just like other any replacement part.

Stay tuned. In future posts, we’ll talk about what picking the right viscosity (in some cases ignoring the manufacturer), filters, and gas mean.