Five ways to reduce the cost of fuel for your vehicle

Vehicles of all kinds rely heavily on gas to get to where they need to go. The price of fuel is detrimental to your limo service because fuel accounts for a large portion of the budget. Despite the inability to control or predict the trend of gas prices, there are plenty of ways to manage your business’ gas budget and significantly cut the overall costs.

Take a look at the following five ways your driver can reduce spending on fuel:

1. Drive with caution and care
If you are constantly speeding up, slowing down or slamming on the brake pedal, your tank level will diminish quickly, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Reckless driving can decrease your gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway.

Even when you are in a rush, speeding will only result in more trips to the gas station. When you surpass 50 miles per hour, it’s inevitable that your vehicle is going to eat up more fuel. If you are traveling on a highway for a long period of time, Meineke recommends putting your car in cruise control. This will help your car remain on the same speed and avoid speeding up too much, which wastes gas.

2. Maintain your vehicle
Your vehicle is like your body and it must be maintained all year long. All parts of it must be working properly in order for it to function. The fuel is the food that provides energy. If the engine isn’t regularly changed, it’s going to have to work harder and burn more gas. Avoid future problems and save money by continuously checking to make sure your car is in good shape. Change the oil if it is running low with the correct grade, depending on the make of your vehicle. If you’re using the wrong kind, it could cause your gas mileage to reduce by 1 or 2 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Other ways to impact your fuel economy include changing transmission fluid and fixing broken brakes. If the pressure in your tires is too low or too high, your engine will have to exert more energy to get the wheels turning. If there is a problem in your transmission or any other parts of the system that runs your car as a whole, fix it to improve gas mileage.

Turn off the A.C. and roll down the windows.

Turn off the A.C. and roll down the windows.

3. Prep for weather conditions
Summer spells good news for your gas mileage. When it’s hot outside, your engine will warm up without much effort, Meineke stated. But, there are still ways you can avoid guzzling gas even more. When it’s sunny and breezy outside, put down the windows to get some fresh air rather than blasting the A.C., according to U.S. News & World Report. To keep the interior cool, park in a shady area while you’re waiting to pick up your client.

When the temperatures drop, so does your car’s fuel economy. Meineke suggested conserving gas by constantly checking your tire pressures so that they can handle icy road conditions. Also bearing the cold for a moment will ultimately result in your car heating up at a faster rate. Instead of letting the engine run for a half hour before hopping inside, drive a minute after you have turned on the engine. Even if you are in park, having the engine running for a long period of time wastes precious fuel. Plus, your engine will heat up a lot quicker when it’s already cruising.

4. Remove extra baggage
Spring cleaning is applicable to your vehicle all year long. Don’t let the weight drag you down. Instead, de-clutter and remove any unnecessary items to help reduce the cost of fuel. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, adding extra cargo can add dollars to your gas bill. If your customer has heavy luggage, always place them in your trunk, according to Meineke.

5. Plan the shortest route
Take a shortcut to shed that extra time. Through Limo Anywhere’s driver mobile app, in-app mapping and GPS make it easy for you to plan the best routes for your customer.


 

Tips for staying safe on black ice

When it comes to winter driving, there are few dangers that are as fabled and troublesome to motorists as black ice. This dastardly road hazard lies in wait, virtually undetectable until it’s too late, making it particularly dangerous, especially to drivers who don’t know to look out for it.

As a limo operator, you’re responsible for ensuring your drivers and passengers stay safe, which means you need to be an expert on black ice avoidance. Here are some tips to help keep your black cars safe from black ice.

Know the conditions
Black ice is so named because of its near-invisible appearance on roads. It’s formed when a thin, transparent layer of ice forms on the surface of asphalt or concrete. The thinness of the ice keeps it transparent, and thus very difficult to see.

The key thing to keep in mind about black ice is that it’s at its most threatening when road conditions are hovering just around the freezing point. Because well-traveled roads are constantly heated by the tires of passing traffic, this means that you’re most likely to find black ice early in the morning or late at night. During these periods, not only is traffic much lighter, but the absence of direct sunlight also contributes to lower temperatures on the road.

It’s worth noting that any area that is shaded from direct sun is more susceptible to black ice, as are bridges. This is because cold air can affect the pavement from both above and below the surface, bringing the temperature down faster.

Black ice can be nearly impossible to spot on the road.

Black ice can be nearly impossible to spot on the road.

 

Know what to look for
It’s very difficult to see black ice – that’s what makes it so dangerous. However, if you know what to look for, it may be possible to spot some telltale indicators of this hazard early, giving you extra opportunity to react properly.

The most significant sign to look for is the appearance of a glossy patch on the road. Especially if the road you’re on is primarily a dull asphalt color, a sudden shiny patch, especially if the temperature is below freezing, may be a clear sign that you’re approaching black ice.

Use your brakes properly
Avoiding and surviving black ice means you have to be in impeccable control of your car. This is a good time to have the brakes in all your cars checked and updated if necessary, as they’re going to be one of the most important safety features at your disposal.

When navigating icy roads, use proper braking technique to stay safe. Edmunds recommended what is called the “stomp, stay, steer” method. This involves stomping on the brake pedal as hard as you can – don’t pump the brakes in cars with ABS features. Keep the pedal depressed as long as you can while you steer your way out of danger.


 

How to prepare your cars for the coming winter

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and while that means family dinners and delicious turkey for many people in the country, for you and your fleet of vehicles it means it’s time to get ready for winter.

Your business depends on your fleet of vehicles being ready to go this winter, regardless of what Mother Nature can throw at them. The time is now to get started on winterizing your vehicles so you don’t get caught off-guard when it counts.

Waxing
If you’re managing a limo service, you know how important it is for your vehicles to look just as good as they run. Unfortunately, winter is a season when snow, slush, salt and sand all pose threats to your cars’ exterior detailing and paint.

You may not be able to prevent driving on salt-saturated roads, but you can mitigate the impact these chemicals have on your cars’ finish by preemptively applying a coat of wax. Pay extra attention to the lower half of your cars, including the wheel wells and lower fender, as these are the areas that will see the most exposure to these wintertime stain culprits.

Make sure you outfit your cars with the right tires for the weather.

Make sure you outfit your cars with the right tires for the weather.

 

Tires
You already know that snow tires are essential for getting through a winter safely. The question is, at what point should you swap out your all-weather radials for a set of tires specifically designed to deal with cold and snow?

There’s no hard-and-fast answer, as it will depend on where you live and what the climate is like. You may think you’re being clever by just keeping your snow tires on year-round, but avoid that urge. These types of tires are made from a softer rubber that allows them better traction in snow, but it also means that they can wear down much faster driving on asphalt. Keep an eye on the weather reports, and try to get your tires swapped out before the first major snow. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with long waits at the mechanic’s.

Gas
Sure, nobody wants to get stuck on the side of the road in a snowstorm because of an empty gas tank. But there’s an even more compelling reason to keep that needle on your dashboard up. According to U.S. News & World Report, driving with a gas tank less than half-full can result in condensation forming in the tank. This can worsen the performance of your engine, making it less efficient and costing you more in fuel costs.


 

Five tips for detailing your limousines

For a limo service, appearance is everything. Consequently, detailing is an important part of ensuring a great customer experience. Careful detailing can go a long way in making sure that the cars in your fleet are in tip-top condition between regular washings.

Taking your detailing in-house can save money and give you greater control over the process. To make sure the job is done right, use these five tips for results that are sure to impress your clients.

1. Invest in a steam-cleaning machine

If you own several cars, a steam-cleaning machine is worth consideration. Steam cleaning is really one of the most effective ways to clean your carpets and any fabric upholstery, and it’s possible to find machines that will get the job done without breaking the bank.

2. Pay attention to interior details

Attention to detail will really set you apart from the crowd. Consumer Reports recommended using household items like makeup brushes, skewers and cotton swabs to clean hard to reach places like vents, cup holders and crevices. Use compressed air to clean out ducts.

detailing

3. Use the right materials

For washing the exterior, be sure that you’re using the best materials. You really can’t get away with using a single cloth or brush if you want to do the job right. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, use a stiff brush for the metal on the wheels, rags on the body, smaller brushes for areas like the headlights and side mirrors and a cotton cloth or chamois to dry. Avoid streaking on the windows by using newspaper rather than paper towels.

“Two coats of wax is considered best practice by professionals.”

4. Wax with care

When it comes to waxing, it’s important to avoid direct sunlight. Choose a cloudy day or park in the shade when you want to wash and wax the exterior to make sure that your car doesn’t dry too quickly, leaving streaks on the surface. To do the job like a professional, Popular Mechanics reported that two coats of wax is best practice.

Get some wax on rubber trim? Popular Mechanics recommended removing the stain using a little bit of peanut butter and a soft toothbrush. The oils will dissolve the wax, lifting the stain.

5. Repeat, repeat, repeat 
The simplest tip for successful detailing? Repetition. Even with the best care, your limos are going to come back from trips covered with dirt and other signs of the road. While a deep cleaning may not be necessary between every single ride, frequent attention to the details will help your cars to impress customers and stand the test of time.