Any time gas prices climb, we are often asked, “is there anything I can do to improve my gas mileage?”. The fact of the matter, is there are numerous options for improving fuel economy. The racing industry has used all these techniques for generations to go faster, but the part that many people forget is that these same techniques also improve gas mileage.

Wet induction: Wet induction is a system that introduces a small amount of liquid to the air which is drawn into the engine. The liquid is generally water, but can be any number of liquids, such as denatured alcohol, or methanol. The liquid serves several purposes. It cools the incoming air, cools the combustion chamber, increases the compression ratio, cleans the intake valves and combustion chamber, and in the case of denatured alcohol, or methanol, it also increases the octane of the gasoline. All of these factors combine to greatly improve the efficiency of the motor.

Hydrogen induction: Introduce hydrogen into the in coming air stream, much like wet induction.

Propane induction: introduce propane into the air stream, much like wet induction. You can also alter a vehicle to run on propane alone.

Maximize air flow through the motor: Because a motor is just an air pump, any time you make it easier for the motor to move air, you will increase horsepower, but you will also increase fuel economy. Several techniques for increasing the motors efficiency include Port and polish, larger intake and exhaust, ram air systems/ velocity stacks.

Port and polish remains a favorite modification racers use to improve the way their engines produce power. By carefully honing out certain areas of the motor, it allows the motor to more easily draw air into, and push air out of the motor. The less work the engine must do to move air in and out, the more efficient the motor will be, and thus fuel efficiency will be increased. The head, intake manifold, exhaust manifold, and throttle body are all areas that can be ported and polished to improve air flow over the factory design.

A must for improved air flow is upgrading the intake and exhaust. Aftermarket intakes will be larger in diameter, and use a larger, easier breathing air filter. Also, an intake manifold with a larger plenum will allow for a more efficient motor. The larger plenum area reduces the amount the individual cylinders will compete for air, particularly at higher RPM’s. The exhausts will also be larger in diameter and will use larger, faster flowing catalytic converters, while still effectively keeping emissions an acceptable levels.

Another cheap and effective way to maximize air flow is the use of ram air and velocity stacks. Ram air systems use the vehicle’s forward movement to force air into the intake, rather than relying on the vacuum of the motor to draw the air in. Ram air systems also often employ a velocity stack. A velocity stack is simply a specifically shaped cone which increases the speed at which the air enters the motor by gradually tapering the space the air has to enter the motor. It’s based on simple physics; if a gas is moving through a confined space, and the space gets smaller, the air will move faster. The air then travels into the engine faster, and therefore makes the engine more efficient.

Tuning and engine management: One of the most effective ways to improve fuel efficiency is tuning. By advancing the ignition timing, and slightly leaning out the air fuel ratio, the car will greatly improve in power, and fuel economy. There are numerous systems available, ranging from simple off the shelf programming tools which come with pre-made maps, to full blown replacement, stand alone ECUs (engine control unit). All of these different tuning systems can be use to various degrees to improve fuel economy.

Weight reduction: One of the easiest ways to increase fuel economy is to simply make the car weigh less. Steel can often be replaced with aluminum. Many metal items can be replaced with fiberglass or carbon fiber. Body panels can be replaced with fiberglass, or carbon fiber (carbon fiber weighs less than fiberglass and is stronger than steel). Heavy steel rims can be replaced with aftermarket alloy rims (reducing rotational weight, such as the rims, axles, rotors has a dramatic effect on fuel economy). Seats can be replaced with lightweight versions. Heavy gas tanks can be replaced with much lighter fuel cells. Unnecessary items can be removed, or can be trimmed down (brackets, options, features, power windows replaced with hand crank etc) the list goes on and on.

Improved aerodynamics: Improving the aerodynamics of a vehicle will improve fuel efficiency. Body kits, canards, wings and underbelly pans can all be added to improve the ease at which the air moves past the vehicle. The less the car has to fight to get through the air, the more fuel efficient it will be.

Reduced drive train loss: All vehicles have some power lost through their drive train, as it is an inevitable part of the process. We can, however reduce that loss. Water and power steering pumps can be driven my electric motors rather than off the crank pulley of the motor. The motor and transmission mounts can be made much stiffer to reduce the amount of drive train loss due to the engine twisting in its mounts. Drive shafts and axles can be made from light weight materials to reduce the all important rotational weight, and thus also increase fuel economy. The motor itself can also be rebuilt using lighter weight parts (pistons, rods, crankshafts, camshafts, valves) in order to even further push the fuel economy by lowering rotational weight.

Gearing: One simple change is gearing. Just through gearing alone, we can alter a vehicles top speed, acceleration, and fuel economy.

Conversions: The be all, end all, for increased fuel efficiency will always be changing the way the vehicle is powered. Switching to diesel, bio-diesel, hybrid, or even hydro electric motors to power vehicles will be the top end, all out version of the fuel efficient vehicle. Gasoline vehicles can be converted to run on e85 or propane/ natural gas. Any car can be powered by any drive train, it is just a matter of making it happen.

BOB’s and WOW’s: In the automotive industry, there are bob’s (best of the best) and wow’s (worst of the worst). These are parts that meet manufacturer’s requirements, but they are at the extreme ends of the acceptable range. Some cars get all bob’s, some get all wow’s, most get a combination of the two. We will simply use nothing but BOB’s, as we will be able to strictly control the quality of product we are using.

Address pattern failure: Yet another ugly truth the automotive producers would rather not discuss is pattern failure. All vehicles have inherent problems with them. These inherent problems are referred to as pattern failure. We address these problems by using higher quality parts and engineering. By eliminating pattern failure, we will produce a better vehicle.

One of the most popular questions we get is, “what kind of car should I buy?”. Here are a few rules of thumb when it comes to buying a new or used car.

Always get a pre-buy inspection on ANY used car. A pre-buy inspection is generally about $60 and is well worth every penny. Also note, if the person or business selling the car is unwilling to let you have the car inspected, move on to the next car.

Secondly, maintenance is the key to longevity with any car. Read and follow the recommended maintenance schedules that the manufacturer has outlined for you vehicle. The only exception to this would be oil changes. Change your oil every 3,000 miles. Many manufacturers claim you can go longer between oil changes, but I highly recommend you change your oil every 3,000. By far the most common engine failure is due to poor maintenance of the engine oil. For more detailed information on properly maintaining your vehicle, please visit here.

That being said, here is my list of the cars I would recommend, in regards to least amount of mechanical trouble. Of course personal taste comes into play, but if you are simply looking for a dependable car that will maintain it’s value, this list goes from best to worst.

Japanese imports remain the most dependable cars. The Toyota family is the best and includes Toyota, Scion and Lexus. They hold their value, and rarely have problems. By far the cars we see the least of for repairs would be any type of Toyota.

The Nissan Family, Nissan and Infinity, are also very good cars. One important note, Nissan does not release their parts to aftermarket manufactures, which in turn means many parts for Nissan vehicles must be bought from the dealer which results in higher repair costs.

The Honda Family, Honda and Acura, is an excellent choice for a lower cost vehicle which will have little to no problems. They are very well engineered, they are easy to work on, and hold their value better than almost any other car.

Subaru, my personal favorite, is a fantastic line of cars. One word of caution, they are very susceptible to bad head gaskets. If a Subaru is over heated at all, the will very quickly warp the heads which will in turn lead to a fairly costly repair bill. They do however have one of the very best all wheel drive system of any make.

Mazda is another Japanese import. The rotory engine in the RX7 and RX8 is an amazing animal, but simply has problems with longevity. Also consider that many Mazdas are re-branded Fords. They often have problems with their automatic transmissions.

The Kia and Hyundai car family have come a long long way over the years. Although they used to be on the cheep side, they are now very good cars.

Mitsubishi’s are generally good cars, but would be lower on my list of Japanese imports. Mitsubishi makes many of the engines that Dodge and Chrysler use in their cars. Many Mitsubishi are also re-branded as Chryslers, and have been since the early eighties.

Any European import, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Land Rover, are all about the same. These are what we refer to as a “driver’s car”. They have great power, they’re comfortable to drive, they have all the gadgets. The biggest problem with a European import, is that they tend to fall apart after 60,000 miles. On top of that, everything for a European import is more expensive, when you can find a shop willing to work on them. The parts cost more, and so does the labor. Just about European car I would recommend selling before the factory warranty is up. Even the Bugatti Veron is rumored to be riddled with problems.

Domestics are just behind the times. They generally use older technology. Their interiors are generally not as nice, and they just break down more often. Their trucks are far superior to their passenger cars, and if you want a diesel truck, you basically have no choice but to buy a domestic.

The Ford Family, Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury (and some Jaguar), is most likely the best of the domestic big three. They have a terrible time keeping an automatic transmission from dieing an early death.
Their power steering pumps puke fluid out if you steer the vehicle with out the engine running. Also, the power steering will whine, and there is nothing you can do to fix it. Their air ride equipped vehicles have problems with leaks, leading to a rather comical squatting in the rear look.

The General Motors family, Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, Pontiac, Buick, Hummer, despite my hatred, is still better than Dodge, Chrysler, or Jeep. The fuel pumps go out on General Motors vehicles at the drop of a hat (60,000 miles). The intake manifold design is horrific and leaks coolant about the same time the fuel pump shuts down. They are rickity, and they use the same technology over and over and over, even if it doesn’t work. If you buy a Cadillac, expect to have to replace thousands of dollars worth of control modules over the life of the vehicle.

Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep. Just don’t do it. They are by far the vehicles we see the most for repair. Fuel pumps, engine control units, transmissions, bad motors, just about any major component that could go bad, does.

By far the most popular question we get is, “How Do I Find A Mechanic I Can Trust?”. This proposal remains very difficult to answer. The fact of the matter is that the quality of service you will receive will depend entirely on the actually mechanic working on your car. I’ve met fantastic and terrible mechanics at dealerships, chains and independent shops. Here are a few tips for finding the right mechanic for you.

Talk to the mechanics. This approach is far more difficult at some facilities, such as larger dealerships, but will garner the best results. If the mechanic attempts to talk over your head with technical jargon, I’d steer clear of him. He is most likely trying to impress you because he is actually a fairly low level mechanic. Similarly, I’d avoid a mechanic who talks down to you just because your car doesn’t happen to be your area of expertise. Look for someone who tries to explain things as clearly and as straight forward as possible. Most mechanics I have respect for always use a visual aid of some sort to help explain the situation.

Get several estimates in writing and read them carefully. Often times a shop will attempt to lure a customer in by offering a “lower price”, but these low ball estimates are often missing key components, or have lower quality parts attached to them. Similarly, many shops go for the “get them once” approach, where they will simply charge way more than any other shop in town. The idea here is that they may not get your business ever again, but they got as much as they could out of you the one time you visited their shop. Carefully compare the parts and labor costs. Ask the shop where they get their parts. After looking through a handful of estimates, it will most likely be very clear who you will prefer to do business with.

Ask what kind of warranty they offer. 12 months and 12 thousand miles remains an industry standard warranty, but each shop is different. Many shops, from independents to dealerships also offer a nation wide warranty. Questions about whether or not a shop will stand behind their repair will allow you to gauge how likely it is they will fix your car appropriately. Furthermore, any mechanic that becomes offended when questioned about his warranty should be avoided.

Look for a specialist. All mechanics have their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to repairing vehicles. If you can find a shop that specializes in your specific vehicle, or a mechanic at a shop who specializes in your particular vehicle, you will often come out ahead. This remains one area that dealerships will always have an advantage because their mechanics work on the same make day in and day out.

Ask for references. Any mechanic worth his salt will have a long list of customers who will vouch for his skills and honesty.

If you do have a vehicle repaired, check your invoice to see if the mechanic has included the four C’s. A mechanic who does include the four C’s is almost always better than one who does not.

Lastly, I would offer the suggestion that most mechanics are not that bad. Many of us are just folks that like to fix cars. The problem is that a small percentage of mechanics are truly just crooks, and that small portion of the market has given us all a bad name. If you do a little home work, and ask the right questions, I am sure you can find an honest mechanic who will take care of you as if you were one of the family.

This post address vehicles that are not starting after having sat for a period of time. For information regarding a vehicle that died while driving and then failed to restart, please see this post.

First off, i recommend keeping a few things in the car for just this type of situation. A small socket set with metric or standard sockets (depending on the make of vehicle) a standard screwdriver, a Philips screw driver, a pair of pliers, a can of starting fluid or brake clean, a flashlight, jumper cables, and a tow rope. This small assortment of tools will get you far in life. Even the best mechanic is worthless with out some tools.

To start, try to crank (turn over) the engine. Observe what happens. If the car turns over very slowly, you most likely have a dead battery. Run your wipers, roll your windows up and down (if electric) and note the speed at which these work. If the wipers and window motors move slowly, your battery is most likely dead. Attempt to jump start the vehicle.

Take note to make sure you are connecting positive to positive, and ground (negative) to ground. Look at the battery for the denotation, often times battery cables have been switched and you can not necessarily trust red for positive, black for negative. Also, you may need to let the donor car run for a length of time while attached to the dead vehicle before the car will start. If the car dies as soon as the donor vehicle is detached, you most likely need a new alternator.

If you try to turn the motor over and nothing happens, or if you tried to jump start the vehicle and still nothing happens, you likely have a problem with your starter. If you have a bad starter, often you will be able to hear a faint “click” when you first try to start the car.

A starter generally looks like this,
Starter
It has two or three wires going to it, and generally has a sticker on it which reads “do not strike with hammer”. If you can find the starter, check to make sure the two or three wires are all attached and seem to be in good condition, which generally they will be. The small wire is the signal wire. Occasionally this small wire will have come off, or will have broken, however, more than likely, the starter is just going bad. They will hit a point where they are not making good contact somewhere inside them, and thus they don’t energies.

If you have something that will reach the starter, try taping it, preferably while someone tries to start the car. This process will often get a starter that is going out to turn the car over a few last times. This process of tapping the starter is why they generally have a sticker which reads “do not trike with hammer”. Although hitting the starter may get it to work a few last times, it’s also not good to go beating the thing to death. Use a bit of common sense and you’ll be fine.

If you happen to have a test light, you can check for power to the signal wire while someone turns the key. If you have no power at the signal wire during cranking, than hot wire it from the main lead to the starter, and the car will start.

The next set of options is for a car that is turning over normally. If the car turns over, but fails to start, you have a crank, no start condition. Common causes for a crank no start condition are loss of fuel, loss of spark, loss of compression or a flooded motor.

If a motor is flooded, it has too much fuel in the combustion chamber to start. All modern cars have a flood clear mode. If you hold the accelerator to the floor, the car will automatically go into flood clear mode. As long as you hold the accelerator to the floor, the car will not open the injectors, and will thus clear the engine of the excess gasoline. If the car is flooded, and you put the car into flood clear mode, the car will start to fire as soon as the engine is clear of the excess gasoline. Once the car begins to fire, simply let of the gas and continue cranking until the engine starts. Common causes of flooded motors are: old ignition parts, a very dirty throttle body, too little ignition timing, or an old and stretched timing belt.

A loss of fuel is a very common cause of cars not starting. The easiest way to check if the car has lost fuel is to spray a bit of starting fluid (brake clean also works) into the intake. Remove the air intake boot, open the throttle plate and spray a reasonable amount of fluid into the intake. Replace the intake boot and attempt to start the car. if the car fires and dies, or at least pops a bit, you most likely have lost fuel.

Try dumping a gallon or two of gas into the gas tank. Your fuel gauge may have stuck in the middle and left your car out of gas. Similarly, your fuel pump may have stopped working. Much in the same way that tapping a starter may get it to work, tapping a fuel pump can often jog it into working. Bounce the back of the car, kick the gas tank, bang the top of the access panel for the fuel pump (if equipped), anything to jostle the fuel pump may get it to work. Lastly, you may have lost injector pulse. If you have a test light, unplug one injector and check to see if the test light lights up during cranking.

Another common cause of a crank no start condition is loss of spark. Remove one spark plug, connect it to the ignition cable or coil pack, depending on the type of ignition system you have, and try to start the car. As long as the spark plug is grounded and you have a good ignition system, you should be able to see a spark arc across the spark plug. Loss of spark varies widely from car to car, but may be a bad distributor, bad crankshaft or camshaft sensor, a bad plug wire, bad cap or rotor, bad ecu or even a bad spark plug. If you have lost spark, you probably need to take the car to a shop.

The last cause of a crank no start condition we will cover is loss of compression. This event occurs when the timing belt or timing chain brakes, slips or strips. If you have a trained ear, you will hear that the car has lost compression as soon as you crank it over. The engine may turn over extremely quickly due to no resistance in the motor, or it may turn over with a strange off rhythm. Regardless of what has caused the loss of compression, you will most definitely need to take the car to a shop to repair a loss of compression.

One last thing to consider, if you use BG products to maintain your car, you receive a free road side assistance card. These cards are good for a gallon of gas, having someone unlock your car, or a free tow to the shop. This road side assistance card is one of the many reasons we recommend using BG products when maintaining your car.

I recommend keeping a few things in the car for just this type of situation. A small socket set with metric or standard sockets (depending on the make of vehicle) a standard screwdriver, a Philips screw driver, a pair of pliers, a can of starting fluid or brake clean, a flashlight, jumper cables, and a tow rope. This small assortment of tools will get you far in life.

If your vehicle stops running while you were driving, we call that a “Died in flight” situation. The main causes of a died in flight are a bad alternator and dead battery, a loss fuel, a loss spark, a loss fuel and spark, or a loss of compression.

One common problem is a dead battery due to a bad alternator. To start, try to crank (turn over) the engine. Observe what happens. If the car turns over very slowly, you most likely have a dead battery. Run your wipers, roll your windows up and down (if electric) and note the speed at which these work. If the wipers and window motors move slowly, your battery is most likely dead. Attempt to jump start the vehicle.

Take note to make sure you are connecting positive to positive, and ground (negative) to ground. Look at the battery for the denotation, often times battery cables have been switched and you can not necessarily trust red for positive, black for negative. Also, you may need to let the donor car run for a length of time while attached to the dead vehicle before the car will start. If the car dies as soon as the donor vehicle is detached, you most likely need a new alternator.

A loss of fuel is a very common cause of a car’s engine stopping and not re-starting. The easiest way to check if the car has lost fuel is to spray a bit of starting fluid (brake clean also works) into the intake. Remove the air intake boot, open the throttle plate and spray a reasonable amount of fluid into the intake. Replace the intake boot and attempt to start the car. if the car fires and dies, or at least pops a bit, you most likely have lost fuel.

Try dumping a gallon or two of gas into the car. Your fuel gauge may have stuck in the middle and left your car out of gas. Similarly, your fuel pump may have stopped working. Much in the same way that tapping a starter may get it to work, tapping a fuel pump can often jog it into working. Bounce the back of the car, kick the gas tank, bang the top of the access panel for the fuel pump (if equipped), anything top jostle the fuel pump may get it to work. Lastly, you may have lost injector pulse. If you have a test light, unplug one injector and check to see if the test light lights up during cranking.

Another common cause of a died in flight condition is loss of spark. Remove one spark plug, connect it to the ignition cable or coil pack, depending on the type of ignition system you have, and try to start the car. As long as the spark plug is grounded and you have a good ignition system, you should be able to see a spark arc across the spark plug. Loss of spark varies widely from car to car, but may be a bad distributor, bad crankshaft or camshaft sensor, a bad plug wire, bad cap or rotor, bad ECU or even a bad spark plug. If you have lost spark, you probably need to take the car to a shop.

The last cause of a car to die in flight and not re-starting I will cover is loss of compression. This event occurs when the timing belt or timing chain brakes, slips or strips. If you have a trained ear, you will hear that the car has lost compression as soon as you crank it over. The engine may turn over extremely quickly due to no resistance in the motor, or it may turn over with a strange, off rhythm. Regardless of what has caused the loss of compression, you will most definitely need to take the car to a shop to repair a loss of compression.

One last thing to consider, if you use BG products to maintain your car, you receive a free road side assistance card. These cards are good for a gallon of gas, having someone unlock your car, or a free tow to the shop. This road side assistance card is one of the many reasons we recommend using BG products when maintaining your car.

Follow your manufacturer’s suggested maintenance schedule, but here are a few helpful guidelines.

Keep all service records, and keep them together. From every oil change to major repairs, a service record is highly valuable. From a re-sale point a view, handing someone a folder of what you have done to maintain a vehicle is a shocker. Plus, if you do happen to have a problem with your car, an extensive service record is beyond valuable for a mechanic. Saving your repair records will save you money in the long run.

Never ignore a check engine light. There are no check engine light causes that “don’t matter”. Any condition that will turn on the check engine light will effect the way the vehicle’s computer delivers fuel and ignition timing, and thus fuel economy and power. The computer sees that their is a fault present, and changes its strategy from optimised fuel economy and power to to engine preservation.

Also, the check engine light is the only way the vehicle has to alert you to a problem. If the check engine light is on for a problem you know about, it will still be on when the vehicle has another problem. I don’t know how many times a car has come into the shop for a check engine light and the customer is floored to hear the computer has stored a dozen different codes, all of which require separate diagnoses, and repairs. Also repair the cause of a check engine light, it is important, no matter the cause, and it should be fixed.

Change your engine oil EVERY 3,000 miles. I recommend using Oil BG’s MOA (motor oil additive) with every oil change. Furthermore, I recommend you use an engine cleaner and fuel treatment every 4th oil change. All of these oil changes that use BG products come with a BG roadside assistance card. These cards are good for a gallon of gas, having someone unlock your car, or a free tow to the shop. In most cases, a new air filter should be replaced every oil change, or maybe every other oil change. The air filter not only is a huge determiner in fuel economy, but it is the most important barrier between you engine and dirt. Dirt is the engines worst enemy, and the air filter is the only line of defense to prevent dirt being sucked into the motor. Lastly check your engine oil every time you fuel up.

Change any fluids that apply to your vehicle regularly. Automatic transmission fluid, standard transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, differential fluid, should be replaced every 30,000 miles in most cases. Some newer vehicle are “filled for life”. These vehicles have to recommended service intervals for the fluids. Check with your service provider for more details. Generally speaking, fluids break down, and become dirty. Dirty and old fluids causes other more expensive problems, and flushing the fluid from a system and replacing it with new is often the first step in a repair process. Be proactive with your fluid maintenance and you will undoubtedly save money in the long run.

Replace your radiator cap every spring. They are inexpensive, and ware out faster than most people think. Plus, your radiator cap is actually one of the most important parts of your cooling system. The radiator cap maintains the proper amount of pressure in the cooling system. Without a properly working radiator cap, an otherwise perfect cooling system will fail and cause the vehicle to overheat. Overheating an engine is one of the worst things that can happen to it. You can technically have the radiator cap tested, and nine times out of ten the radiator cap on a car does not hold the specific amount of pressure they should.

If you go to a mechanic and ask for a “tune up”, they will most likely think you are asking for an ignition tune up. Ignition tune ups should be performed in accordance with the manufactures maintenance schedule. The mileage between ignition tune ups varies greatly and may be 30,000 miles, or 120,000 miles. A proper ignition tune up may include just spark plugs (for those vehicles equipped with coil on plug ignition), or may require spark plugs, ignition cables (spark plug wires) a cap and rotor. Always, make sure you have the proper spark plug in your vehicle. If you are unsure what plugs should be in your car, email scotty@clvr.tv, and Scotty will tell you the exact plugs you should be using. Also, when it comes to ignition cables, you really get what you pay for, so I recommend paying for top notch ignition cables.

The often overlooked “tune up” is the fuel system tune up. Many cars are equipped with a fuel filter which should be changed every 30,000 miles (some vehicles have the fuel filter in the gas tank and are not regularly changed). I also recommend a top end de-carb and injector purge every 30,000 miles. When you have a de-carb done, make sure to ask the mechanic to clean the throttle body and Mass air flow (MAF) sensor (if equipped with a MAF). Proper maintenance of the fuel system will help maintain the best fuel mileage possible.

Most imported cars, and many domestic cars have a timing belt. The timing belt and water pump should most definitely be change before the recommended mileage as a broken timing belt often results in a damaged motor, and a costly repair bill. Timing belts are scheduled for 60,000 -120,000 miles depending on vehicle. Ask your mechanic when your timing belt and water pump are due, and he will gladly tell you.

Rotate those tires regularly, and keep them full of air. Also, take your car out on the highway and stretch its legs once in a while. Cruising down the highway helps clear carbon out of the car, and is just good for a car at least once in awhile.

I understand all this maintenance seems expensive, but I often perform these same procedures to repair problems. It’s better to plan for them, plus it may save you a tow bill. Also, the cost of this maintenance is often covered by the fuel you save from having a properly maintained vehicle.

happy motoring.

There has been a lot of talk about unintended acceleration lately. If unintended acceleration occurs it can startle the driver, however it is extremely easy to deal with.

First, put the car in neutral, do not turn the car off yet. By putting the car in neutral and leaving the engine running you will stop the car from accelerating, but you will still have power brakes and power steering.

Secondly, coast to a safe location and bring the vehicle to a stop.

Thirdly, turn the car off, and put the car into park.

Lastly, check for the cause of the unintended acceleration. Is pedal stuck to the floor? Often times a floor mat will catch the pedal and make it stick to the floor. Check under the hood, is there something amiss with the accelerator cable? If everything seems okay, restart the car in park and observe what happens. If the vehicle idles normally, you may be fine to drive it. If the vehicle races, then turn it back off and have it towed to a shop.