Considering an Alternative Fuel Vehicle in North Kingstown?
Posted November 27, 2017 10:31 AM
There is a clear and vocal demand in North Kingstown and nationally for a reduction in air pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels. This is what is driving the RI market for alternative fuel vehicles. There are a number of these vehicles on North Kingstown area roads today, and many more being developed. Yet each of these vehicles has its own advantages and disadvantages. North Kingstown auto owners should learn what these advantages and disadvantages are before running out and purchasing one of these alternative fuel vehicles at your nearest North Kingstown dealership.
North Kingstown drivers should carefully research the vehicle care before buying an alternative fuel vehicle, as it may or may not coincide with the standards for gasoline vehicles. You should look at costs as well; these vehicles may help save our environment here in North Kingstown, but that might not represent a savings to your wallet. You'll need to decide what you can afford and what will work for your lifestyle. Also, your choice of vehicle may be affected by what fuels are available in your area. Switching to an alternative fuel vehicle is not a bad decision, but it should be a carefully considered one.
Flex Fuel Vehicles Flex fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on a combination of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Because of the 85% ethanol content, this fuel is commonly called E85 in RI.
Ethanol is made from corn. So flex fuel vehicles lessen our dependency on fossil fuels. But they also raise the price of corn, which is a basic foodstuff in some areas of the world. Whether replacing fossil fuels with corn is a good idea is hotly contested right now.
One piece of Hans Imports auto advice before we move on: do not put E85 into your vehicle unless it has an engine designed for flex fuels. Because of the high ethanol content in E85, engines need special seals and gaskets to function properly on this fuel. Running an ordinary engine with E85 can lead to gas leaks and fires.
Diesel Diesel engines are nothing new on RI freeways, and many get great fuel economy. Diesel fuel can now be made from vegetable oil and other renewable sources. A diesel fuel made from algae will soon be on the market in the North Kingstown area.
Natural Gas Natural gas is less expensive than gasoline in North Kingstown and burns more cleanly. Also, gasoline engines can be adapted to run on compressed natural gas, and many natural gas vehicles are already on North Kingstown roads. You can even install a special pump in your home gas line to use to fuel your vehicle. If you are interested in converting your gasoline engine to run on CNG in North Kingstown, ask your Hans Imports service advisor about it.
On the other hand, an engine running on natural gas is not as powerful as one running on gasoline. Also, the tank you need to store natural gas is large—it takes up nearly the entire trunk of your car. Further, refueling stations are still few and far between in some RI areas, or even unavailable in many parts of the country.
Electric Vehicles Electric vehicles were all the rage in RI some years ago. But their limitations were quickly realized by North Kingstown auto owners. These vehicles won't come into their own until we find ways to improve their batteries. Currently, many of these cars have a short range before their power runs out and can only be realistically used close to home. However, they are easy to recharge since they can be plugged in at home, and there are many researchers working on improving the battery technology in these vehicles. They may yet be the vehicles of the future.
Hybrids Hybrids have been among the most successful alternative fuel vehicles here in North Kingstown and throughout the county. A hybrid gets its name because it has both a gas or diesel engine and an electric motor.
There are two types of hybrids. The full-hybrid relies on the electric motor for power, but the gas (or diesel) engine generates power for the battery. Thus, while still consuming fossil fuels, it uses less of them than a standard vehicle and also reduces harmful pollutants. Also, it overcomes the range problem of the strictly electric vehicle.
In a mild hybrid, the electric motor assists the gas or diesel engine in powering the vehicle. Thus, it uses more gasoline or diesel than full hybrids and has higher emissions. But mild hybrids are available in larger body models like full-size pickups and SUV's.
A Note of Caution about Hybrid and Electric Vehicles One last note before we leave the subject of alternative fuel vehicles. The battery in an electric or hybrid vehicle is not as tame as the one in a standard vehicle. They carry enough voltage to kill you. These are not do-it-yourself vehicles when it comes to preventive maintenance or car care. Only a trained technician should work under their hoods.
Omar and Dave are very thorough and knowledgeable about BMWs ! It's good to be working with folks who understand these cars and have the right equipment to service them. Thanks so much !
-Dave - Charlestown
Trustworthy and professional auto care, can't ask for anything more!
I have a 2007 e90 i
Omar formulated a plan to systematically address the problems we went by his plan and all I can say this is the most honest bunch of guys I have ever worked with .They go out of there way to save you money & not take it from you.
Want to run a successful business I strongly suggest this gentleman's business as a model Thanks Again Omar & the staff at Hans Imports
The service at Hans Imports is terrific. We've been a customer for about 11 years! They are detailed and they let you know what is happening with your car. I thank them very much and I appreciate all that they do!
-Mrs. Marianne M. S.
I drive a 1971 Volkswagen super beetle. I used to go to a different mechanic until my car developed a mysterious problem they couldn't fix after numerous tries. Another vw owner told me about Hans. From the moment I walked in the door I felt like a valued customer. My car kept breaking down and leaving me stranded until I took it to Omar and Dave at Hans Imports. What truly impressed me, besides the fact that my bug is running great and the problem is fixed, was their persistence and detective work to find the root cause and fix my car. Also, when Omar gives you an estimate on the cost of the repairs, the bill matches the quote. Whenever I call Hans, Sherri always answers the phone with a friendly greeting and makes sure my inquiries are taken care of. The main reason I would recommend Hans Imports is because they are reliable, trustworthy, and passionate about what they do. They truly care about satisfying their customers.
have been a customer of Hans Imports for a few years, and I am consistently pleasantly surprised by how easy they are to do business with. The explanation of what was done, as well as any suggestions for what should be scheduled is very comprehensive, and extremely helpful. Anyone I have ever dealt with (Omar, Sherrie, etc) has each provided exemplary customer service. The pricing is very fair, the work is done on time, and they have excellent communication. I look forward to continuing to take my car to them. I highly recommend them to others, as well.
very friendly and courteous mechanic, knowledgeable mechanic. I recommend him highly to anyone. thank you
-Manuel & Brenda S.
Great service. Thorough explanation. Great communication. Very professional. Highly recommended.
Great overall service!! Very good communication throughout the process. No surprises. Very knowledgeable and a pleasure to do business with.
Omar and Dave impressed me with their professionalism, friendliness,and brand knowledge. They took care of some mysterious issues that had been bothering me on my 2002 BMW 325i. I was very relieved that the problems weren't as bad as I was fearing. They also did some routine maintenance and a really neat headlight lens restoration that makes them look brand new. I wish I had discovered these guys a long time ago.
I was impressed you took the time to grease our doors..I had no idea they could be that quiet!!! lol
The work was completed courteously, promptly, and within the estimated cost.
Thank you Hans Imports for making my 71 Bug safe to drive. The price was right and you were very thorough about what work was done and what to keep an eye on. I'll be back again!
Courteous service. Repaired ahead of anticipated schedule, no problems.
Just arrived back in CA. The bus handled great.
-Steve & Molly R.
Appreciate how quickly you were able to take our vehicle in, assess the problem, and complete the repairs. Great follow through updating us as things progressed. Many thanks!
-Elaine & John C.
I really appreciate the repair of spedometer/odometer, in addition to the other work done. I also appreciate the report given upon completion of work which includes other work needed along with the description of work performed
5 Stars. Great service. Very happy.
The service with Hans Imports was quick and professional. This is the time of service you cannot find in many businesses today. Thanks!
Service was excellent. See you next time I need something done.
-John and Marie F.
You always do high quality work, Omar. I am a nut with four cars, and I can't afford to fix any of them...times are tough. Hope things are going well for you guys. thanks
You guys did a great job...very professional. Although I no longer own the car, I have recommended you to several friends. Good luck.
I have graduated from URI, so I won't be in the area anymore...but thanks for the service!
Fast, fair and honest. 3 traits missing in most repair shops these days. Thanks guys.
Unbelievable service. Omar and Dave went way above and beyond in servicing my aging Jetta wagon. Skilled, genuine, fair, they have earned all my future business.
This is the best place by far that we have had our cars serviced. Great Job and a great staff.
Mr.martin is diligent and precise in his diagnostic capabilities. Yes, I would recommend this business to a friend.
Yes and I have! (recommended this business to a friend). Get ready to do my fan in the next week,
Meticulous and professional mechanics with excellent customer service. The repairs done to my Vanagon look like works of art
I appreciate your courtesy and the thoroughness of the information that you provide. All repair shops could learn from you!
I had a very sick car...I didn't think it would ever be the same. By the time Hans Imports was done with it, it ran just like I remember it...quietly and smoothly. They are the best!
Great job. I will be back!
Hans was able to pinpoint all the issues our car was having, and prioritized the repairs.
Thanks Omar. I'm never sure I will get the least expensive service, but always certain I'll get the most honest assessment and more careful repair.
I am always very happy with the service I recieve from Omar & everyone who works in his business.
According to recent studies, 5 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities are clearly caused by automobile maintenance neglect.
The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of coolant should be checked. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.)
Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled. The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps and hoses should be checked by a pro.
Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual, or more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage or tow a trailer.
Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended, or more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drivability problems (hard stops, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.
A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; let the tires cool down first. Don't forget your spare and be sure your jack is in good condition.
Check your owner's manual to find out what fuel octane rating your car's engine needs then buy it.
Keep your tires inflated to the proper levels. Under-inflated tires make it harder for your car to move down the road, which means your engine uses more fuel to maintain speed.
Lighten the load. Heavier vehicles use more fuel, so clean out unnecessary weight in the passenger compartment or trunk before you hit the road.
Use the A/C sparingly. The air conditioner puts extra load on the engine forcing more fuel to be used.
Keep your windows closed. Wide-open windows, especially at highway speeds, increase aerodynamic drag and the result is up to a 10% decrease in fuel economy.
Avoid long idling. If you anticipate being stopped for more than one minute, shut off the car. Contrary to popular belief, restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle.
Stay within posted speed limits. The faster you drive, the more fuel you use. For example, driving at 65 miles per hour (mph) rather than 55 mph, increases fuel consumption by 20 percent.
Use cruise control. Using cruise control on highway trips can help you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, reduce your fuel consumption.
Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or plugged/restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent.
Inspect the engine's belts regularly. Look for cracks or missing sections or segments. Worn belts will affect the engine performance.
Have the fuel filter changed every 10,000 miles to prevent rust, dirt and other impurities from entering the fuel system.
Change the transmission fluid and filter every 15,000 to 18,000 miles. This will protect the precision-crafted components of the transmission/transaxle.
Inspect the suspension system regularly. This will extend the life of the vehicle's tires.