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Practice These Healthy Car Habits to Prevent a Breakdown

Everyone can use a “me day” now and again, whether that entails a relaxing massage or an overdue check up. But what about a “me day” for your car? A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and one worn or dirty part of your vehicle could easily mean an embarrassing break down on the side of the road. While your body has 206 bones, your vehicle can have several thousand moving parts, so give it a little TLC by following these healthy car habits:

Poorly maintained tires are more than a safety concern.

Worn or deflated tires can make it difficult to control your vehicle safely, but neglected tires can also decrease fuel efficiency. For every ten degree drop in temperature, tire pressure drops about 2 percent. Heavy deflation causes rolling resistance which in turn wears the tire’s treads and increases fuel consumption, taking money from your pocket. Check pressure weekly in winter.

But don’t stop there! Check tire alignment annually and have your tires rotated every six months to balance wear on all four tires and prevent fuel-consuming drag—after all, changing tires is expensive.

Check for leaks.

Engine oil, transmission fluid, brake cleaner, and coolant should be checked regularly for quality. Your vehicle’s manual will give guidelines on how and when to replace these fluids (and their filters), but it’s easy to overlook the probability of a leak. After topping up, drive a relatively short distance and check levels to make sure volume hasn’t dropped more than usual. For visual reference, engine oil is generally an amber color (or darker), transmission fluid is red, brake and steering fluid is mostly clear, and coolant is often green, pink, blue, and even orange depending on the brand.

Check your vision. 

No, we’re not talking about your eyeglasses. The best way to see the road in volatile weather is to change windshield wipersbrake p once a year, clean your mirrors and windows, and check your headlights, tail lights, and brake lights BEFORE leaving the driveway. If a headlight is out, change both at the same time to match their luminance.

Give your car a fresh start. 

Literally. Having trouble starting your car or accelerating? Have your spark plugs checked by a professional annually to determine if they are worn or damaged. Worn spark plugs can use up extra fuel and drain the battery, another key player for your vehicle to start. It is also helpful to check your battery connections for crusty corrosion, which you can clean using this guide. This is essential in the winter when a bad battery can mean getting stuck out in the cold.

Keep the air clean. 

This goes for both you and those around you. Start by replacing the air filter to keep the air clean inside the car. Then, pay attention to stalling or black smoke, which are indicators of a problem with your exhaust. Leaks in this system can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which is dangerous when windows are down in winter, and poor exhaust will pollute the environment and violate emissions regulations.

Stay in control with smoother brakes and shock absorbers. 

According to many manufacturers, replace your brake pads and brake cleaner roughly every 25,000 miles. While bad brakes are a bit more obvious—you’ve heard the strange noises or pushed the pedal to the floor—many vehicle owners forget the equally important shock absorbers. If your ride is bumpier than usual, or it has been more than a few years, it may be time to inspect your shocks.

And don’t forget your belts. 

Belts are not cheap, and an annual serpentine and timing belt check can keep you from dishing out hundreds of dollars on repairs to engine parts and other parts of the car that suffer due to a damaged belt. You can do a visual check for cracks and wear or have a professional take a look at your next oil change.

Every once in a while, a car needs a spa day too. Practicing preventive car care will keep your car healthy, put money back into your pocket, and save you from a frustrating breakdown.

Prepare for the Cold with Antifreeze

It’s almost that time again. Winter is coming. 

Okay—Fall still has some ways to go, but preparing for the impending, extreme temperatures is not just a task for the people of Westeros. While the fantastical characters of Game of Thrones can refuel their horses with pure water, water alone will not protect your engine’s cooling system from the elements. 

Water is a wonderful coolant when combined with corrosion inhibitors, but its form-shifting properties make it insufficient in extreme heat and cold. Antifreeze not only lowers the freezing point of the water in the engine’s cooling system, it also raises the boiling point. This means that water won’t easily boil and release corrosive water vapor to dry onto internal surfaces. Conversely, the water will not freeze in harsh winter conditions and damage the cooling system. 

In addition to heat transfer, antifreeze can also help prevent scale deposits in hard, mineralized water from sticking to metal parts and causing the engine to overheat.

Antifreeze is the best way to protect the system’s metal surfaces in the long-term, but how much is the proper amount for optimal value? 

Ready-to-use antifreeze is fast and simple, but if you are purchasing drums of 100% concentrated antifreeze, the coolant to water ratio should be 50/50. Too much antifreeze (beyond 70% in the coldest climates) is no more effective than water alone in preventing freezing. 

Keep your engine cool and your water soft by maintaining your coolant, and take advantage of Keller-Heartt’s anti-freeze special through October 31st on Shell and Truegard coolants.

The Top 5 Fastest Diesel Cars

Audi R8 TDI Le Mans

Unveiled as a concept car in 2008, this powerful diesel engined Audi uses a 6.0 litre V-12 Turbocharged Direct Injection, which sprays atomized fuel directly into the main combustion chamber of each cylinder to reach a top speed of 202 mph! With an acceleration rate of 0-60 mph in under 4.2 seconds, one would be wise not to challenge one of these beauties to a race.

Porsche Panamera Diesel

In May of 2011, Porsche added a diesel engined option to its line of 4-door luxury sedans called the Panamera. The most fuel efficient vehicle in Porsche's lineup, it utilizes an Audi 3.0 litre V6 turbodiesel engine which reaches a top speed of 160 mph and can accelerate from 0-60 mph in under 6.8 seconds.

Audi A6 3.0 TDI Quattro

Launched in 2012, the Audi A6 3.0 TDI Quattro features a turbodiesel engine that Audi redesigned from the ground up, achieving a 55 pound drop in weight compared with the previous model's engine. The redesigned turbodiesel engine will launch this lovely executive sedan from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds and can reach top speeds of up to 155 mph.

BMW 5 Series M550d xDrive F10

The BMW N57 3.0 litre turbocharged inline-6 diesel engine in this high performance vehicle will take it from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph. To maximize power, the M550d uses 3 BorgWarner turbochargers to provide a quick initial boost and more power and torque at higher RPM's!

Jaguar XF 3.0d V6 Auto

As a response to the popular BMW 535d, Jaguar rolled out the XF 3.0d in 2008 and was awarded Car of the Year from "What Diesel?" magazine. With a finely tuned 8-speed ZF gearbox, the XF hits a top speed of 155 mph and accelerates from 0-60mph in 5.9 seconds.

Order Easier Than Ever With The Keller-Heartt App - Download For Free!

Keller-Heartt is a long-standing leader in the oil and lubricant industry. For over 80 years, we have provided unmatched pricing, customer service and delivery times to our buyers. In order to make buying from KH easy as possible, we're now offering an app for loyal customers, offering the ability to purchase directly from your phone.

In addition to ease of use, the app has quite a few extras to help users purchase faster than ever. One of them is the ability to add and remove products to a personalized list of Favorites, which are only a click away. 

Beyond that Favorites functionality, the new Keller-Heartt app also offers push-messaging, allowing us to send out messages directly to your phone, whenever we kick-off a new sale! That way, you can get savings on popular product lines like DEF, Brake Cleaner, Hydraulic Fluid and more, immediately. Don't worry, we won't send too many. 

If you're already a frequent buyer from Keller-Heartt and run a business such as a lube shop, machine shop, brake change center, or food processing plant, adding the app to your phone will make your ordering process easier than ever, especially when you're on the move. Which is always, right? 

Download the Keller-Heartt app from iTunes Store and Google Play Store for FREE! 

10 Amazing Custom Semis

Trucking doesn’t have to be all work and no play. These sleek, shiny custom big rigs are truly a treat for the eyes and allow the drivers to show off a little of their own personality. We tip our hat to these truckers that are hauling in style!


The vintage inspired green paint job with loads of chrome accents on this custom Peterbilt give off a cool 50’s vibe. 


This 1990 Peterbilt 379 features a sleek two-tone pearl white with gray exterior and sky-high exhaust stacks. The overall styling on this rig really highlights its immense power.


This awesome blue-flamed Peterbilt 379 has been lovingly maintained since 1988 and took home “Best of Show” at the 2016 Shell Rotella SuperRig Truck Beauty Contest.


Every inch of this brand new custom 2017 Peterbilt 389 is simply breathtaking. We’d love to hit the highway in this masterpiece!


This immaculately cared-for 1996 Freightliner Classic XL is nicknamed “The Goose” and features a “Super Sleeper” that even has a shower! Need extra parts for maintenance? They’ve even built in an air-tight cabinet on the nose of the trailer!


This 2015 Peterbilt 389 with a 2017 Mac End Dump picked up the award for “Best Lights” at the 2016 Shell Rotella SuperRig Truck Beauty Contest and we can see why.


Nothing gets our pulse racing like a great antique vehicle and this 1954 Kenworth is a prime example. The striking orange and cream paint job makes this a very hard truck to miss.


The custom graphics on this beautiful 1999 Peterbilt 379 are absolutely mesmerizing. We could just sit and stare all day!


The theme of this bright and striking Peterbilt pays tribute to everything water-related; speed boats, waves, sun, and good times out on the lake. No wonder they call it the “Wave Maker”.


And now for the craziest truck of all times: the “Shockwave Jet Truck”. Yes, folks, it’s jet-powered so when you need it there in a hurry…. Ok maybe we shouldn’t take this one out on the streets.

Energy Efficient Diesel Engines Help Achieve New EPA Targets

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are working together to address 2 interconnected and globally important needs; to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses. The agencies estimate that regulatory standards introduced in 2014 will lead to the reduction of 270 million metric tons of CO2 emissions and save about 530 million barrels of oil over the life of vehicles built for the 2014 to 2018 model years, providing $49 billion in net program benefits. The reduced fuel use alone will enable $50 billion in fuel savings to accrue to vehicle owners, or $42 billion in net savings when considering technology costs. A second phase of regulations to reduce emissions even further is planned for model years beyond 2018. (1)

With heavy-duty vehicles accounting for 17 percent of transportation oil use and 12 percent of all US oil consumption (2), the acceptance and adoption of the new regulations by the trucking industry is key. According to Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the non-profit Diesel Technology Forum, "The 4.2 million new clean diesel commercial trucks put in service from 2007 through 2015 have saved nearly 3 billion gallons of diesel fuel and delivered significant emissions reductions equivalent to removing the CO2 emissions from 6.1 million light-duty vehicles from the road for one year, and NOx emissions from all light-duty vehicles for 2 years."

Diesel engines are already favored by the transportation and shipping industries due to their unrivaled power and cost effective performance, in fact, 98% of the largest commercial trucks are currently powered by diesel engines. (3) With such a large proportion of goods being moved all over the country via diesel powered vehicles, it's clear how much of an impact vehicles utilizing clean diesel technology can have. With new developments including advanced engines, new emissions control systems and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, diesel will undoubtedly continue to be the technology of choice in the future of commercial trucking.


What is Rust Veto and Where Can You Use It?

Stored auto, metalworking, and farming equipment are just as susceptible to corrosion and oxidation as parts that are currently in use, especially if the equipment is being stored for long periods of time or shipped overseas. Maintenance is required to keep steel and iron surfaces protected in both indoor and outdoor storage conditions where high humidity, salt, fertilizers, or extreme weather can cause rusting. This is where Rust Veto can be useful in prolonging the life of your gears, lathes, firearms, or vehicle undercoating.

Rust Veto is an industrial grease or light mineral oil that leaves a protective film on metal surfaces, specifically iron and steel, and contains powerful rust inhibitors. It is necessary to lift or displace water during storage to maintain metal surfaces. The product’s coating may be translucent in order to leave identifying markings visible on equipment, or it may dry as a dark, tough coating. Rust Veto is beneficial for long-term storage, because it can protect indoor surfaces for up to three years and outdoor surfaces for roughly a year in harsher conditions.

The possible applications of Rust Veto, depending on which brand and formula is used, are wide-ranging. Various Rust Veto products can be used for steel mill equipment, railroad and transportation equipment, military weapons, outdoor farming machinery, construction machinery, and other industrial and automotive uses. Rust Veto is a worthwhile protectant that is just as easy to clean as it is to put on. Just brush or spray it on and clean it off with a petroleum solvent or emulsion cleaner if needed. It’s a simple way to lengthen shelf life and thwart damaging oxidation that can lead to compromised performance or expensive replacements.

To purchase vital metalworking fluids such as Houghton Rust Veto, click here.