The Car Coach: Pain at the pump
Have you filled up your tank lately? Watching gas prices rising daily has become a chronic pain at the pump for drivers. Gas prices are heading north of $4 a gallon. To help alleviate the pain, Lauren Fix, the Car Coach, has some simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance tips.
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None of us can control the price of gas, but you can control how much gas you burn by performing proper maintenance and how you drive. Performing simple and inexpensive maintenance can save more than $1,200 per year in gas costs, with these gas-saving maintenance tips:
•Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of four percent.
•Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by three percent. Check your tire pressure once a month. To find the proper tire pressure for your car, look inside the driver’s door.
•Replace dirty or clogged air filters every six months and improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. If you can see light through the filter, air is getting through, if not – replace it.
•Replace dirty spark plugs, which can reduce mileage by two miles per gallon per your owner’s manual.
•Change oil regularly and gain another mile per gallon. Using synthetic oil will give your engine a longer life, better fuel economy and fewer emissions.
Driving behavior also impacts fuel efficiency, so use these gas saving driving tips to save as well:
•Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph.
•Avoid excessive idling. Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Warming up your vehicle for one or two minutes is sufficient. Also, skip drive-thrus.
•Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.
•Consolidate trips. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much gas as one longer multi-purpose trip.
•Don’t haul unneeded items in the trunk. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent.
For more information, visit www.carcarenewsservice.org. Car Care Council is a non-profit educational source.