In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, Americans cite gasoline prices as the economic woe that most affects them. The Car Care Council warns that putting off vehicle care and maintenance can make matters worse. Proper vehicle maintenance will increase miles per gallon.
“The best way to fight higher costs at the gas pump is to keep your vehicle running properly. You can’t control the price of gas, but you can control how much gas you burn by proper maintenance and how you drive,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Performing simple and inexpensive maintenance can save as much as $1,200 a year in gas cost.”
The Car Care Council offers these gas-savings maintenance and driving tips:
Check your vehicle gas cap. About 17 percent of the vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
When tires aren’t inflated properly, it’s like driving with the parking brake on, and can cost a mile or two per gallon.
A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced regularly.
Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving about 15 cents on a gallon.
Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 22 percent on the highway and five percent on city streets, which results in seven to 49 cents per gallon.
Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.
Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mph driven over 60 results in an additional 10 cents per gallon. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.