NAPA Expert Explains How to Save Money at the Pump – UnderhoodService
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NAPA Expert Explains How to Save Money at the Pump

Now that summer is here, most experts expect gas prices to continue to rise. Without coupons or other discounts, Americans are finding it tougher to afford the gas they need for daily activities. However, replacing several common preventive maintenance products can help save drivers money well before they need to fill their ….

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Now that summer is here, most experts expect gas prices to continue to rise. Without coupons or other discounts, Americans are finding it tougher to afford the gas they need for daily activities. However, replacing several common preventive maintenance products can help save drivers money well before they need to fill their tanks.

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"The key to reducing the financial strain of rising gas prices is to make sure your vehicle is running at an optimum level," says Bob Arlotta, NAPA Technician of the Year. "There are several common parts located throughout the vehicle that if not functioning properly can really limit a vehicle’s gas mileage, costing owners more at the pump."

No matter whether vehicle owners decide to replace the parts on their own or have an ASE-certified technician do it for them, the following products all help contribute to improved gas mileage:

• Fuel Filters – When fuel filters become plugged, sensors signal a vehicle’s computer to send more fuel into the engine, resulting in poor fuel economy, emission testing failure and engine system wear. Regular replacement or cleaning of fuel filters will help reduce consumption by not triggering the sensors.

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• Spark Plugs – Spark plugs are subjected to extreme conditions in the engine’s combustion chamber, which can result in the engine misfiring and fouling, which wastes fuel. Replacing spark plugs at regular intervals will help keep the engine operating at an optimum level, while improving fuel economy and reducing emissions.

• Locking Gas Caps – Locking gas caps can contribute to fuel economy by preventing theft. If someone tries to pry off the cap, the top of the cap will break away, leaving the cap neck in the tank. This will deter even more determined thieves who are unlikely to take the time needed to pry the neck from the tank.

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• Oil and Filter Change – Clean oil reduces friction between moving parts in your engine, increasing fuel economy and reliability. Consumers should check their vehicle’s owner’s manual for the recommended oil and filter change schedule.

• Air Filters – An air filter clogged with dirt, dust or bugs chokes off the air and creates a "rich" mixture, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power.

Additionally, ensuring other common parts are in good working condition, such as oxygen sensors and properly inflated tires can help greatly improve gas mileage.

"Talk to your regular automotive technician about developing a plan to make sure your vehicle is maximizing gas mileage," added Arlotta. "If you don’t have a regular automotive technician, interview several service centers in your area to find the one that fits your needs best. Having someone who’s familiar with your vehicle can save you time and money."

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NAPA AUTO PARTS distributes parts, accessories, tools and equipment to 6,000 NAPA AUTO PARTS Stores and more than 12,000 NAPA AutoCare Centers nationwide, including the fuel savings products mentioned above. For more information about NAPA, these products or selecting a regular automotive technician, visit www.NAPAonline.com or www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

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