Easy Steps to Better Gas Mileage

With the average price of gas dipping below two dollars per gallon for the first time since 2009, many motorists have been seeing a real savings at the pump. Putting some of that savings toward basic auto care can lead to more miles per gallon and, in turn, more savings, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council encourages motorists to be car care aware and perform these five simple steps to improve fuel economy and save money.

  1. Check Tire Pressure: Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent.
  2. Use the Right Motor Oil: Improve gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent by using the grade of motor oil recommended by the manufacturer.
  3. Replace Clogged Air Filters: Replacing clogged air filters on older vehicles can improve fuel economy and will improve performance and acceleration on all vehicles.
  4. Check Engine Performance: Keep your engine running efficiently and improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.
  5. Fix It: Addressing a serious maintenance problem, like a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve mileage by as much as 40 percent

“Proactive vehicle maintenance is a motorist’s best money saving tip,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Routine auto care not only helps save on fuel costs, but it helps identify small issues so they can be serviced before they become bigger and more costly to repair.”

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.

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Emergency Safety Tips

Breakdowns can occur at any time or any place. They are generally unexpected and scary experiences that we want to avoid. Being prepared in case of a roadside emergency is crucial to your safety and the safety of your passengers.

Strive for Safety

Stay as far away from traffic as possible. Look for the emergency lane, or even a safe grassy area off the road. This especially applies when breakdowns occur on busy highways.

In the event of a blow out, it is ok to drive on the rim until you get to a safe area. Your safety and the safety of your passengers is more important than the cost of replacing a rim.

If you are unable to get your car to a safe area, move away from your car. Also, it?s a good idea to have an emergency kit in the trunk filled with flares and triangles to alert other drivers to your situation.

Place flares and/or triangles a good distance from your vehicle, which is often further away than you might think. Hazard lights can sometimes be mistaken for running lights, which may cause other drivers to steer into the emergency lane.

If someone stops to help, stay in your car with the doors locked. Crack your window and ask them to call for help if you are unable.

The same rules apply if you have been in an accident. Do not move your vehicle until the police arrive. Set up your warning markers and get away from other vehicles if possible.

Things to Know

Learn how to use your vehicle?s jack in case of a flat. Keeping a can of Fix-a-Flat in the trunk is also a good short-term fix.

High temperatures in an unattended car can reach dangerous levels in just a few minutes. Never leave children or pets in an unattended car in the heat.

Be sure to periodically check your lights. High beams, turn signals and brake lights must be in good working condition, and headlights must be aimed correctly.

Cleaning your lights on a regular basis helps increase the efficiency of your bulbs. Replace your bulbs regularly to avoid burnouts. If your headlights are hazy, try our headlight restoration service or get everything you need to do it yourself.

Summer Road Trip Tips

Before you head out on your summer road trip be sure to do the following:

Plan your journey:

Ensure you pack a road map and plan your route before you start driving. Think about where you are traveling and what extra equipment you might need.

Tire pressure:

Ensure your tires are neither over nor under inflated. Adjust the tire pressure if necessary depending on the amount of weight you may be carrying.

Tire tread and condition:

Summer temperatures heat up tires and can aggravate any existing damage to the rubber so check you have the legal tire tread depth and look out for any existing damage that may need attention.

Engine oil and coolant levels:

Ensure these are topped off to maintain the condition of your engine.

Check lights

It is essential that you check all lights including brake lights to ensure they are working and clear of dirt, which may make them hard to see by other drivers.

Check fluid levels

Do not fill your fuel tank to the brim as heat expansion during the summer months could cause a fuel leak.

In all seasons, it is important that you carry an emergency kit in your vehicle, including; torch, water, high visibility vest and blankets.

Happy & Safe Summer Road Tripping!