Gas saving tips

Published on Thu, Mar 27, 2008
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Gas saving tips

If gasoline prices hit $4 per gallon as many economists predict, an estimated 65 percent of American car owners say they will dramatically change their driving behavior, according to a survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation. 

Driving less, however, might not be an option for some and performing simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance will not only save gas money, perhaps as much as $1200 per year, but will also improve your vehicle’s safety and dependability. 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, 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.

• Replace spark plugs. A vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as three million times each 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat, electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel.

• Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture – too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power.