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CarCare Tips

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Saving Fuel

CarCare Tips

Important Items to Carry in your Vehicle

Saving fuel

10 simple steps for a more fuel-efficient vehicle:

  1. Check your owner's manual to find out what fuel octane rating your car's engine needs then buy it. Resist the urge to buy higher-octane gas for "premium" performance, unless your car requires it. Octane has nothing to do with the gasoline's performance, merely its volatility factor in the combustion chamber. Translation: If your manual doesn't specify that your car needs premium gas, there's no reason to pay more for it.
  2. Keep your tires inflated to the proper levels. Under-inflated tires make it harder for your car to move down the road, which means your engine uses more fuel to maintain speed. In fact, a single tire, under inflated by two pounds per-square-inch (PSI), increases fuel consumption by one percent. Check your owner's manual or the decal in your car's doorjamb for correct inflation levels.
  3. Make sure that you change the oil and maintain your car's powertrain according to your owner's manual. This will ensure that your car's engine will operate at maximum efficiency, thus providing the best fuel economy. Dirty air filters, old spark plugs and low fluid levels can affect engine performance and fuel efficiency.
  4. Lay off the accelerator. A car uses more fuel under hard acceleration. So don't race up to red lights or stop signs, avoid quick "jackrabbit" starts, and don't goose the throttle to jump into holes in traffic.
  5. Avoid high speeds on the highway. As your speed increases, the aerodynamic drag increases in exponential fashion, so the engine has to work harder - and use more fuel- to maintain your speed and move the car through the atmosphere. Driving 62 mph instead of 75 mph can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 15%. If you have it, cruise control is a great way to maintain a safe, fuel-efficient highway speed while cutting down on fuel-burning deceleration/acceleration.
  6. Lighten the load. Heavier vehicles use more fuel, so clean out unnecessary weight in the passenger compartment or trunk before you hit the road.
  7. Use the A/C sparingly. The air conditioner puts extra load on the engine, forcing more fuel to be used. On average, a car operating with the air conditioning engaged uses about 20% more fuel. If it's just too hot to bear without A/C, try to keep it set at around 75 degrees.
  8. Keep your windows closed. Wide-open windows, especially at highway speeds, increase aerodynamic drag and the result is up to a 10% decrease in fuel economy. If you want to have fresh air coming into the vehicle, run your climate system on "outside air" and "vent," and crack the window.
  9. If you own a pickup truck, consider getting a tonneau cover or a tube-style tailgate. These items will help to minimize drag over the cargo bed and allow the vehicle to slip through the air stream more efficiently.
  10. Avoid long idling. If you anticipate being stopped for more than one minute, shut off the car. Contrary to popular belief, restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle.

Source: Autobytel

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CarCare Tips

Don't neglect your vehicle! Follow these steps to extend the life of your vehicle, ensure safer operation, benefit the environment, and help avoid an accident due to mechanical failure:

  1. Always consult your owner’s manual, but a good rule of thumb is to have the oil filter changed regularly, every 3,000 to 4,000 miles.
  2. Have all fluids checked, including brake, power steering, transmission/transaxle, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze. These fluids play a large role in the safety and performance of the vehicle.
  3. Check tire inflation. Under-inflated tires can result in a loss of fuel efficiency. This is the least expensive form of preventive and safety maintenance. Tires should be checked once a month.
  4. Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or plugged/restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent.
  5. Have the chassis lubricated frequently. This step extends the life of the moving components of the vehicle's suspension system.
  6. Check battery cables and posts for corrosion and clean them as needed. The battery fluid should also be checked and filled if it is low, except in the case of maintenance-free batteries.
  7. Have the lighting system checked frequently, including headlights, turn signals, and brake and tail lights.
  8. Check windshield washer blades for cracks, tears and windshield contact. Replace them approximately once a year or sooner if streaking begins.
  9. Inspect engine belts regularly. Worn belts will affect the engine performance. Look for cracks and missing sections or segments.
  10. Have the air filtration system checked frequently. The air filter should be checked approximately every other oil change for clogging or damage. This system ensures that the vehicle is performing at its peak condition.
  11. Always consult the vehicle owner's manual for individual service schedules as manufacturer maintenance requirements vary greatly.
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Important items to carry in your vehicle

In case of road-side emergencies, accidents, or bad weather, always have in your vehicle the following items:

  1. Jumper cables
  2. Pliers, an adjustable wrench and a screwdriver
  3. First-aid kit
  4. Blankets
  5. A supply of any regularly needed or taken medications
  6. Candles and matches
  7. Sand or kitty litter for climates with snow or ice
  8. Clean water
  9. Canned fruit or nuts and a can opener
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