All things considered
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend, approximately 13,000 people are killed on the road, and neglected auto maintenance contributes to more than 2,600 of those deaths and at least 100,000 debilitating injuries. All of this amounts to more than $2 billion dollars in lost wages, medical bills and property damage.
Avoid mechanical failure
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the leading cause of mechanical failure is overheating; other deficiencies include low coolant/anti-freeze, loose or worn belts, cooling system hose malfunctions and low tire pressure – all of which are very easy fixes.
Tips to help you save on fuel
To save on fuel, The Car Care Council suggests the following tips:
Vehicle gas caps – Avoid fuel evaporation by ensuring that your gas cap fits snuggly and “clicks” after each re-fill.
Under-inflated tires – When your tire pressure is low, you’re practically driving with the parking brake on, costing you about 1 to 2 miles per gallon in fuel.
Dirty air filter – Replacing a dirty air filter can improve your vehicles gas mileage by as much as 10%, equivalent to a savings of up to 20 cents per gallon.
Worn spark plugs – You should replace your vehicles spark plugs as recommended by the manufacturer.
Before you hit the wide-open road
Save yourself time and money. Before you get on the road, The Car Care Council suggests that you complete the following pre-trip checklist:
- Your wiper blades. Consider changing them every 6 months – once in the spring and fall.
- Make sure that all of your exterior and interior lights are working properly.
- Check all of your fluid levels, including antifreeze/coolant, engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids, and windshield wiper solvent.
- Check your vehicle’s hoses and belts.
- Check tire pressure and tread.
Other fuel-saving tips
- Be patient! Driving aggressively can lower your vehicle’s gas mileage by as much as 33% on the highway and 5% on city streets.
- There’s no need to let your vehicle warm-up for more than 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pay attention to the speed limit. Your vehicles gas mileage decreases quickly when you reach speeds over 60 MPH. Use cruise control to maintain a constant speed on the highway.