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Driving Economically

Make The Pinch At The Pump Less Painful And Enjoy Driving

Make the pinch at the pump less painful and enjoy driving this summer. Save money on gasoline by keeping your vehicle in good running condition. Pay attention to routine car maintenance by checking your tire tread, changing your motor oil, using a gas cap and properly inflating your tires.

(ARA) - With the price of $4 a gallon for regular gasoline becoming a common occurrence across America, relief is miles away. The U.S. Energy Information Administration is predicting that the national average price for a gallon during the summer driving season will rise to $3.81, up $1.05 from last year's $2.76 price tag. Americans' wallets are hurting.

Even with tighter budgets, millions of drivers are hitting the roads for a summer road trip with a desire to make every dollar count. For motorists, now is the time to make sure their vehicle performs at full strength, to save at the pump.

Here's a simple checklist of tips motorists should perform to help keep their vehicles running safer, longer and more cost-effectively during the warm summer months:

* Check That Tread:
Motorists must take a few minutes to inspect their tires, or to visit a local tire and service outlet for a check-up. The price of gasoline provides even more incentive to check tire conditions and air pressure before heading off on summer trips. Advances in tire technology are helping deliver a new generation of moderately priced tires that offer the all-season traction and long tread wear consumers have come to expect, but with enhanced rolling resistance to help save money on gas. For example, Goodyear's Assurance Fuel Max tires, now available for passenger cars, SUVs and CUVs, fit 80 percent of consumer vehicles and help save up to 2,600 miles worth of gas over the life of a set of tires. How do the tires help save gas? Advanced polymers reduce friction as the tires roll, reducing energy loss, which results in improved fuel efficiency ... and that 2,600 miles translates into driving from New York City to the Las Vegas Strip for free. Driving experts across the country have even chosen Fuel Max to help break fuel economy world records. Reigning fuel efficiency champs, Helen and John Taylor, chose Fuel Max to help shatter the 48 Contiguous U.S. States Fuel Economy Guinness World Record, setting it at a whopping 67.9 mpg over 9,505 miles.

* Don't Overload:
Vehicle overloading can occur when trying to jam too many extra items for an extended vacation. Check the owner's manual for the maximum recommended load details. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent.

* Watch For Inflation:
Proper tire inflation is essential for increased automotive safety, optimum driving performance and significant cost savings, including better fuel mileage. Tires should be inflated to the vehicle manufacturer recommendations printed on the vehicle door placard or in the glove box and should be checked monthly. Over-inflation can lead to premature or irregular tire wear and under-inflation reduces a vehicle's fuel efficiency by an average of 3.3 percent. Easy-to-find maintenance advice is offered at

* Get Tuned In:
Before taking that long trip, visit a trusted automotive outlet and make sure your car is properly tuned. Regular vehicle maintenance can improve gas mileage by an average of 4.1 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

* Wear A Cap:
Vehicle gas caps must be tight and undamaged. Approximately 17 percent of the vehicles on U.S. highways have either misused or missing gas caps, causing millions of gallons of gas to vaporize into the atmosphere.

* Be Smooth:
Aggressive driving wastes gas and can reduce your fuel mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city. Observe the speed limit.

* Get Up In The Gears:
The higher the gear you drive in, the lower your engine speed is, which can improve fuel efficiency. So change up a gear whenever you can. This can dramatically impact fuel efficiency.

* Cruisin' U.S.A.:
Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will prevent stressful engine acceleration.

For more helpful car care advice or information on tires for cars, light trucks, SUVs and more, visit your local Goodyear retailer or go online to

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