Remove unnecessary items from the passenger cabin and the trunk; less weight means you'll use less gasoline. Remove that rooftop cargo carrier when you're finished hauling -; you'll cut down on gas-hogging wind resistance.
- Check Your Tires' Pressure Once a Month.
Tires with low pressure cause the engine to work harder -; and to burn more gasoline -; to move the vehicle. Poorly aligned wheels and improperly inflated tires also wear out faster, costing you money in replacements.
- Follow Your Carmaker's Recommended Service Intervals.
A neglected vehicle burns more gas and will break down more often than well-maintained machines. The owner's manual spells out which systems need servicing and when.
Fouled spark plugs and clogged filters waste gasoline. Routine oil changes will keep your vehicle from aging before its time. If you notice changes in engine performance, like rough idling or poor accelerations, you are due for a visit to the shop. Also, never ignore a "service engine" light.
- Resolve to Become a Better Driver.
Avoid jack-rabbit starts -; sudden accelerations waste fuel and strain the engine. Speeding greatly decreases miles per gallon, so drive the speed limit. When possible, use cruise control to maintain a steady pace. Aggressive hard starts and stops wear your brakes out faster. Finally, consolidate your errands to minimize short trips.
- Look for High-Quality Repair Shops.
ASE was founded as a non-profit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. ASE-certified professionals wear blue and white shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their areas of expertise. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign.
Visit www.ase.com for seasonal car-care tips and more information.