Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Consumers’ pain at the pump was back earlier this year when gas prices rose daily for more than a month. But there was no need to worry, says the Car Care Council. A few simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance tips can help alleviate the pain.
“You can’t control the price of gas, but you can control how much gas you burn by performing proper maintenance and how you drive. Performing simple and inexpensive maintenance can save as much as $1,200 per year in gas costs,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
The Car Care Council offers these gas-saving maintenance tips:
n Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.
n Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent.
n Replace dirty or clogged air filters and improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.
n Improve gas mileage by 1-2 percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil.
Driving behavior also impacts fuel efficiency. The council offers these gas saving driving tips:
n Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 50 mph. Each 5 mph over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.25 per gallon for gas, according to fueleconomy.gov.
n Avoid excessive idling. Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Warming up the vehicle for one or two minutes is sufficient.
n Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.
n Consolidate trips. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much gas as one longer multi-purpose trip.
n Don’t haul unneeded items in the trunk. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces fuel economy up to 2 percent.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers.
For a free copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit carcare.org.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge