Riverside, California (NAPSI) - While many motorists may panic when gas prices rise, a little planning, perspective and a few simple steps can go a long way to combat the price of fuel:
• Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.
• Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by 3 percent.
• Replace dirty or clogged air filters and improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.
• Replace dirty spark plugs, which can reduce mileage by two miles per gallon.
• Change oil regularly and gain another mile per gallon.
Driving behavior also impacts fuel efficiency.
• Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph.
• Avoid excessive idling. Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Warming up the vehicle for one or two minutes is sufficient.
• Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.
• Consolidate trips. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much gas as one longer multipurpose trip.
• Don’t haul unneeded items. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent.
“It’s easy to be alarmed by the cost of gas, but when motorists take a look at the big picture, they’ll see that much of the increased cost can be offset by adjusting driving habits and implementing a proactive vehicle preventative maintenance plan,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Fuel economy is related to vehicle maintenance.
“A 20 cent increase in the price of a gallon of gas results in roughly $2 more per week the average commuter must spend,” continued White. “Simple, inexpensive maintenance and altering the way you drive goes a long way to offset soaring fuel prices, keeping more money in your wallet.”
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 copy of the council’s “Car Care Guide,” which is now available electronically, or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.