Saturday, November 19, 2005

Save at the pump by maintaining your car

High fuel prices make motorists more concerned than ever about saving money at the pump.

Relief is here: keeping up with regular vehicle maintenance can improve fuel economy. Clogged fuel injectors and air filters, dirty spark plugs and underinflated tires make engines and other vehicle components work harder and consume more gas.

"With our busy lifestyles, taking the time to have routine vehicle maintenance performed can seem like busywork, but it pays off in numerous ways," said Peter Lord, executive director, GM Service Operations. "Regular vehicle maintenance and inspections can help improve a vehicle's fuel efficiency and achieve peak performance."

Travel Tips

  • Be a Planner: Map your route beforehand to maximize efficiency.
  • Control Clutter: Avoid packing unnecessary items-according to the Environmental Protection Agency an extra 100 pounds in the trunk can reduce fuel economy by up to 22 percent or about six cents per gallon.
  • Take a Cruise: Cruise control helps you maintain a constant speed on the highway and can help save gas.
  • Avoid Idling: It's a prime fuel waster. When tailgating, don't use the vehicle's heater to keep warm; bring a boom-box to listen to the pre-game instead of the car radio.
  • Drive Smart: Hard starts, stops and other forms of aggressive driving can reduce fuel economy 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets, according to the EPA. Motorists can save between 15 cents and $1.01 per gallon driving sensibly.
  • Relax: Contrary to popular belief, the faster you go, the more fuel you use. The EPA estimates every five miles you drive over 60 mph equals an extra 21 cents per gallon of gas. Plan ahead and allow yourself a little extra time. When possible, drive your household's most fuel-efficient vehicle.



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