Car Tips

  • According to recent studies, 5 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities are clearly caused by automobile maintenance neglect.

  • Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or plugged/restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent.

  • Check your owner's manual to find out what fuel octane rating your car's engine needs then buy it.

  • Keep your tires inflated to the proper levels. Under-inflated tires make it harder for your car to move down the road, which means your engine uses more fuel to maintain speed.

  • Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; let the tires cool down first. Don't forget your spare and be sure your jack is in good condition.

  • Inspect the engine's belts regularly. Look for cracks or missing sections or segments. Worn belts will affect engine performance.

  • The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of coolant should be checked. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.)

  • Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual - more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage or tow a trailer.

  • Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended - more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drivability problems (hard stops, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.

  • Use cruise control. Using cruise control on highway trips can help you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, reduce your fuel consumption.