AASP/NJ Offers Motorists Suggestions on Saving Fuel

Post 269 of 271

AASP/NJ Offers Motorists Suggestions on Saving Fuel

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) advises New Jersey residents to consider some suggestions in hope of helping them get as much as they can out of rising fuel costs. “It seems like gas prices keep getting higher and higher each day,” says AASP/NJ President Bob Everett. ” Through our relationship with the Car Care Council, we have come up with some suggestions that hopefully will benefit our state’s motorists.”

According to Car Care, consumers can add miles to every gallon they pump by following a few easy and inexpensive maintenance steps with their car, SUV, minivan or pickup truck:

  • Check Engine Light on? If your car’s orange or yellow MIL (malfunction indicator light) is on, it means that it may be polluting too much and this often means you are using too much fuel. Have it checked and repaired by your local technician.
  • Vehicle gas caps – About 17 percent of vehicles on the road have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
  • Under-inflated tires – When tires aren’t inflated properly it’s like driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon.
  • Worn spark plugs – A vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plus causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced regularly
  •  Dirty air filters – An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture – too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving about 15 cents a gallon.

Fuel-saving driving tips include:

  • Don’t be an aggressive driver – Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets, which results in 7 to 49 cents per gallon.
  • Avoid excessive idling – Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.
  • Observe the speed limit Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mph driven over 60 will result in an additional 10 cents per gallon. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.
  • Combining errands into one trip saves gas and time. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multi-purpose trip covering the same distance.
  • Avoid carrying unneeded heavy items in the truck. An extra 100 pounds can cut fuel efficiency by a percent or two.

“These are the kinds of tips that all of our shops should be bringing to their customers,” Everett adds. “The more you educate the customer, the more likely they will return to your shop.”