Vehicle Care and Preventive Maintenance
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Vehicle Care and Tips
Owning your vehicle means taking care of it for the long haul. We provide vehicle recall notices and crash test videos, plus we offer tips to protect your vehicle from theft and harsh weather.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, transportation accounts for 67% of U.S. oil consumption—mainly in the form of gasoline.
There are a number of ways drivers can maintain or improve gas mileage in their vehicles.
Driving and Car Maintenance
Car Maintenance Checklist:
- Use the right grade of motor oil for your car.
- Keep tires properly inflated and aligned.
- Get regular tune-ups and maintenance checks.
- Replace clogged air filters.
- Idling gets you 0 miles per gallon. The best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it. No more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days is needed. Anything more simply wastes fuel and increases emissions.
- Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking) wastes gas. It can lower your highway gas mileage 33% and city mileage 5%.
- Avoid high speeds. Above 60 mph, gas mileage drops rapidly.
- Clear out your car; extra weight decreases gas mileage by 1% to 2% for every 100 pounds.
- Reduce drag by placing items inside the car or trunk rather than on roof racks. A roof rack or carrier provides additional cargo space and may allow you to buy a smaller car. However, a loaded roof rack can decrease your fuel economy by 5% or more.
- Check into telecommuting, carpooling and public transit to cut mileage and car maintenance costs.
Car Maintenance Tips
- Use the grade of motor oil recommended by your car’s manufacturer. Using a different motor oil can lower your gasoline mileage by 1% to 2%.
- Keep tires properly inflated and aligned to improve your gasoline mileage by around 3.3%.
- Get regular engine tune-ups and car maintenance checks to avoid fuel economy problems due to worn spark plugs, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, or transmission problems.
- Replace clogged air filters to improve gas mileage by as much as 10% and protect your engine.
- Combine errands into one trip. Several short trips, each one taken from a cold start, can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
Long-Term Savings Tip
Consider buying a highly fuel-efficient vehicle. A fuel-efficient vehicle, a hybrid vehicle, or an alternative fuel vehicle could save you a lot at the gas pump and help the environment.
See the Fuel Economy Guide for more on buying a new fuel-efficient car or truck.