It is no secret that we depend on our cars. They take us everywhere we need to go from across the street to across the nation. Taking good care of them is an essential element in taking care of ourselves. Good car maintenance is crucial to keeping vehicles safe, but in addition to the safety factor good maintenance also improves fuel mileage, will extend the lifetime of your car, will help in the prevention of unwanted breakdowns, can increase the vehicle’s resale value, and of course it will reduce exhaust emissions and improve air quality for you and your family.
Unfortunately a large percentage of people neglect basic maintenance. Many do so because they are afraid that they simply don’t have the necessary knowledge or that they don’t have the time to perform any services. Luckily for us these fear factors are self-generated. The truth is that basic car maintenance is easy and the results are beneficial to your pocketbook and our environment . In the next few paragraphs we will cover some of the easiest areas of your vehicle to check yourself and a few helpful ideas to increase mileage.
- Keep your tires inflated to the manufacturer-recommended pressure. You can find the proper pressure in the inside edge of the driver’s door, inside the glove box, inside the gas cap cover, or in your owner’s manual. Some tires may appear alright although they actually are slightly under-inflated. This increases your vehicle’s resistance to movement and wastes fuel. It can also cause heat to build up in the tire itself and cause premature failure.
- Make sure and do scheduled maintenance on time. Periodic tune-ups are necessary with every vehicle – a poorly tuned vehicle can waste up to 20% of the fuel you put in the tank. Air filters need to be inspected and replaced as required – a restricted filter can cost you 10% of each tank in waste. Most states have some sort of test for gas caps – a poor fit of the cap allows fuel vapor to escape into the atmosphere.
- Have the oil changed at proper intervals. A good rule of thumb is 3 months or 3,000 miles but check with your owner’s manual for the vehicle you are driving. It is important from several aspects to choose the correct oil because oil is used to lubricate the engine and reduce internal friction. This friction can cause added heat to the engine which can affect your exhaust emissions and it will definitely cost you fuel mileage.
- Simple things like no heavy acceleration take offs, keeping unnecessary weight out of the car, leaving the windows up when driving at highway speeds, and following the speed limit can all lead to an increase in fuel mileage and that of course computes to a better and cleaner running car.