We get a variety of questions here at the site. When gas prices start to go up – and MSNBC is reporting that gas prices are on track to surpass summer’s peak – everyone wants to know how to save on gas.
Lauren Fix, The Car Coach from the TODAY Show, has this advice from preview blog.
Change your engine air filter – this is the lungs of your car, dirty air filters are easy to replace = SAVINGS 10%
Gas cap: Broken missing or loose gas is just a waste. Last year 147 million gallons of gas evaporated. Tighten your gas cap – CLICK, CLICK
Other gas-guzzlers include
Dirty oil = 1 mile per gallon
Slipping automatic transmission = 1 mile per gallon
Cooling system thermostat that causes the engine to run too cold = 2 miles per gallon.
Driving Habits to that Improve Fuel Efficiency
Avoid quick or “jackrabbit” starts and stops.
Aggressive driving wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33% on the highway and 5% in the city.
Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 miles per hour.
Avoid excessive idling. Idling gets 0 miles per gallon.
No one wants to talk about winter, but it’s October and it’s snowing North of the Mason Dixon line so here we go….
Here are nine fine winter car care tips – after all, October is National Car Care month.
Check your tire pressure monthly (regardless of the season!). Don’t know how? Read your car’s manual or ask your auto technician.
Do not check tire pressure if the temperature is below freezing, says the Car Coach and expert mechanic, Lauren Fix. Why? Humidity can cause the air to freeze in the valve stem in the tire which will not allow you to add any additional air. Instead the air will leak out. Have a professional check the pressure for you.
Tire tread controls the grip or friction between your car and the road – without it you can slide around and easily end up in the ditch (or worse – banged into another car), says Aymee Ruiz, a spokesperson with AAA. Ask your auto technician about your tires and evaluate the tread.
Consider a different set of tires, specifically snow tires, for winter.
Keep operational fluids at a full level (gas, oil, antifreeze, windshield fluid, etc.), says Lauren Fix. Why? Cold temps may cause some parts to overcompensate and work harder than usual – they’ll need the extra fluids to help maintain their usual exertion levels.
Your battery needs to be fully charged for cold-weather starts.
If you haven’t replaced your battery in at least five years, have it checked by a professional – it may need to be changed, says Fix.
Add winter weather items to your car’s emergency kit (snow scraper, shovel, sand, extra antifreeze, jumper cables, tow rope, etc.) – they’ll come in handy if you run into car trouble.
Follow your regular car maintenance schedule to keep an eye out for potential problems. Ask your auto technician about specific things to watch out for regarding your car.
Animal safety in cars is critical to your best friend’s safety.
Restraints and Airbags
Airbags deployed in the front seat could harm your pet. And, an unrestricted pet will be thrown about and possibly injured, or injure a passenger during panic braking or in a collision. Pets should be restrained in the rear seat in pet harnesses or pet carriers that are secured by seat belts.
Don’t let your cat or dog run around in the car – it’s dangerous for both of you. Cats who don’t like the car may go berserk and try to claw their way out, or claw at you, or at the very worst, climb under your pedals. Always cage cats and place the cage on the rear floor.
Heads Out the Window? No!
See that picture with the dog’s head out of the window? Don’t do it! Do not let your dog hang his head out the window! He loves it, but it’s an easy way to get eye damage from flying dust and dirt.
No Smoking, Please
Don’t smoke in the car. This can increase feelings of nausea in humans, so most likely it would do the same to your pet.
Don’t let your dog or cat sit on your lap while you are in the driver’s seat. It can be dangerous in a panic situation to try to maneuver around your pet.
Too Hot? Too Cold? Not in the Car!
Never, EVER leave an animal inside a car on a very cold or hot day. Every year, hundreds of animals are killed this way.