Record Gas Prices Make it Perfect Time to “Be Car Care Aware.”
“Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gasoline is wasted every day by motorists, because simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance is neglected,” says Car Care Canada’s Marc Brazeau. “Loose or missing gas caps, under-inflated tires, worn spark plugs and dirty air filters all contribute to poor fuel economy.”
Car Care Canada offers these fuel-saving tips:
- Vehicle gas caps – In Canada, the provinces with emissions testing programs suggest that this is a common cause for failing an emissions test – yet it is simple and inexpensive to fix. According to US studies, about 17 percent of the vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether.
- Under inflated tires – When tires aren’t inflated properly it’s like driving with the parking brake.
- Worn spark plugs – A vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,500 km, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug 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.
Other 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 2 to 15 cents per litre.
- Observe the speed limit – Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 100kph. Each kph driven over 100 will result in an additional 3 cents per litre. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.