Ottawa, Ontario – With gas prices inching back up, Car Care Canada is offering drivers some simple tips to help save money at the pump.
– Check your tire pressure. Under-inflated tires can affect the vehicle’s fuel economy. When tires aren’t inflated properly, it can be similar to driving with the parking brake on, and can cost two to three kilometres per litre.
– Change your oil regularly. Dirty or substandard oil can reduce fuel economy by four kilometres for each ten litres.
– Change dirty air filters. An air filter clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture that burns too much fuel for the amount of air. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve mileage by as much as ten per cent.
– Check the spark plugs. Worn or dirty plugs can cause misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs fire as many as two million times every 1,000 kilometres, resulting in a lot of heat, and electrical and chemical erosion.
– Check the fuel cap. Gas caps that are damaged, loose or missing waste fuel. About 17 per cent of vehicles on the road have gas cap problems, causing millions of litres of gas to vaporize every year.
– Practice regular vehicle maintenance. This improves fuel mileage by an average of 4.1 per cent.
Car Care Canada also offers five driving tips for fuel saving:
– Observe the speed limit and use cruise control on the highway. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 100 km/h.
– Combine your trips. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer, multi-purpose trip covering the same distance.
– Don’t haul unnecessary items. An extra 45 kilograms in the trunk reduces fuel economy by one to two per cent, while an unused roof rack and accessories adds weight and drag.
– Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower your fuel mileage by 33 per cent on the highway, and five per cent in the city.
– Avoid excessive idling. Go inside, instead of waiting in long lines at the drive-through window. A vehicle only needs to warm up for one or two minutes.