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Don’t let soaring gas prices gobble up your hard-earned money this Thanksgiving; carve out time to perform some simple fixes on your vehicle for better gas mileage, advises the Car Care Council. Or how about:

Before stuffing your family in the car…
Don’t hit the road on a wing and a prayer…
Get a leg up on the traffic by…
More miles per gallon is all gravy…
The dinner and the driving – it’s all about the gas…
 
OK, had enough? Put a fork in it already? Got your attention? Seriously though, Thanksgiving is one of the most heavily traveled holidays by vehicle and gas mileage can be easily improved by checking a few basic items on the car.  

Start with the tires and make sure they are inflated properly. When they aren’t, it is similar to driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon. Tire pressure should be checked at least once a month and don’t forget the spare.   

Air filters should not be clogged with dirt, dust or bugs. A dirty filter will choke off the air and create a “rich” mixture – too much gas being burned for the amount of air – that wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. A rule of thumb is to have the air filter inspected at each oil change and replaced when dirty, torn, water or oil soaked, or when showing other signs of wear. Replacing a clogged air filter will improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.   

Spark plugs are an often-neglected maintenance item because of their long-life expectancy. They are one of the hardest working parts of the engine and when functioning properly, they improve reliability and maximize engine performance and fuel economy. Plugs that are worn or fouled can cause the engine to lose power or misfire, which wastes fuel. The replacement interval for spark plugs can range from 30,000 to 100,000 miles.   

A check of the spark plugs is usually part of a routine tune-up during which your automotive technician makes sure other ignition system and /or emission system parts, as well as the onboard computer control system, are working properly. A well-tuned engine delivers the best balance of power and fuel economy and produces the lowest level of emissions.   

Gas caps should not be damaged, loose or missing. About 17 percent of the vehicles on the road have loose, damaged or missing gas caps, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.            

In addition to proper vehicle maintenance, motorists can also get better gas mileage by avoiding aggressive driving, which can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and five percent on city streets, and avoiding excessive idling as a vehicle gets zero miles per gallon when sitting idle. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.   

Motorists should observe the speed limit as gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mph driven over 60 will result in an additional 10 cents per gallon. Cruise control helps maintain a constant speed on the highway.   

Combining errands into one trip will also save gas and time. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multi-purpose trip covering the same distance.   

Motorists should avoid carrying unneeded heavy items in the trunk as an extra 100 pounds can cut fuel efficiency by a percent or two.  

For more information on vehicle repair and maintenance, please contact your local Tuffy Auto Service Center.

Tuffy’s website can be found at www.tuffydupont.co

6 Comments

I can attest that having extra items in the trunk will make a difference in fuel economy. We just returned home a few days ago from Florida. Due to extra baggage in the trunk (a good 60 pounds or so) our miles per gallon were considerably less than the trip down. We will certainly keep that in mind for future trips. :)

your posts are extremely helpful! It's easy to forget to do simple maintenance. Do you also give advice because our van is having an issue with our turn signals. Both have done it in the past but I think mainly it is the left one acting up again. It will be fine and then suddenly start going really fast. We have replaced bulbs and still have issues. Sometimes it does it and sometimes it is fine. We have held off on fixing it because we are scared we will have to spend an arm and a leg.

We just went through this in August, AFangel682. My husband thought is was just the bulb needing to be changed, but it didn't solve the issue. He had to do some more researching and found it to be a wiring problem. Luckily, he was able to fix the problem himself. Believe it or not, he got on Youtube and was able to get some help through there. Good luck with getting it fixed. I hope it doesn't end up costing you a fortune!

O yea could you please post the link? thanks

I guess it depends because some chose to stay at home during Thanksgiving day. But that doesn't mean that you will waste your time in cooking foods. With a payday advance loan, you can pay for a catering service to make Thanksgiving dinner for your family instead of having to do it all yourself. The very best part is that you will not have to spend any time or cash making a dinner for other people and can really enjoy your Thanksgiving like everyone else. It does not even cost that much. Find out more at: Payday Advance Loan.

I do several of the things you have suggested to beat high gas prices. I for sure do combine errands in one trip. I also try not to speed. I would also consider myself not an aggressive driver, so hopefully all of these will save me at the pump, as well as with stress.