Monthly Archives: October 2016

Tips Help Save Money of Car Care Council

Consumers’ pain at the pump is back with gas prices rising for 33 consecutive days according to the Washington Post and the average price of gas moving closer to $4 per gallon. No need to worry, says the Car Care Council. A few simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance tips can help alleviate the pain.

“You can’t control the price of gas, but you can control how much gas you burn by performing proper maintenance and how you drive. Performing simple and inexpensive maintenance can save as much as $1,200 per year in gas costs,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council offers these gas-saving maintenance tips:

  • Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.
  • Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent.
  • Replace dirty or clogged air filters and improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.
  • Improve gas mileage by 1-2 percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil.

Driving behavior also impacts fuel efficiency. The council offers these gas saving driving tips:

  • Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 50 mph. Each 5 mph over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.25 per gallon for gas, according to www.fueleconomy.gov.
  • Avoid excessive idling. Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Warming up the vehicle for one or two minutes is sufficient.
  • Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.
  • Consolidate trips. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much gas as one longer multi-purpose trip.
  • Don’t haul unneeded items in the trunk. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces fuel economy up to 2 percent.

Tips for Memorial Day Weekend Driving

Motorists traveling on Memorial Day weekend can’t do much about the high price of gas, but they can pay less at the pump by making sure their vehicles get maximum fuel economy. According to the Car Care Council, fuel economy is directly related to vehicle care and driver behavior and both can have a significant impact on how much motorists pay at the pump.

Under-inflated tires can impact the vehicle’s fuel economy. When tires aren’t inflated properly, it’s similar to driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon.

Dirty air filters can also waste gas and cause the engine to lose power. An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture, which is too much gas being burned for the amount of air. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.

Worn or dirty spark plugs can cause misfiring, which wastes fuel. Vehicles can have four, six or eight spark plugs that fire as many as three million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. Spark plugs that are replaced per the owner’s manual will lead to a better performing vehicle.

Vehicle gas caps that are damaged, loose or missing altogether waste gas. According to the council, about 17 percent of the vehicles on the road have gas cap problems, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.

“When gas prices soar, many motorists hunker down and don’t take proper care of their vehicles,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “What they don’t realize is that they can save at the pump by simply checking the tires, air filters, spark plugs and vehicle gas caps. These items can make a significant difference in the vehicle’s fuel economy and it takes very little time and money to check them.”

When it comes to driver behavior, the council reminds motorists that aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets.

Staying within the speed limit also improves fuel economy. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 miles per hour (mph) and each mph driven over 60 will result in an additional 10 cents per gallon.

Excessive idling wastes gas and is unnecessary. A vehicle needs only one or two minutes to warm up. Motorists should also avoid jackrabbit starts and hard stopping, both that make a car less fuel-efficient. Gradually stepping on the gas and gently applying the brakes will improve fuel efficiency.

Although traveling usually involves carrying luggage, motorists should try to limit any extra weight or unneeded items in the trunk. An extra 100 pounds can cut fuel efficiency by 1 or 2 percent.

Check by Driving this Holiday Season

Over-priced airline ticket – check. Excessive baggage fees – check. Long security lines and airport delays – check. Rather than embarking on an expensive, stress-filled trip by air, the Car Care Council advises that driving is the way to go to keep costs and stress in check this holiday season.

“Holiday travel by air is always hectic and expensive. Add in baggage fees, crowded airports, fewer flights and long lines, and flying does not seem so friendly,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “When you consider that a family of four traveling by car costs about the same as one person traveling by air, driving is clearly the better option.”

In addition to the obvious direct cost savings, going by car offers a number of advantages over flying including:

  • Leave when you want from where you want.
  • No airport parking.
  • No waiting in long ticket counter and security lines.
  • No weather delays.
  • Pack whatever and as much as you want.
  • Stop and stretch any time.
  • More and better meal options.
  • No rental car or taxi expenses.
  • More legroom and overall comfort.
  • No strangers sitting next to you.
  • Convenience and ease of taking your pet with you.
  • Better able to enjoy the ride.

Automotive air filters were simple to find

A quick wipe of the debris out of the bottom of the housing, and you could drop in the new filter, replace the lid and wing nut, and be on your way.

But now, with the trend toward smaller, lighter, more fuel efficient cars, the engine compartment has become smaller therefore reducing the manufactures options to place the air intake as well as the air filter which allows for clean, fresh, cool air to enter the engine for optimal performance.

According to Kevin O’Dowd, Director of Marketing & Communications at MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters NA LLC, the result is that you’ll find some very creative sizes, shapes, and locations of engine air filters in today’s cars. This means that air filters are not where you are used to finding them. The good news is, once you know where they’re located, they’re almost always very simple to replace.

Where Do You Look?
In general, expect to find your air filter located somewhere in the (usually black plastic) duct work that runs from the grille area to the top area of the engine. Your clue is usually a series of 4-6 “flip clips” that unsnap to reveal your air filter after separating a piece of the housing formerly held in place by the flip clips. With the air filter element now exposed, you can simply lift it out, noting the orientation so you can install your new filter properly.

In some cases, you’ll need to scan the full length of the duct work to locate the filter housing, explains O’Dowd. The filter may be located as far front as right behind a headlight, somewhere in the middle, or right over top of the engine. And not all filter housings use flip clips. Some use Phillips-head screws to hold the housing in place. Other applications may use hex bolts and/or nuts.

What Can You Expect To Find?
Most of today’s air filters are of a flat panel design, which minimizes space requirements while offering the maximum surface area for optimal filtration with minimal restriction to air flow. And most, but not all, are square or rectangular in shape. But some are trapezoidal in order to make the best use of available space. Also, some are mounted vertically, some horizontally, and some at an angle. Some may even be found in a tray similar to the CD-ROM tray in a computer where you simply slide the tray out, replace the air filter element, and slide the tray back in.

Just to make things even more interesting, some air filter elements in newer cars are not of the flat panel type, but may be cylindrical or conical in shape. In nearly every instance this shape is dictated by the car maker in consideration of the space available under the hood, however the replacement procedure is usually straightforward.

Once you’ve located and gained access to the old air filter, the actual replacement couldn’t be simpler, says our Purolator spokesman. Just lift out the old filter, noting the orientation (top and bottom, front and back) to facilitate installation of the new filter. Then wipe out the housing with a clean, damp rag, properly orient the new filter, and replace the housing and retaining clips or hardware.

“The cost of a new air filter is modest,” explains O’Dowd, “so we find that most professionals and DIYers opt for our premium PureONE air filter which is 99.5 percent efficient and has twice the capacity of conventional air filters. Obviously the labor is no more complex to install a premium filter, and the job is well within the capability of nearly every do-it-yourselfer, so there’s little reason to install anything less than the best filter available.”

“Plus, there’s much help available,” continues O’Dowd. “Your local repair shop technician can quickly and easily point out the location and procedure for replacing your air filter, as will the parts professional at your local auto parts store.”