FALLBROOK – February is known as the month of love. So, when driving around town this month, car owners should remember that a little “tender loving car care” (TLCC) can go a long way in making their cars more dependable and ultimately saving them some money.
The DriveHealthy campaign, a program of California’s Bureau of Automotive Repair, would like to remind Californians about the importance of keeping up with their vehicle’s scheduled maintenance checks.
Treating one’s car right with a few maintenance tips can save up to 20 percent in fuel costs, extend the life of the car and even help reduce air pollution.
Performing a few common sense maintenance tips, such as replacing the air filter and regularly changing the engine oil can make a difference in how a car performs.
Here are a few TLCC tips that will help cars run more efficiently and last longer:
1.Check the air filter - Replacing a dirty air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.
2.Get in tune - A properly tuned engine can improve mileage by as much as 4 percent, which creates favorable gas-by-the-gallon savings.
3.Pump ’em up - More than one-quarter of vehicles have improperly inflated tires. The average under inflation of 7.5 pounds causes a loss of 2.8 percent in fuel efficiency.
4.See the light – Service the car immediately when a warning light appears. Whether it’s the engine, oil or tire light, get assistance right away.
5.Watch the speedometer - For every 5 mph one reduces highway speed, fuel consumption can be reduced by 7 percent. Those who typically drive 70 on the highway should slow down to 65.
6.Drive smoothly – The smoother one accelerates and decelerates the better gas mileage one gets.
7.Give driving foot a break - Riding with one’s foot on the brake not only wears out the brakes but can also reduce gas mileage by as much as 35 percent.
8.Don’t idle - If stopped off the road for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine. Don’t warm up a car before driving—it’s not necessary. For every two minutes of not idling, one can save the equivalent of nearly 1 cent per gallon.
9.Straighten out – Poor alignment not only causes tires to wear out more quickly but also forces the engine to work harder, which can reduce gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.