The threat of rising gas prices is once again in the news. This time it’s reports that Iran might disrupt oil shipping by blocking the Strait of Hormuz. Just the mention of possible problems negatively impacts the price of a barrel of oil and ultimately the cost of a gallon of gas at the pump. Regardless of this week’s news, gas prices have been on a rollercoaster for several years keeping many motorists looking for ways to save money by using less gas. For most consumers, driving less is not a practical solution. The best solution is to make sure your vehicle is operating efficiently. We at the Car Care Council recommend the following simple vehicle maintenance to increase fuel efficiency:
- Schedule a tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions.
- Check the brake system and make sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free.
- Check filters and fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. Dirty air filters can waste gas and cause the engine to lose power.
- Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Underinflated tires reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
- Check that the gas cap is not damaged, loose or missing to prevent gas from spilling or evaporating.