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Daily Q&A: With gas prices rising, what steps can I take for the best fuel economy?

With gas prices on the rise, what steps can I take for the best fuel economy?

The spring and summer travel seasons are expected to push gas prices over $3.

The Car Care Council says proper car care and maintenance are key.

"Although fuel economy is directly related to vehicle maintenance, quite often when gas prices rise, some motorists think they can save money by putting off needed maintenance," Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council, said in a recent notice to reporters. "What they don't realize is that neglecting routine maintenance can end up costing more."

Here are other tips the council recommends:

•Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.

• Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by 3 percent.

• Replace dirty or clogged air filters on older vehicles to improve gas mileage by as much as 14 percent and change oil regularly to gain another mile per gallon.

• Replace dirty spark plugs, which can reduce mileage by two miles per gallon.

• Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph.

• Avoid excessive idling. Idling gets zero miles per gallon.

• Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.

• Don't haul unneeded items in the trunk. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent.

For these and other tips, visit: www.carcare.org.

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to ipenn@sptimes.com or twitter.com/consumers_edge. Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: With gas prices rising, what steps can I take for the best fuel economy? 04/05/10 [Last modified: Monday, April 5, 2010 5:31pm]
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