Car Care Tips

How do I save on fuel?

Do I have to go to the dealership for repairs or scheduled maintenance?

How often should I change my oil?

Save money on repairs

Summer weather automotive tips

How do I prepare for a long trip?

Should I repair my car or buy a new one?

Is my car safe to drive?

How do I save on fuel?

Go for the shade

The hot summer sun that makes the inside of your car feel like a sauna also zaps fuel from your fuel tank. So park your car in the shade of a building or tree whenever possible. And buy a good windshield shade. A windshield shade blocks sunlight and helps to keep heat out of the inside of your car.

Use your garage for your car

Got a garage? Clear it out and make room for your car. Parking in your garage will help your car stay warm in winter and cool in summer, and you won't have to depend as much on your fuel-guzzling air-conditioning or defroster when you drive.

Pump up your tires

Don't get caught driving on under inflated tires. Under inflated tires wear down more quickly, and they also lower your car's fuel mileage. Your car's fuel mileage may plummet by as much as 15 percent. Driving on under inflated tires may also reduce the life of your tires by 15 percent or more.

Check your tire pressure once a month

Buy a digital gauge and keep it in your glove box. Compare the pressure in your tires with the recommended pressure listed in your owner's manual and on the placard located in your car door. Then inflate your tires as needed. Be sure to check tire pressure when your tires are cold. A good time is early in the morning after your car's been idle overnight.

Keep your engine in tune

Fixing a car that is out of tune or has failed an emissions test can boost fuel mileage by about 4 percent. So be sure to give your car regular tune-ups. You'll also want to watch out for worn spark plugs. A misfiring spark plug can reduce a car's fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent. Ensure your mechanic checks for them.

Replace air filters

When the engine air filter clogs with dirt, dust and bugs, it causes your engine to work harder and your car becomes less fuel efficient. Replacing a clogged air filter could improve your fuel mileage. It's a good idea to have your engine air filter checked at each oil change. The Car Care Council recommends changing your car's air and oil filters every three months or 3,000 kilometers or as specified in your owner's manual.

Use the right oil

You can improve your vehicle fuel mileage by 1 to 2 percent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. Use motor oil with the words "energy conserving" on the performance label. This oil contains additives to lower the friction.

Don't skimp on maintenance

Your car's performance depends on it being properly maintained. The owner's manual of your vehicle will tell you what maintenance is needed and when. If you have any questions, your auto repair shop will be able to show you the recommended maintenance for your car. Follow the car care guidelines outlined in your owner's manual. Not only will they improve efficiency, they will also save you money on costly repairs in the long run.