Barack Obama got ribbed by John McCain when he advised drivers to fill their tires with the appropriate air pressure, but the Car Care Council, a nonprofit funded by an auto trade group, agrees with the Democrat.
Car maintenance, the group says, can do a lot for your fuel economy. Car Care recommends the following steps from fueleconomy.gov, the Web site of the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, to save money:
- Once a month, check that your tires are properly inflated. Gas savings: up to 12 cents a gallon. Boost in fuel economy: up to 3 percent.
- Replace dirty air filters. Check them every 3,000 miles. Gas savings: up to 40 cents a gallon. Boost in fuel economy: up to 10 percent.
- Use the right grade of motor oil, and change it regularly. Gas savings: less than a penny a gallon. Boost in fuel economy: 1 to 2 percent.
- Tune up your engine, about once every 30,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on the car. Gas savings: 16 cents a gallon. Boost in fuel economy: 4 percent. Taking care of a serious problem, like a bad oxygen sensor, can greatly improve your gas mileage, sometimes by as much as 40 percent.
The savings are based on $3.96 a gallon gas.
The Car Care Council also recommends keeping your gas cap on tight and replacing spark plugs during tuneups.