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Step 1: Check Your Tire Pressure 


Under - or over - inflation of tires can lead to decreased fuel mileage, as well as shorten the life of the tires. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency (DOE/EPA) jointly report that properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage up to 3 percent, saving up to 11 cents a gallon. Consumers should consult their owner’s manuals for the recommended tire pressure and check their tires monthly with a good quality tire pressure gauge. Also check the tread for uneven or irregular wear and cuts or bruises along the sidewalls. It only takes five minutes.


Step 2: Change Your Air Filter


Dirty air filters can cause engines to run at less than peak efficiency. Regular visual checks of the air filter can show if it needs replacing, and the owner’s manual will suggest appropriate replacement intervals – usually every 12,000 miles. The DOE/EPA report that replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving up to 37 cents a gallon.


Step 3: Change Your Oil


For maximum engine life, change your oil and filter every three months or 3,000 miles or as directed in your owner’s manual. Use the correct oil viscosity because high viscosity oils have greater resistance to an engine’s moving parts, which uses more gas. According to the DOE/EPA, motorists can increase fuel efficiency by 1-2 percent, saving 4-7 cents a gallon, by using the proper grade of motor oil.


Step 4: Clean Your Fuel System


There are a number of good reasons to maintain the fuel system of your engine. Your fuel system may need cleaning if you experience stalling, rough idling hesitation or hard starts. Removing the build-up of dirt and particles will not only help restore and improve your vehicle's performance and reduce emissions, it will also help improve your gas mileage-an important factor considering today’s gas prices.


Step 5: Get a Tune Up


A properly tuned engine can increase fuel efficiency by an average of 4 percent, saving 15 cents a gallon, notes the DOE. Have your spark plugs, ignition wires, fuel filter and oxygen sensors inspected by a reputable automotive service provider like Carlos Mobile Mechanic before hitting the road this summer.


Fuel Factoid: According to the Car Care Council, a vehicle’s spark plugs fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced regularly.

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