AUTO

Fuel Efficiency Tips

Ford Racing 110 Years Restoring Your Headlights Inflate Tires - Save Fuel RV Safety Catalytic Converters Do-It-Yourself Moving Tips Connected Vehicle Technology Challenge

Tune Up, Slow Down And Unload To Squeeze Extra Miles Per Gallon
Following Fuel-Efficiency Tips Can Save Money At The Pump

(NAPSI)—You cannot stop what seem like constant increases in the price of gasoline, but you can take several common-sense steps to squeeze more miles out of a gallon.

“Although today’s vehicles are engineered with fuel-saving technologies, it still takes maintenance to ensure your vehicle performs as efficiently as it did when it left the factory,” said Roger Clark, General Motors Energy Center senior manager. “Drivers can improve their own fuel economy by making some very minor behavior changes.”

Here are a dozen tips for fuel savings from Chevrolet Certified Service:

1. Tune Up: A properly tuned engine can improve fuel economy about 4 percent, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Fixing a serious issue—such as a faulty oxygen sensor—can boost mileage up to 40 percent, so don’t ignore a service-engine-soon light.

2. Pump Up: Properly inflated tires improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent. Underinflated tires can lower fuel economy by 0.3 percent for every one pound-per-square-inch drop in the pressure of all four tires. Do not rely solely on the tire pressure−monitoring system to detect an underinflated tire—it’s best to check tires with a good gauge once a month and check your owner’s manual for more information.

3. Unpack: Carrying unneeded cargo makes your vehicle work harder and use more gas. The EPA says an extra 100 pounds reduces fuel economy up to 2 percent—even more in smaller vehicles. A loaded roof rack cuts fuel economy by up to 5 percent because a quarter of each gallon of gas goes toward overcoming wind resistance.

4. Slow Down: While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph, according to the EPA. Every 5 mph over 60 mph is like paying an additional 24 cents per gallon for gas.

5. Avoid Idling: A car gets 0 mpg when the engine is idling: While it does take a small amount of fuel to restart a vehicle, 15 minutes in the drive-through can burn through a quarter of a gallon of fuel.

6. Chill Out: Speeding, rapid acceleration and braking can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in city driving.

7. Put it in Overdrive: Using an overdrive gear on the highway reduces engine speed, saving both fuel and engine wear.

8. Roll ‘Em Down Around Town: Air conditioning reduces fuel efficiency by up to 10 percent. Avoid using the air conditioner by rolling down the windows at speeds below 40 mph. At speeds above 45 mph, wind drag uses more fuel than running the A/C.

9. Unclog: It’s hard to run if you can’t breathe. Older cars without fuel injection and computer-controlled technology can lose 14 percent of their fuel economy because of a dirt-clogged air filter. In modern cars, replacing a dirty or clogged air filter improves acceleration performance.

10. Use the Right Oil: Because oil reduces engine friction and friction makes an engine work harder, using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of oil improves fuel economy by 1 percent to 2 percent.

11. Plan Your Trips: Taking your kids to soccer or swim classes? Grocery shopping? Combining trips saves fuel and time.

12. Cap Check: Loose or poorly fitting gas caps not only can trigger the “check engine” light, they send 147 million gallons of gasoline into the air as vapor every year, according to the Discovery Channel. A missing or poorly fitting cap can reduce fuel economy by 1 percent to 2 percent.

For more easy vehicle care tips, check with your local Chevrolet Certified Service technician or visit www.mycertifiedservice.com, where you can view eight new informative videos that include easy vehicle care tips.

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Celebrating 110 Years Of The Race That Changed Everything

(NAPSI)—There’s more to the old adage “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” than many people realize.

For example, consider the automobile pioneer Henry Ford. For him, the motto was quite appropriate, because while on his way to creating one of the most successful automobile companies in the world, he suffered his share of setbacks that included the failure of the Detroit Automobile Company in January 1901. He was 38 years old, married with one son and, after losing $86,000 in the failed venture, he was broke. He had to move in with his father, William, and plan the next move toward achieving his dream of owning a car company.

“He knew that racing grabbed the public imagination and it just so happened that one of the biggest races in the country was being planned practically in Henry Ford’s backyard,” recalled Edsel B. Ford II. “I don’t think it was my great-grandfather’s intention to ever win this race. He couldn’t afford to hire anyone, so he had to drive his own car. He had never raced before and he was up against the greatest driver in the country.”

That greatest driver, Alexander Winton, proved to be Ford’s lone competition on Oct. 10, 1901 as 8,000 fans came to the Detroit Driving Club to watch. All the other competitors dropped out when their vehicles failed to start, so the main event essentially became a 10-lap match race with the winner receiving $1,000.

Even though Winton jumped to a big early lead, Ford slowly began to close the gap. As the cars raced past the front stretch grandstand on the eighth lap, Winton’s car began to sputter and Ford took the lead for good in front of a cheering crowd.

“It was a thrilling moment. It was an historic moment and a moment that identified Henry Ford as a winner worth watching,” said Edsel Ford. “After he drove into the winner’s circle, a great crowd of spectators crowded him and shouted that they were willing to back him in any venture that involved wheels.”

Now, Ford Racing is celebrating that momentous day by highlighting great moments in its storied history at www.fordracing110.com.

In addition, fans can learn about the ongoing search for the trophy Ford won that day—a cut-glass punch bowl that was sold at auction following his death in 1947. Now, Edsel Ford wants it back. He launched a search 10 years ago but failed to find it. So for a Ford of today, it’s time to try, try again.

 

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Sunny Days Create Cloudy (And Dangerous) Nights For Your Car’s Headlights

(NAPSI)—To stay on the road to safety, you need to inspect your vehicle’s headlights after they’ve been out in the sun. Its heat can cause damage to them and make driving unsafe.

In fact, if you are out cruising at night, the odds are good that you can’t see anywhere near as well—or as far—as you could when your car was new. Why? Over time, your headlights get dull and cloudy, a condition somewhat akin to human cataracts. This cloudiness, caused by degradation from the sun’s bright rays, reduces and diffuses the light going through the headlight lens. This makes it difficult to see when driving in the dark and creates an unsafe situation for many Americans, most of whom don’t even realize it’s happened. In addition, the buildup actually creates an unusual beam pattern that can be a major distraction for oncoming traffic.

Most likely, if your car is five years old or older, the headlights are already showing visible signs of weathering and hazing. Folks who live in warm climates are likely to experience the problem much sooner.

So take a step outside and look at your headlights. If they are hazy or cloudy, there’s a good chance your visibility is being greatly compromised. But there is a solution—and it’s a simple one. A headlight restoration kit, such as the one offered by Sylvania, takes only about 30 minutes per lens to restore them. You do not need to be a mechanic. You don’t even need to be mechanical. If you can wash your car, you can clean and restore your headlights.

Before heading outside on a hot day, you probably slather on some sunscreen and throw on a pair of shades to protect your skin and eyes from too much exposure. The headlight restoration kit does the same for your headlights with its unique UV Block Clear Coat, a specially formulated coating designed to extend the life of your headlight lenses. Plus, it takes years of degradation away, provides up to three times more light on the road and, most importantly, provides you with greater visibility and a safer nighttime driving experience. Certainly a case where a little elbow grease goes a long way.

For more information on restoring your headlights, visit www.sylvania.com/auto.

 

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Simple Steps To Save Money On Your Car

(NAPSI)—Experts are predicting that gas prices will continue rising to historic highs this summer, forcing vehicle owners to find ways to save money when it comes to maintaining their cars. Many Americans are already living on tight budgets, so practicing some quick, inexpensive and easy car maintenance can help you save and protect your investment.

• Maintain the air to save money on fuel. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that under-inflated tires can increase fuel consumption by up to 3 percent. One study estimates that 50 to 80 percent of the tires rolling on U.S. roads are under inflated. Properly inflated tires on all American cars could save up to 2 billion gallons of gas a year.

What’s more, a clogged air filter can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent. Air filters keep impurities from damaging the interior of the engine, so replacing dirty filters will save gas and protect your engine.

More ways to save money on fuel are available at www.fueleconomy.gov.

• Reduce your insurance costs by shopping around. Prices vary from company to company, so it pays to do your homework. Get at least three price quotes. You can call companies directly or access information on the Internet.

• Get slick to reduce maintenance costs and save fuel. Upgrading to one of today’s modern high-performance motor oils can make a meaningful improvement to your car’s fuel economy and engine life. For instance, independent studies have documented that Royal Purple motor oil improves fuel economy by as much as 5 percent and significantly reduces engine wear. Using high-performance synthetic motor oil, as opposed to conventional oils, also allows for more miles between oil changes, reducing maintenance costs and time spent working on the car.

You can find out more at www.royalpurple.com.

 

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Getting More Enjoyment From Your RV

(NAPSI)—Whether you are a rookie or a veteran when it comes to the pleasures of traveling in a recreational vehicle—or RV—GEICO professionals say that a review of the basics can help to keep you on the road to safety. Here are some tips:

Realize your size. Many road mishaps occur because of an RV’s additional size and weight. For instance, operators accidentally drive under an overpass without enough clearance because they forget about the additional height.

Know your RV’s height and keep it handy. Also know the clearances of the bridges and tunnels along your route—especially on back roads. A road atlas specifically for RVers or semi drivers can help.

Maintenance is important. An RV that’s mechanically sound will be less apt to break down. Be meticulous about maintenance. Make a pretrip checklist and do an inspection every time you get behind the wheel.

A proper maintenance program should include:

• Inspecting all belts and hoses for cracking and replacing where required;

• Checking headlights, brake lights and turn signals;

• Making sure your tires have the correct air pressure and sufficient tread depth.

Have a plan if you do break down. Carry your cell phone and know the emergency numbers to call. Also, leave your itinerary with relatives or friends so they can contact you in case of emergency.

Always wear safety belts. Passengers should be belted in also. Laws don’t require RVs to have safety belts in all areas where passengers can sit, but it is better to be safe, so buckle up!

Avoid these common causes of RV accidents:

• Fires that occur from leaking LP gas (propane);

• Tire blowouts due to overloading or to under inflated or worn-out tires;

• RV awnings and steps—Make sure RV outside steps are put away before traveling. Store them during travel and questionable weather;

• Clearance and height driving mistakes—RVs hitting bridges and gas station overhangs;

• Overloading—uneven weight can cause restricted braking and steering problems.

Make sure your coverage is up to date and fits the RV lifestyle. Not all insurance companies understand the needs of RV drivers, so it is wise to pick one that specializes in RV coverage. For example, GEICO has a dedicated team of RV insurance agents who are experts in issuing and servicing insurance policies for all types of RVs.

To learn more, visit the websites at www.rvsafety.com and www.geico.com/information/safety/rv/.

 

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Buying a New Catalytic Converter?
First Fix the Issues That Damaged the Original One?

(NAPSI)—“You need a new catalytic converter.” That’s certainly not good news for any vehicle owner, since converters are fairly expensive to replace. However, the job can become even more expensive if your service provider doesn’t fix all of the issues that damaged the original unit.

“Catalytic converters contain no moving parts, so when they fail there is usually another problem that has triggered the failure,” explains Joe Bacarella, an ASE L1 certified master technician who is also technical assistance manager for Tenneco Inc., one of the world’s largest converter manufacturers. “Unless you resolve those issues before investing in a new converter, you’re probably going to end up with the same complaint down the road.”

Catalytic converters help to clean up poisonous gases produced by internal combustion engines. These gases are fed into one or more converters beneath most vehicles. As the gases flow over a layer of precious metals within the converter, a chemical reaction changes them into carbon dioxide and water vapor.

The most common types of converter failure are “poisoning” by antifreeze, certain engine oil additives and chemical sealants; coating or fouling related to carbon buildup within the engine; oil in the exhaust stream or the use of an improper fuel; internal melting caused by excessive pollutants in the exhaust; and structural damage from a hard impact. Note that all but one of these failure modes is related to the engine’s operating condition.

To ensure a lasting repair, ask your technician to explain what damaged your original converter. If he or she can pinpoint the root cause and assure you that it has been corrected, chances are you’re getting a comprehensive repair.

For more information on converter design, operation and troubleshooting, visit www.walkerexhaust.com.

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Tips On Making A Do-It-Yourself Move

(NAPSI)—For a growing number of families, relocating has become a “moving experience.” That’s because whether they’re going across town or across the country, they’re choosing to move themselves. For some, it’s a way to have more control over the process. For others, it can add up to significant savings.

To help you take part in this trend, here are some tips from the professionals at an industry-leading company—Penske.

• Rent from experts. Renting trucks from knowledgeable professionals can help ensure that your move is smooth and easy. “Moving is one of life’s most stressful moments,” said Don Mikes, vice president of truck rental for Penske. “Our goal is to help guide people through their journey.”

• Select smart. A 12- or 16-foot truck can be a very versatile size—excellent for moving everything from a few large items or the contents of a small condo or apartment.

• Reserve early. Book your rental truck at least two weeks in advance.

• Pack wisely. Load your heaviest items first. Avoid injury by always bending your knees and lifting with your legs.

• The right accessories can make a difference. Boxes, bubble wrap, moving blankets and hand trucks are essential to protect your items and make your move more enjoyable.

• Mark it up. Label as you pack. It makes it easier to put the boxes in the right room when unloading.

• Think safety first. Rental trucks are taller, wider, heavier and require more stopping distance than cars.

Pick up your truck early. Practice driving. Take precautions when the truck is loaded. Beware of low-hanging branches and overhangs when cornering. Park in well-lit areas-and padlock the rear door.

Penske Truck Rental has 24/7 emergency roadside assistance and optional protection plans.

• Get oriented. Ask the truck rental associate to walk you through the vehicle’s features. It should be a clean and well-maintained vehicle.

• Drive green. Use a truck rental company affiliated with EPA’s SmartWay program. A little preparation goes a long way to ensure an easier—and safe—move.

More free moving tips are available at www.PenskeTruckRental.com

 

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Cars That Avoid Crashes

(NAPSI)—Cars, trucks, buses and even bikes and motorcycles may soon be able to “talk” to each other to detect dangerous situations and help drivers avoid crashes before they happen.

“Connected vehicles will alert drivers if another vehicle is about to run the red light, when a car in their blind spot drifts too close for comfort, if there’s a crash ahead or even if the next bridge is getting icy,” explained Scott Belcher, president and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, who noted that vehicles can also be equipped with pre-emptive braking systems to help drivers slow down.

In addition, connected vehicles can provide real-time information and navigation to avoid traffic, find better routes, check transit schedules, locate and reserve a parking space and pay tolls.

To find more good ideas, the Research and Innovative Technology Administration launched the Connected Vehicle Technology Challenge, a national competition seeking ideas for ways to use connectivity between vehicles to make transportation safer, greener and easier. More at www.Challenge.gov and www.itsa.org.

 

 

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