AUTO

Lower Price At The Pump

Fuel Saving Engine Maintenance Oil Change Best Online Car Deals Selling Your Car Used-Car Buying Tips Choosing A Repair Shop Slow Down For Safety

Tips For Driving Smarter

(NAPSI)—Recently, the White House announced an increase in fuel economy standards that would require passenger vehicles and light trucks to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. While this will go a long way to stretch fuel and our natural energy resources in the future, there are actions you can take today to help increase fuel efficiency.

John and Helen Taylor, known as the world’s most fuel-efficient couple and holding 88 world records, know about stretching the boundaries of fuel efficiency. To demonstrate how you can reduce your fuel consumption and lower the price you pay at the pump, Shell and the Taylors are teaming up to introduce the Smarter Driving program by driving across 48 states, using the least amount of fuel in an unmodified, non-hybrid vehicle.

As official spokespeople for Shell, the Taylors agree that by following the Shell M.A.P. to Smarter Driving, you can become more fuel-efficient and save money with this simple plan:

• Maintenance: Perform smart maintenance before you drive:

− Make sure your tires are not over- or under-inflated: Keeping tires at the correct pressure can improve your gasoline mileage by more than 3 percent.

− Keep your engine well tuned and repair problems immediately: Tuning up your vehicle or checking emissions could improve your gasoline mileage by 4 percent on average.

• Actions: Practice smart actions and behaviors while you’re behind the wheel:

− Avoid the highs and find the lows: Speeding, rapid acceleration and braking can lower gasoline mileage by up to 33 percent at highway speeds.

• Products: Purchase smart products at the right price without sacrificing quality:

− Choose a high-quality gasoline: Lower-quality gasolines can leave performance-robbing “gunk” on intake valves and fuel injectors. Shell Nitrogen Enriched Gasolines help clean up gunk so your engine can perform at its best.

− Use a loyalty or rewards payment card to save at the pump: The Taylors suggest stretching your budget. Shell has teamed up with leading grocers in more than 110 markets across the U.S. where you can earn rewards for using your existing supermarket loyalty card and then redeeming the points at participating Shell stations. Another option is to use a Shell payment card that saves you money at more than 14,000 Shell stations across the U.S.

Smarter Driving can help consumers stretch their budget while helping to protect their vehicle. To test your Smarter Driving IQ and for a chance to win great prizes, visit www.Shell.us/smarterdriving or find Shell on Facebook.

Some tips sourced from www.fueleconomy.gov.

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New Engine Gives Resources A Big Boost

(NAPSI)—One American auto company is taking the green movement to a new level—building more-efficient green products, such as an engine that saves fuel. Here’s how:

Giving Gasoline Injection a Shot

A key contributor to the engine’s fuel efficiency is something called direct injection of gasoline. This system precisely delivers a fine mist of fuel directly into each cylinder for optimal performance, economy and emissions. Unlike port-fuel-injection engines that spray fuel in the intake system, the direct-injection system puts the fuel exactly where it needs to be for combustion.

The result is an unmatched combination of responsive power with responsible fuel efficiency.

Where to Find It

Called the EcoBoost engine, it’s in Ford F-150 pickups where its 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque provide best-in-class towing capability of 11,300 lbs combined with up to 20 percent fuel economy savings. The 2011 F-150 EcoBoost carries an EPA rating of 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, making it the best combination of capability and efficiency among light-duty full-sized pickups.

In addition, the first North American four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, a 237-horsepower 2.0-liter, is in the Explorer SUV and Edge CUV, while the stylish Ford Flex has an EcoBoost and the new Taurus full-size sedan is available with an advanced 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine expected to deliver best-in-class highway fuel efficiency of at least 31 mpg.

Responsive performance is assured, as the direct injection plus a turbocharger enable this engine to deliver a projected 237 horsepower across a broad rpm range.

EcoBoost engines are fundamental to the Ford strategy of providing technologically advanced, high-output, smaller-displacement power trains that deliver exceptional fuel economy and uncompromised performance.

Learn More

For more information on these engines, see www.ford.com.

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Basic Maintenance Can Be A Smart Investment

(NAPSI)—Whether your car came right off the showroom floor or you drive a used vehicle that has seen its share of miles, one of the best ways to extend its life is to practice basic maintenance.

To help, here are some tips:

• Take care of your tires. A good rule of thumb for tire rotation is to have your tires rotated every other oil change. This can vary depending on the amount of driving you do. Check the air pressure in your tires. This simple procedure can help your vehicle’s fuel economy.

• Check your belts and hoses. You may not know what everything does under the hood of your vehicle, but even you can recognize a belt or hose that has a crack or corrosion. These parts are usually made of rubber and will eventually wear out. If you’re still unsure, belts and hoses can be checked during an oil change or at your vehicle’s annual checkup.

• Check your oil. If the level of oil in your vehicle is too high or low, it can cause engine problems. Owners of both new and older vehicles can consider using synthetic motor oil to help increase the mileage between oil changes.

For example, Royal Purple offers a variety of motor oil viscosities for different makes and models, recommending the SN Series for vehicles 2011 and newer and the new High Performance Series for older vehicles. This can result in money savings with fewer oil changes and less impact on the environment with less oil disposed.

When you get your oil changed, ask if they recycle their oil, and if you’re changing your oil, at home, check out www.earth911.com for a motor oil recycling center near you.

• Check your coolant. If you’re not sure where your coolant reservoir is, check your owner’s manual. The ideal level of coolant should be between the low and high markings.

If you are checking the coolant yourself, do not take the cap off if your vehicle has been recently driven. If the coolant system is hot, the pressure inside could burn you when the cap is removed. To keep your engine cool, try a coolant additive such as Royal Purple’s Purple Ice. It’s designed to reduce engine temperatures and protect the engine from corrosion.

• Learn the dashboard lights. Refer to your owner’s manual to familiarize yourself with some of your dashboard warning lights. These include: Check Engine, Service Engine, Electrical Fault, Brake Warning, ABS Brake Warning, Coolant and Oil. Ignoring these warning signs could result in expensive repairs if left too long.

For more information, visit www.royalpurple.com.

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Shop Smart For The Best Car Deals Online

(NAPSI)—Savvy car shoppers know that now is the best time to buy a car with small-car prices expected to drop. More and more of these automotive shoppers buy online due to unmatched convenience, selection and value.

In an effort to protect online car shoppers’ rights to a great deal, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) recently issued a public service announcement urging consumers to watch out for fraudulent vehicle sales claims and only use trusted sites like eBay Motors.

IC3 is warning consumers about scams that hijack trustworthy brands and vehicle protection programs like those offered by eBay Motors. Consumer complaints increased 25 percent in 2010, costing auto shoppers roughly $1,000 every hour, according to IC3.

For example, a seller on a site other than eBay may claim he offers eBay’s Vehicle Protection Program to gain a shopper’s trust and convince the shopper to wire him money for a vehicle he doesn’t own. However, only cars bought and sold on eBayMotors.com can legitimately offer up to $50,000 in vehicle protection. By exploiting the logo and name of reputable sites, fraudsters are luring consumers off of safe and secure e-commerce sites such as eBay.

The FBI’s IC3 and eBay Motors want to provide tips to savvy online auto shoppers looking to score a deal. The following are three tips from these experts:

1. Research and inspect the car. Go beyond the information in the vehicle listing. Take advantage of vehicle history reports to be certain of mileage and vehicle condition. Review the title and hire an inspection service to look at the car prior to purchase.

2. Check the person’s background. Examine the seller’s feedback, ratings and comments. Communicate directly with the seller by phone or through secure channels like the My eBay message center to ensure correspondence is authentic.

3. Never send payments via wire services. Never use Western Union, MoneyGram or other wire services—bank to bank transfers are okay. If you plan to pay in cash, do so in person and obtain a receipt.

Consumers who suspect fraud when auto shopping online should file a complaint with the FBI’s IC3 at www.ic3.gov and with eBay at car@ebay.com. Shoppers can visit ebay.com/tips for additional advice on safe shopping online.

Online auto shopping provides customers with the ability to find great deals on vehicles with the convenience of shopping on their schedule from an inventory far greater than what is found locally. By taking advantage of secure, trustworthy and reputable online marketplaces, consumers can help ensure they have safe and satisfying shopping experiences.

 

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Selling Your Car

(NAPSI)—You can sell your car for more money if you follow a few steps:

• Clean it—Make sure the vehicle is presentable inside and out. You might want to get scratches painted and dents removed.

• Snap it-Take photos of your shiny, clean car.

• List it—Use the pictures when you list it online to get shoppers’ attention.

• Sell it—Don’t just describe the car. Try to relate to the buyer, show why it’s to his or her advantage to buy your vehicle.

• Prove it—Use a Carfax Vehicle History Report to help show your vehicle is a good value, based on its history. This can support the price you’re asking.

Learn More

Visit www.carfax.com to get a report and more car-selling advice and information.

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Used-Car Buying Tips

(NAPSI)—Getting a used car can be a great way to save-if you know what to look for:

• The mileage. Low mileage can be a good value-or a sign of odometer tampering. Make sure the wear and tear on the inside and outside of the car matches what the mileage reading says.

• Signs of accidents or other damage. More than half of the cars damaged by floods get cleaned up and returned to the road.

• Good maintenance. Get documentation on how often it was serviced.

• Curbstoners. Illegal dealers pose as private sellers to unload cars with hidden problems. Shop at reputable dealers.

• Open recalls. Nearly one in three recalled cars doesn't get fixed. You can check for recalls at recall.carfax.com. Franchise dealers will fix open recalls at no cost.

• Certified pre-owned. Certified pre-owned cars are the closest thing to new cars at used-car prices. Most manufacturer programs include a free Carfax Vehicle History Report, a trusted source of information for millions of used-car buyers.

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Choosing A Repair Shop

(NAPSI)—Regular maintenance and service will extend the life of your vehicle, note the pros at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)—the group that tests and certifies automotive technicians. To find a good repair shop, they recommend you:

• Ask others for recommendations; consult consumer groups.

• Arrange for transportation so you won’t choose a shop based solely on location.

• Look for an orderly facility, with modern equipment.

• Look for courteous service consultants willing to answer questions.

• Ask whether the shop handles your type of repair work.

• Look for signs of professionalism in the customer service area, such as civic, community or customer service awards.

• Look, too, for signs of qualified technicians: ASE certifications, trade-school diplomas, and certificates of advanced courses.

Visit www.ase.com for car care tips and more.

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Urging Drivers To “Slow Down To Get Around”

(NAPSI)—A little patience and courtesy can help to keep drivers and others on the road to safety. That’s the word from the sponsors of a campaign designed to keep drivers of service vehicles and the public safer.

The campaign encourages drivers to extend to service vehicles the courtesy they already show school buses. Drivers understand that when they see a school bus, children are likely to be nearby, so they are expected to slow down.

They also slow down because it’s the law. Speed up around a stopped school bus and you’re likely to get a ticket.

Unfortunately for trash collectors, postal workers and other service vehicles, it’s common for drivers to be not so courteous when they see their trucks stopped in the road.

In fact, some drivers become more aggressive when they see stopped service vehicles, speeding around to avoid them. Unfortunately, the results can be tragic.

A Dangerous Profession

Road accidents caused by distracted or speeding drivers are a huge risk for the more than 135,000 men and women of the solid waste collection industry who are out in force each day keeping communities clean and healthy.

Primarily because of such roadway dangers, trash collection is one of the country’s most dangerous professions. Just ask your local trash collector, and you’re likely to get an earful about the near misses he or she faces nearly every day.

Safety Campaign

A national safety campaign developed by solid waste companies is aimed at putting an end to tragic road accidents involving garbage collectors—a leading cause of workplace deaths for such employees. Called “Slow Down to Get Around,” the campaign urges drivers to be more careful around solid waste collection vehicles.

Setting an Example

“Unlike with school buses, there are no traffic laws forcing drivers to be cautious around garbage trucks,” said Bruce Parker, president of the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA), which represents the private-sector solid waste industry in the U.S. “It’s a major problem, but one that is easily solved.”

“It only takes one smart and cautious driver to set an example,” said NSWMA Safety Director David Biderman. “Be a leader in your community—when you see a trash truck, slow down to get around. By doing so, you may be saving a life.”

For more information, visit www.environmentalistseveryday.org/safety.

 

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