(NAPSI)-The cost of vehicle ownership is increasing and now more than ever, it’s important to find ways to stretch your fuel budget. According to a new survey from Shell, 78 percent of drivers believe it is possible to increase fuel economy by following driving and vehicle maintenance tips; however, four out of 10 drivers are not using the tips available. Eighty-one percent of Americans say they are interested in doing anything they can to stretch their fuel budgets. Here are some tips from Shell on how to stretch your driving dollar:
• Drive smoothly, avoiding heavy acceleration or braking. Speeding, rapid acceleration and braking can lower your gasoline mileage by 5 percent at lower speeds around town and by 33 percent at higher highway speeds.
• Replace dirty or clogged air filters. Replacing a dirty or clogged air filter with a clean one can improve gasoline mileage by as much as 10 percent. Your car’s air filter can protect your engine from impurities.
• Keep your engine well-tuned and repair any problems immediately. If your car has failed an emissions test or is noticeably out of tune, repairing the problem could improve your gasoline mileage by 4 percent on average.
• Make sure your tires are at the correct pressure and not over- or underinflated. Proper air pressure cuts down on fuel used while driving. Keeping tires at the correct pressure can improve your gasoline mileage by about 3.3 percent.
• Check your vehicle gas cap. About 17 percent of the vehicles on the road have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
• Keep your car servied. Replace worn spark plugs. A vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat, electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel.
• Minimize vehicle drag. Keep your trunk and back seat clear of unnecessary items that only add weight. Removing excess weight can improve your gasoline mileage.
• Use cruise control on major roads and in free-flowing traffic. Maintaining a constant speed can improve gasoline mileage.
• Avoid idling. When you idle, you get 0 miles per gallon.
• Avoid higher speeds. Gasoline mileage usually decreases when driving at speeds over 60 mph.
• Plan your outings to avoid separate trips. Combine your errands into one outing to avoid short separate trips. This helps avoid unnecessary cold starts and keeps your car’s engine running warm and more efficiently.
• Reward yourself by using a rebate credit card. Choosing the right card can help you save money at the pump. For instance, the Shell Platinum MasterCard® from Citi® Cards offers a 5 percent rebate on Shell gasoline purchases and a 1 percent rebate on all other purchases. At the national average of $2.91 per gallon for regular- grade gasoline, cardholders earn 14 cents per gallon back on their gasoline purchases.
“We all want to be more fuel efficient, and incorporating Shell FuelStretch principles into your daily routine is an easy way to get the most out of every gasoline purchase,” says Shell Engineer and ASE-Certified Technician, Mark Ferner.
To find more program tips and information, visit www.shell.com/us/fuelstretch.
Provided by Shell Oil Products U.S.
As part of the “Be Car Care Aware” education campaign, the Car Care Council offers a free service interval schedule to help take the guesswork out of what vehicle systems need to be routinely inspected and when service or repair should be performed.
The schedule can be printed at www.carcare.org.