Automotive Spring Tune-ups: Save Gas and Prevent Accidents

Just like your home needs a spring cleaning, your car may need the same attention with a seasonal tune-up. Cars take a lot of abuse in the winter with rain, snow, ice and extremely cold weather. Performing a tune-up before summer will give you a safer, more reliable car, and even help you squeeze a few more miles out of each gallon of gasoline.

Gas prices are hitting record highs. While we can’t do anything about the actual price of gas, we can keep our cars running efficiently to maximize the distance we get out of every gallon. Some mechanics estimate that a poorly tuned engine can use up to 50 percent more gas than one that is running well.

In fact, according to the National Car Care Council, if you combine under-inflated tires, a dirty air filter, worn spark plugs, a worn oxygen sensor, dirty oil, and a loose gas cap, you could be loosing up to 11.4 miles per gallon of gas.

Condition Effect MPG Penalty
Under-inflated Tires Increase rolling resistance 1-2 mpg
Dirty Air Filter Causes excessively rich fuel/air mixture 2.0 mpg
Worn Spark Plugs Cause inefficient combustion, wasted fuel 2.0 mpg
Worn Oxygen Sensor Unable to detect and adjust air/fuel mixture 3.0 mpg
Dirty or Substandard Engine Oil Increases internal engine friction 0.4 mpg
Loose Gas Cap Allows fuel to evaporate 2.0 mpg
Potential loss in fuel economy if all of the above are neglected: 11.4 mpg

If you are unable to take your car to a reputable mechanic, you should at the very least check your car’s fluids, belts and hoses, and tires. In regards to your car’s fluids, you should inspect your oil, antifreeze, brake, transmission, and power steering fluid levels. Check your engine’s hoses and belts for wear and tear as they can affect the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering, and the engine’s cooling system.

Car tires should be inspected regularly for proper inflation and tread wear. The steering alignment may need adjustment if your tires have uneven tread wear. If you notice bald spots and bulges, you need to have your tires replaced immediately.

The most valuable benefit of a car maintenance check-up is that it may prevent you from getting in an accident. The National Car Care Council reports that vehicle maintenance negligence is responsible for more than 2,600 deaths and nearly 100,000 disabling injuries every year in the United States.

Now is the time to make sure your car was not damaged by last winter’s weather conditions and weekend ski trips up to the mountains. You’ll be safer, you’ll save money on gas, and your car will be reliable when you take your next summer vacation road trip.

Leave A Comment

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive latest news, updates, promotions, and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.
No, thanks