Don't Get 'Grinched' at Gas Pump

Dec 20, 2010, 13:56 ET from Car Care Council

Keep Christmas Cash by Performing Simple Vehicle Maintenance

BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 20, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During the busy holiday season many motorists may not have noticed that gas prices are at the highest point in more than two years, nearing $3 per gallon on average. While motorists can't control the price of gas, they can keep from getting "grinched" by following a few simple steps from the Car Care Council.

"Gas prices have been sneaking up on us lately," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.  "To ensure that your Christmas cash doesn't end up priming someone else's pump, make sure that your vehicle is running efficiently.  Simply checking the tires, air filters, spark plugs and gas caps can make a significant difference in the vehicle's fuel economy and keep you from getting 'grinched' this holiday season."

Fuel economy is directly related to vehicle maintenance.  The Car Care Council offers these gas-saving maintenance tips to maximize fuel savings:

  • Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.
  • Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by 3 percent.
  • Replace dirty or clogged air filters on older vehicles to improve gas mileage by as much as 14 percent.
  • Replace dirty spark plugs, which can reduce mileage by two miles per gallon.
  • Change oil regularly and gain another mile per gallon.

Driving behavior also impacts fuel efficiency. The council offers these gas-saving driving tips:

  • Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph.
  • Avoid excessive idling. Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Warming up the vehicle for one or two minutes is sufficient.
  • Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.
  • Consolidate trips. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much gas as one longer multi-purpose trip.
  • Don't haul unneeded items in the trunk. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the "Be Car Care Aware" consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council's Car Care Guide or for more information, visit

SOURCE Car Care Council