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In Times of High Gas Prices Automotive Expert Provides 7 Tips for Maintaining Fuel Economy

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif., March 21 -- With analysts predicting steep increases in gas prices in the coming weeks and into the summer, automotive expert Sam Memmolo advises that properly maintaining your vehicle is more critical than ever.

Memmolo, co-host and writer of Two Guys Garage on Speed Channel and host of Sam's Garage syndicated radio show, says better fuel economy and cleaner air results from the more efficient an internal combustion engine runs, the cleaner the tailpipe emissions, and the more heat energy the engine develops from the fuel consumed in combustion.

So how can you get the best mileage and performance from your car or light truck? Here are seven simple guidelines from Memmolo.

  -- Always buy a quality gasoline that is labeled to contain detergent
     additives in it.
  -- Have your fuel system serviced by a professional every 25,000 to 35,000
     miles. This service should include cleaning the injectors, cleaning the
     throttle body and plate, as well as the inside of the intake manifold.
     Tell the technician not to overlook the fuel filter.
  -- Be sure to use engine oil with the SAE grade and API service
     classifications found in your owner's manual. Heavier oils detract from
     engine power and fuel economy due to the additional work to move the
     oil pump through heavy oils.
  -- Take time to change the air filter element. You can usually do it
     yourself. Unrestricted clean air is critical to performance and
     mileage. You should also install a little device called "The Tornado."
     It installs easily and generates a vortex (swirls the air) in your
     engine's intake to better atomize the air and fuel, delivering more
     power and increasing fuel mileage.
  -- In addition, to maintaining the engine, you need to service the
     automatic transmission and be sure it is not slipping. Have your
     mechanic check the "Lock-Up" feature of your torque converter. A
     malfunctioning lock-up converter can cost you dearly in miles per
     gallon, and will generate excess heat. Heat is the number one killer of
     automatic transmissions.
  -- Maintaining tire pressures and wheel alignment as recommended by the
     vehicle manufacturer will increase tire life, fuel economy, improve
     safety and handling, and make driving easier.
  -- Keep the trunk of your car as empty as possible. Many trunks in America
     are carrying around hundreds of unnecessary pounds, making the engine
     work harder and costing you money.

"Now you are armed with the facts," explains Memmolo, "and the knowledge to stop by and 'talk the talk' with your favorite technician."