The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Cites Gas Prices as No. 1 Economic Concern


Car Care Council's Gas Savings Tips Can Save Big Money at the Pump

BETHESDA, Md., Jan. 7 -- In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, Americans cite gasoline prices as the economic woe that most affects them. The Car Care Council warns that putting off vehicle care and maintenance can make matters worse. Proper vehicle maintenance will increase miles per gallon.

"The best way to fight higher costs at the gas pump is to keep your vehicle running properly. You can't control the price of gas, but you can control how much gas you burn by proper maintenance and how you drive," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. "Performing simple and inexpensive maintenance can save as much as $1200 a year in gas cost."

The Car Care Council offers these gas-savings maintenance and driving tips:

  -- Check your vehicle gas cap. About 17 percent of the vehicles on the
     roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing
     altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.

  -- When tires aren't inflated properly, it's like driving with the parking
     brake on, and can cost a mile or two per gallon.

  -- A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs
     need to be replaced regularly.

  -- Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10
     percent, saving about 15 cents on a gallon.

  -- Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 22 percent on
     the highway and five percent on city streets, which results in seven to
     49 cents per gallon.

  -- Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Letting the vehicle warm up
     for one to two minutes is sufficient.

  -- Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each mph driven
     over 60 results in an additional 10 cents per gallon. To maintain a
     constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.

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