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Consumer Tip: Rising Gas Prices Means That Making Your Car Fuel Efficient Is More Important Than Ever

15 March 2000

    PHILADELPHIA--A recent national survey of almost 100,000 gasoline retailers by Oil Price Information Service, a Lakewood, NJ company, indicated that retail gas prices are at record highs.

    While the costs at the pumps are predicted to remain high, Pep Boys reminds drivers that there are ways to keep vehicles in top shape to get the best gas mileage possible.

    "Sometimes the simplest things can make a difference," observes Bruce Chidsey, Vice President of Service Operations. "It's important for vehicles to be maintained properly so that they run efficiently, especially at times like now when the price of a gallon of gas has increased dramatically."

    He offers this eight-point check list:

-- Tune ups: Probably the biggest waste of gas is an improperly tuned engine. Chidsey notes that a rough running engine uses more gas quicker than a properly tuned engine.
-- Tire pressure: Under inflation or over inflation of tires can lead to decreased fuel mileage and improper wear, shortening the life of your tires. Check your owner's manual for the recommended tire pressure and check your tires regularly with a tire pressure gauge.
-- Air filters: Dirty air filters can also cause your engine to run at less than peak efficiency. Regular visual checks of the air filter will tell you if it needs replacing and your owner's manual will also recommend appropriate replacement intervals.
-- Oil: Using the correct viscosity oil is important because higher viscosity oils have greater resistance to the moving parts of the engine, and therefore use more gas.
-- Unnecessary air conditioner use: Using the air conditioner uses more gas.
-- Power accessories: Items that plug into your vehicle's cigarette lighter, such as TV consoles for mini-vans and SUVs, can cause the alternator to work harder to provide electrical current. That adds a load to the engine and added load increases fuel use, decreasing your gas mileage.
-- Driving style: Quick starts from a stoplight or stop sign uses more fuel than smooth steady acceleration. Adjusting your driving style can save gas.
-- Extended idling time: Unnecessary idling of the engine will cause excessive fuel use.

    Pep Boys, founded in 1921, is the nation's leading automotive retail and service chain with more than 660 locations in 37 states and Puerto Rico. Along with its retail and consumer automotive service, the company also serves the commercial auto parts delivery market. Customers can find the nearest locations by dialing 1-800-PEP-BOYS or visiting Pep Boys on the Internet at