It’s Not Too Late: A Resolution That Can Save Money and So Much More

The New Year has just begun, and already people are ditching their New Year’s resolutions and revisiting their old ways. But what if you had picked a resolution that could help save you money or even your life? Maybe then you wouldn’t be so quick to break it.

Maintaining your vehicle could do both: save money and keep you safer on the road. All you need to do is follow — and keep following — these important steps from Firestone Complete Auto Care:

Tire Pressure Is Key During Summer Travel

It’s summertime, and vehicles are rolling out of garages and hitting the pavement. Warm weather offers a variety of outdoor travel opportunities and roadtrip fun. And to be sure your vehicle is operating safely, it is important that tire pressure be at proper levels.

Most motorists know that routine tire-pressure checks can preserve tire life and help drivers to avoid potential accidents from blowouts, uneven wear and under inflation. Even so, tires can lose air pressure without appearing to be underinflated, and motorists may not notice a slow leak. New technology is taking the guesswork and potential for human error out of the equation.

Actions You Should Take Before You Hit the Road

Checking mirrors and seat belts every time you get in you car might seem overly cautious, but Porsche Cars North America says that what you do before you turn on the ignition may mean the difference between life and death.

Routine maintenance is critical to your driving safety. For example, under-inflated tires are the primary cause of tire failures and can adversely affect you car’s handling and fuel mileage. Check you tires, including your spare, at least once a month. You should check your wiper blades monthly as well. Worn blades impact visibility and create glare on the windshield, even when they are not in use.

Take Action Before You Hit the Road

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Checking mirrors and seat belts every time you get in your car might seem overly cautious, but driving experts say that what you do before you turn on the ignition may mean the difference between life and death.
“So many accidents can be traced back to bad decisions before you even get behind the driver’s seat,” said Jeff Purner, a professional driving instructor for Porsche Cars North America.
Routine maintenance is critical to your safety. For example, under-inflated tires are the primary cause of tire failures and can adversely affect your car’s handling and fuel mileage. Check your tires, including your spare, at least once a month.
You should check your wiper blades monthly as well. Worn blades impact visibility and create glare on the windshield, even when they are not in use.
What you bring with you into your car could be the most critical decision of your day. Cell phones are one of the most dangerous items to use in your car. Anytime you’re talking, texting or using GPS applications, you’re not paying attention to the road. Purner says that using cell phones while driving, especially to text message, is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Do yourself a favor, and turn your cell phone off.
After switching off your cell phone, you should check and adjust your seat belt. The lap belt should rest low across your waist, and the shoulder strap should come over your shoulder and across your chest. Never put the shoulder strap under your armpit. Before turning on the ignition, adjust your rear-view and side-view mirrors. According to Purner, too many drivers set their mirrors to reflect the outside of their own car instead of the road.
“You already know where your car is; you should be concerned about where the other cars are so that you can avoid them.”
When positioning your hands on the steering wheel, hold the wheel at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock. In this position, you can turn the wheel the furthest without your hands crossing over. This hold also allows for a better “feel” and faster response time.

Conserving Gasoline Is Always in Style

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Whether you are trying to stretch the family budget, help the environment, or lessen the nation’s dependence on imported oil, conserving gasoline can benefit most everyone.

“Using less gasoline is one of those rare win-win situations,” notes Martin Lawson, editorial director of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), an independent nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. “Families can benefit immediately while helping the environment in the long run.”

Whatever your motivation, here are some gas saving tips from the pros at the ASE:

Monitor tires. Under-inflated tires or poorly aligned wheels waste fuel by forcing the engine to work harder. (Let the tires cool down before checking the air pressure.) Out-of-line wheels, as evidenced by uneven tread wear, should be aligned by a professional.

Remove excess weight. Remove unnecessary items from the vehicle. Store only essentials in the trunk. Less weight means better mileage. Promptly remove rooftop cargo carriers to reduce air drag.

Consolidate trips and errands. Some trips may be unnecessary. Also, try to travel when traffic is light so you can avoid stop-and-go conditions.

Avoid excessive idling. Shut off the engine while waiting for friends and family.

Observe speed limits. Speeding decreases your miles per gallon.

Drive gently. Sudden accelerations guzzle gas. Anticipate traffic patterns ahead and adjust your speed gradually.

Use windows and air conditioning wisely. Your mileage should improve if you keep the windows closed at highway speeds, since air drag is reduced. This is true even with the air conditioning on — assuming that the system is in good working order. But turn the air conditioning off in stop-and-go traffic to save fuel.

Keep your engine “tuned up.” A well-maintained engine operates at peak efficiency, maximizing gas mileage. Follow the service schedules listed in the owner’s manual. Replace filters and fluids as recommended; have engine performance problems corrected at a repair facility. A well-maintained vehicle will last longer, too.

Given today’s high-tech engines, it’s wise to have this type of work done by auto technicians who are ASE-certified in engine performance. Repair shops that employ certified auto technicians display the blue and white ASE sign.

For more information, including seasonal car care advice, visit www.ase.com.