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Better Gas Mileage

You say concern for the environment isn't reason enough to conserve gasoline? Then how about gasoline prices?

According to the experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), motorists can get the most out of each gallon of gas by following a few simple conservation and maintenance measures:

o 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.

o Remove excess weight. Remove unnecessary items from the vehicle. Less weight means better mileage.

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

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

o Observe speed limits. Besides being dangerous, 75 mph really burns the gas.

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

o 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 (rough idling, poor acceleration, etc.) corrected at a repair facility. 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.

o 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.

By following ASE's advice, not only will you use less gasoline, you'll extend the life of your vehicle and its parts.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence was founded in 1972 as a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact area(s) of certification. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign.

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Better Gas Mileage

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