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16 - February 24, 2012 | Pelham - Windham News “Kn w Y ur Car”


The economy might be slowly recovering, but saving money is still foremost on the minds of many people. Men and women have looked to save money in a variety of ways, including at the gas pump. While there’s little drvivers can do to reduce the cost of a gal- lon of gas, there are ways they can make the gas last a little longer. Improving fuel economy is nothing new to many motorists, but some might still be surprised at the myriad ways they can get more bang for their buck with regards to fuel costs. * Don’t break the law. Obeying the speed limit might save your life, and it can also save you money. Typically, fuel economy de- creases rapidly as a car reaches and surpasses 60 miles per hour. According to the U.S. Department of Safety, drivers can assume that each five miles per hour they drive over 60, they are paying an ad- ditional $0.26 per gallon for gas. * Empty the trunk. Though it might be more convenient to keep


your golf clubs in the trunk of your car, extra and unnecessary cargo in a vehicle’s trunk drastically reduces fuel economy. An extra 100 pounds in a vehicle can reduce miles per gallon by as much as 2 percent, so keep a trunk free of items that aren’t absolutely necessary.


* Stop idling. Many people let their car idle for several minutes on cold mornings. But today’s newer vehicles don’t really need to


Monthly AUTO SECTION Simple Ways to Improve Fuel Economy “Kn w Y ur Car”


idle to warm up, and idling can be very taxing on fuel economy. De- pending on the size of the car, idling can use between a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour. If you still insist on letting the vehicle idle, a few seconds of idling should be enough to warm the


gine up. * Embrace cruise control on long drives without lots of stopping


en-


and starting. Maintaining a constant speed, which a vehicle does when drivers utilize cruise control, can help save fuel, as it’s less taxing on an engine to continue at one speed then it is to constantly switch back and forth between high and low speeds. * Inflate the tires. Poorly inflated tires lower gas mileage and also pose a safety hazard. The DOE notes that properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by as much as 3 percent. Ideal tire pressure is different for each vehicle, so check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for recommended tire pressure. Some vehicle manufacturers also include the recommended tire pressure on the vehicle itself, be it in the driver’s side door jamb or in the vehicle’s glove compartment. Tire pressure printed on the tire’s sidewall might not be the ideal tire inflation for your particular vehicle, so always adhere to the manu- facturer’s recommendation instead. * Drive the car you need, not the car you want. Drivers who truly need to save money at the pump should consider the type of vehicle they’re driving, and whether it’s the car they need or the car they want. For instance, office workers who own a pickup truck but don’t use it to haul items might want to consider a smaller vehicle that gets better gas mileage. Improving fuel efficiency is a great way for motorists to save money and reduce the expenses associated with vehicle ownership.


Monthly AUTO SECTION Things That Mar an Automotive Paint Job


paint on the car is something vehicle owners expect. A car owner who decides he or she


Washing off harmful substances promptly can reduce the chances of damage to a car’s paint job.


Most people purchase a car for its looks and performance. However, unless the auto is kept in a garage and


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never driven, it is impossible to keep it in pristine condition. In many cases, damage to the clear coat or enamel


wants the car to remain in the best shape possible will have to take an active role in maintenence and dam- age prevention. One of the key things to remember is to never allow any substance to remain on the paint for too long; otherwise the risk for damage increases. Also, it may be very difficult to clean if the offender is allowed to sit on the paint. Here are some other fac- tors to consider. * UV light: Just as UV light can affect skin, hair and other parts of the body, it also can affect the paint on a car. UV rays oxidize the paint and cause a white, powdery film to form on the car. Washing the car frequently enough and applying the best quality wax will help keep UV rays from penetrating through the paint. * Over sprays: Life does not stop to allow cars to drive through, particularly


when it comes to construction zones. It’s possible for a car to be doused in paint spray, tar, concrete, and other chemicals that are routinely used in construction. Do not allow these substances to harden on the car. Rinse promptly with automotive soap. Try to avoid construction zones whenever possible.


* Rain: Both acid rain and regular


rainwater (and other sources of water) can dissolve paint over time. The U.S. Geological Survey has said that water is a universal solvent because it can dissolve more substances than any oth- er liquid. Whenever the car becomes wet, it should be dried with a towel or chamois and not allowed to air dry. * Natural substances: Tree sap, bird droppings and splattered insects contain compounds that can erode the paint on a car. Avoid parking under large trees where sap and bird drop- pings may be prevalent. In terms of bug splatter, try to wash it off as soon as


Learn the Proper Way to Rotate Tires


Rotating tires is something that many people do reli- giously while others put off the task until they notice a problem with the car’s performance. An important compo- nent of vehicle upkeep, rotating tires not only extends the life of the tires, but it also helps ensure safer driving. There are some who are unfamiliar about how and


when to rotate the tires and the benefits this routine main- tenance can provide. This also could be a factor in why people procrastinate on tire rotation.


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One may not realize that the front tires often bear the brunt of the work in vehicle operation. Making turns or parallel parking requires the force of the front tires. Vehicles that are front-wheel-drive have front tires that supply the main motive power for the vehicle, according to Edmunds.com. The frequent use and requirements of the tires produces friction on the road, and eventually heat. The front tires wear more quickly than the rear tires. In order to extend the life of the tires, drivers must periodically rotate them. Tire rotation essentially means moving the front tires to the rear and vice-versa. This means the front passenger side tire will be moved to the back pas- senger side position. The same thing will occur on the driver’s side. There’s a reason for this. Tires have unique wear patterns that are related to the suspen- sion and the alignment. Should you switch the tires in a criss-cross pattern, it could affect the alignment and lead to a bumpy ride. These scenarios can depend on the vehicle and the tire,


however. Certain vehicles have tires of different sizes in the rear and front, which prevents front-to-back rotation. There are also cars that have tires that are unidirectional, where they are specific to one side of the car and asymmetrical, with a tread pattern that changes from the inside of the tire to the outside. Though these tires are rare, you can’t rotate them at all. Tire rotation is adviseable to preserve


possible to alleviate damage. * Eggs: Oftentimes, rambunctious


children think it is funny to egg a car. However, the enzymes and sulfur con- tent in eggs can cause paint and clear coat to dissolve, leaving white spots in the wake of the egg. Because egg can be sticky and very hard to remove once dried, it is helpful to wash it off as soon as possible. It takes only a few hours for the damage to be permanent. * Bleach: Although a bleach-and-


water solution is often heralded for its ability to clean many things, it should not be used on a car. Bleach is an oxi- dizer and it will pit metal and discolor paint. Be careful with pool chemicals as well, as chlorinator is usually regular household bleach. There are many things that can damage a car paint job. Although it’s impossible to shield the car from every- thing, there are precautions that can be taken.


balanced handling, traction and even outer tire wear. But how often should it be done? Many tires should be rotated every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, even if they don’t show signs of wear. Some service stations will do tire rotation at the same time that oil changes are done because the car is already on a lift. Don’t expect tire rotation to correct wear problems due


to worn mechanical parts or as the result of improper in- flation pressure. Rotation is not the only tire maintenance task to do to ensure safe tires.


Consult with a service station to determine the best pattern for rotating your tires and the ideal time interval between rotations.


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