10 - April 27, 2012 | Hudson - Litchfield News “Kn w Y ur Car”
With warmer weather working its way across the country, people’s attention is again turning to the environment and spring and summer driving. And as fuel prices continue to climb, gas mileage needs to be a consideration, as much for budgetary reasons as environmental impact.
American drivers who think they’re priced out of better gas mile-
age by the cost of hybrid vehicles can find another way of squeezing a few more miles out of each gallon. Tires that roll more easily over roadways are an eco-friendly and cost-effective way of improving mileage.
Americans have a pretty rosy view of hybrid vehicles, with 47
percent interested in buying one for the better fuel economy and the environmental benefits. Yet for all of the interest in hybrid vehicles, the Hankook Quarterly Index of driving habits found that only 3 percent of respondents actually own one. More than half of consum- ers - 55 percent - are daunted by the higher price of hybrid vehicles compared to conventional all-gasoline cars. The difference in MSRP between a conventional car and its eco-friendly hybrid sibling can be anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000. The premium price for hybrids doesn’t appear likely to change in
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the near future. The vehicle pricing guide Kelly Blue Book reported in March that used hybrid prices rise with gas prices, and that the cost of used hybrids could repeat 2011’s 20 percent jump.
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Eco-friendly tires, like Hankook’s upcoming enfren eco, offer a cost-effective solution. They reduce rolling resistance and therefore fuel con- sumption, and can cut a driver’s gas consump- tion at the same price as standard tires. Sixty- eight percent of the drivers who said they were interested in eco-friendly tires would buy them for the better gas mileage, while 21 percent would do it to help the environment. The Index also uncovered a range of interest- ing views on eco-friendly tires, among them:
* Of the respondents that drive weekly, 5 percent already own eco-friendly tires and 56 percent would consider buying them. * Women (38 percent) are much more likely to be unsure whether
they would purchase this type of product than the men surveyed. * Respondents under 35 years (65 percent) are much more likely than those over 55 years (47 percent) to be open to considering purchasing eco-friendly tires. One note for practical-minded folks looking ahead to the com- ing months: While most people wouldn’t expect to receive tires for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, almost half (42 percent) surveyed say they wouldn’t mind getting them as a gift this year. But even if the mom or dad in your life wouldn’t oppose the gesture, make sure the backup plan involves flowers or golf.
- ARA Content
Want to Get 200K Miles Out of Your Car? Tips to Help
The average driver today estimates that a vehicle should go for more than 200,000 miles before sending it into retirement, according to a new national survey conducted by Kelton Research. With nearly nine in 10 vehicle owners more concerned with engine upkeep than their vehicle’s aesthetics on the inside or outside, car owners are looking for as much longevity out of their vehicle as possible. The survey also finds that 85 percent of drivers are
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more concerned about the longevity of their vehicles, compared to their homes. With engine health top-of- mind with consumers in today’s economic climate, the time to pay extra attention to your vehicle to help keep it running healthy is now. Even though some cars might not run as well as they used to once they reach 75,000 miles, car own- ers do not begin to consider their vehicle “old” until it hits the 147,000 mile mark. The reality: It’s never too early to take the extra steps to promote long vehicle life.
One of the most effective ways to help keep your high-mileage car “running young” is using a high- quality motor oil formulated for that purpose. Quaker State Defy, the motor oil designed to more effectively meet the changing needs of higher mileage engines and help these engines defy time, is formulated to help higher mileage engines fight wear. The technol- ogy in new Quaker State Defy motor oil makes it so durable that independent tests prove it can virtually stop future wear in the engine. For more information,
. Here are a few additional tips:
Change engine oil frequently Sticking with the topic of motor oil, proper lubrication is tantamount to an engine’s health, so you need to regu- larly replace your engine oil and oil filter. Frequent oil changes can prevent the buildup of harmful deposits that rob fuel economy and power, as well as make internal components work harder. Keeping your vehicle’s fluids new and clean is priority No. 1 when it comes to making sure your car hangs around for a long while. Follow your vehicle owner’s manual for your recom- mended service intervals.
Check your tires You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent
by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by three tenths of a percent for every 1 pounds per square inch drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver’s side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner’s manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire’s sidewall.
Tune it up Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an aver- age of 4 percent, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done.
Check your air filter
Replacing a clogged air filter on cars with fuel-injected, computer-controlled gasoline engines does not improve fuel economy but it can improve acceleration time by around 6 to 11 percent, according to a study prepared for the Department of Energy. This kind of engine is prevalent on most gasoline cars manufactured from the early 1980s onward.
- ARA Content
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