APRIL 14 2016

CAR CARE

Count to five for fuel-efficient driving

(NC) Fuel-efficient driving can not only save you hundreds of dollars in fuel each year, but it can also improve road safety, prevent unnecessary wear on your vehicle and lower harmful greenhouse gas emissions. You can count on one hand the number of steps it takes to achieve your vehicle's fuel consumption ratings and save money at the pump. 1Accelerate gently. Did you know about half the fuel you consume is used just to accelerate your vehicle? You can conserve up to 15 per cent of fuel by accelerating gently and gradually. To maximize your fuel efficiency, take about five seconds to accelerate from zero to 20 km/h. 2Maintain a steady speed. Varying your speed up and down between 75 km/h and 85 km/h every 18 seconds can increase your fuel use by 20 per cent. On level roads and when safe to do so, consider using cruise control. On hilly terrain and where traffic permits, you'll consume less fuel by allowing your speed to drop when you travel uphill and building momentum when driving downhill. 3Anticipate traffic. Read the road ahead, anticipate road disruptions, monitor pedestrians and other vehicles and maintain a comfortable distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. 4Avoid high speeds. Most cars, vans, SUVs and pick-up trucks perform most fuel efficiently when travelling between 50 and 80 km/h. Above this speed, vehicles consume increasingly more fuel the faster they go. 5Coast to decelerate. By anticipating traffic slowdowns as early as possible, you can lower your speed, save fuel and money by simply taking your foot off the accelerator. Today, most vehicles have fuel-injection systems that automatically shut off the flow of fuel to the engine when the accelerator is fully released. In other words, a decelerating vehicle is coasting without using any fuel. When the engine speed drops to idle, the injection system restarts the flow of fuel to prevent the engine from stalling. These five steps were created by the Office of Energy Efficient for Vehicles at Natural Resources Canada. Each of the steps is explained in more detail at www. vehicles.nrcan.gc.ca. www.newscanada.com Air filters need to be changed regularly to maintain the right flow of air into the engine and to protect the engine from debris.

Why a clean air filter is important in your vehicle

Motorists routinely check their tires for proper inflation, top off engine fluid levels and maintain oil change schedules. But some drivers do not understand the importance of keeping engine air filters clean. Engine air filters are a relatively inexpensive vehicle part, but they perform a very important job. For every gallon of gas a car burns, it uses the equivalent of 12,000 gallons of air, and that air must be filtered to help keep an engine clean. Air filters catch all of the dust, grime, insects, sap, leaves, and any other debris that may get sucked up past the air intake of the vehicle?s grill and into the engine itself. Without the air filter, those contaminants may compromise the engine, causing corrosion and abrasion. If the air filter in the engine becomes too dirty and is not changed regularly, the engine is starved of air. Clean air filters allow just the right ratio of air to fuel to enable the engine to function properly. Engines need adequate air for the combustion process to take place. Without the proper combustion levels, vehicles cannot perform properly or efficiently and the engine may burn more gas or get fewer miles to the gallon. A dirty filter also can rob an engine of power. Drivers may notice sluggish acceleration. Air filters also can get so dirty that the engine stalls completely. But such a problem only develops after considerable neglect. Air filters may not need to be replaced at each and every oil change service call. Many technicians advise replacing the filter every 8,000 miles. However, drivers who live in particularly dry and dusty regions may need to replace filters more frequently. Mechanics can often detect when an air filter needs to be replaced. If he or she notices the air filter is particularly dirty, then it?s probably time to replace it. Replacing the filter is a relatively inexpensive repair for the amount of performance and peace of mind a new filter provides.

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