Monthly Archives: June 2018

Tips for Memorial Day Weekend Driving

Motorists traveling on Memorial Day weekend can’t do much about the high price of gas, but they can pay less at the pump by making sure their vehicles get maximum fuel economy. According to the Car Care Council, fuel economy is directly related to vehicle care and driver behavior and both can have a significant impact on how much motorists pay at the pump.

Under-inflated tires can impact the vehicle’s fuel economy. When tires aren’t inflated properly, it’s similar to driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon.

Dirty air filters can also waste gas and cause the engine to lose power. An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture, which is too much gas being burned for the amount of air. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.

Worn or dirty spark plugs can cause misfiring, which wastes fuel. Vehicles can have four, six or eight spark plugs that fire as many as three million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. Spark plugs that are replaced per the owner’s manual will lead to a better performing vehicle.

Vehicle gas caps that are damaged, loose or missing altogether waste gas. According to the council, about 17 percent of the vehicles on the road have gas cap problems, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.

“When gas prices soar, many motorists hunker down and don’t take proper care of their vehicles,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “What they don’t realize is that they can save at the pump by simply checking the tires, air filters, spark plugs and vehicle gas caps. These items can make a significant difference in the vehicle’s fuel economy and it takes very little time and money to check them.”

When it comes to driver behavior, the council reminds motorists that aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets.

Staying within the speed limit also improves fuel economy. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 miles per hour (mph) and each mph driven over 60 will result in an additional 10 cents per gallon.

Excessive idling wastes gas and is unnecessary. A vehicle needs only one or two minutes to warm up. Motorists should also avoid jackrabbit starts and hard stopping, both that make a car less fuel-efficient. Gradually stepping on the gas and gently applying the brakes will improve fuel efficiency.

Although traveling usually involves carrying luggage, motorists should try to limit any extra weight or unneeded items in the trunk. An extra 100 pounds can cut fuel efficiency by 1 or 2 percent.

Dirty Air While Driving

The Council states, that children, by virtue of their physical size and lifestyle, are more exposed to pollution and also more susceptible to its adverse effects than adults. Whether at school or at home, on the soccer field or at a softball game, children are more likely to be exposed to outdoor pollution. They are also more likely to being driven to these venues in cars, vans or SUVs that potentially only add to their exposure. Particulate and exhaust fumes such as fine dust, diesel soot, pollen bacteria and nitrogen oxides enter the vehicle through the vents and concentrations of these toxic substances inside can be higher than at the side of the road in urban traffic conditions.


All this when children’s immune systems are not developed enough to be able to resist and overcome the toxins they encounter. Plus, because they are young, there is plenty more time for these toxins to get absorbed into their systems and affect children’s growth and development. However, the news is not all bad for parents and guardians who want to shield their young charges from environmental toxins … especially when driving or stuck in traffic even if the vehicle’s windows are rolled up in the car. The Skinny On Air Quality Inside Your Vehicle “The air inside your vehicle can sometimes be even more polluted that the air outside,” said Kevin O’Dowd, spokesman for MANN+HUMMEL Purolator Filters, a leading supplier of automotive filters to the aftermarket in North America. Many motorists are not aware that, for more than a decade, most cars and light trucks (1995 and newer) have been factory-equipped with cabin air filters that are designed to clean the air that you and your passengers breathe.


If a filter is clogged it can actually multiply the dangers from particulate matter and other pollutants that get trapped inside a vehicle and blown about when the air conditioning system or heating system is in use Furthermore , the contaminants that build up on a filter over time, become a breeding ground for mold and mildew growth. So, according to O’Dowd, even if you roll up the windows and turn on the air conditioning before you get on the road, the vehicle’s interior is still vulnerable to environmental pollution – if the cabin air filter is not clean. “If you want to actually see the value of cabin air filters, just ask your auto service professional to show you an old, dirty one,” said O’Dowd. “One look at a clogged cabin air filter will convince you that there’s a great deal of dust, dirt, and other contaminants floating around in your car’s cockpit. Breathing that debris can be damaging to your health, especially if you happen to suffer from seasonal allergies or ailments like asthma,” O’Dowd explained. Investing In Your And Your Children’s Health “A good rule of thumb, therefore, is,” as O’Dowd suggested, “to replace the cabin air filter about every 12,000 to 18,000 miles to ensure that you and your family breathe clean, fresh air.” Purolator offers two types of BreatheEasy® cabin air filters – the standard particulate filter that traps all types of airborne particles including those originating from molds and spores and an upgraded filter that also removes unpleasant odors from the air like pungent, stinking and placid odors.


The standard BreatheEasy filter features a non-woven scientifically engineered media formed into a multi-layer design with pleats, which provides more surface area to filter out pollen and particulate matter. These filters are also electrostatically charged to ensure that even the minute particulate matter gets trapped in the filter media similar to many household HVAC filters. Other features include foam perimeter gaskets and an injection-molded frame, when specified by the vehicle manufacturer. The upgraded BreatheEasy filter, on the other hand, features an activated charcoal filter layer that adsorbs most toxic and foul-smelling gases, such as ozone, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and hydrocarbons. Cabin air filters are easy to replace. But, where do you find the cabin air filter in your vehicle? “The cabin air filter is normally located in the cabin air intake, under the dash or sometimes behind the glove box,” said Nuñez. “Replacing the filter generally takes anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on its location and the design of the vehicle.” BreatheEasy cabin air filters are available for most late-model domestic and import vehicles. They are packaged with clearly illustrated vehicle-specific instructions for many makes and models that make installation simple for do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) or professional technicians. Vehicle-specific instructions are also available on the Web site so the motorist can determine the skill level needed to replace the cabin air filter.