In 2016, nearly 12 million Canadians commuted to work in private vehicles as drivers. Thus, for the continued success of our workers and country, maintaining reliable vehicles is critical. After all, if your vehicle isn’t running right, you’re wasting fuel, polluting the air and water, and spending more than necessary. Your car might even leave you stranded! Here are the top five car care tips for the commuter to keep your vehicle running great.
Remove Extra Weight
It’s good to clean out your car, because it’ll smell better and last longer, and the extra junk in the trunk must go. Extra weight exacts a penalty on fuel efficiency, costing you more for every kilometer you travel, about 1% for every 25 kg.
Pump Your Tires
Besides keeping your from sliding off the road on your way to and from work, your tires have the important function of making your ride more comfortable. Generally, the lower the pressure in your tires, the more comfortable the ride. On the other hand, low tire pressure reduces traction and increases fuel consumption. Check and adjust tire pressure at least once a month, more often if outside temperatures will fluctuate more than 10°C. This portable tire inflator is powered by your car and has a built-in pressure gauge.
Cabin Air Management
Whether you suffer from allergies or not, driving through all kinds of air, dust, pollen, and other contaminants can be irritating to your lungs and eyes. One way to reduce these is to replace the cabin air filter at least every six months. In stop-and-go traffic, selecting recirculate can reduce the amount of outside air that gets into the cabin, reducing exhaust odors. Breathe a little easier with a new cabin filter.
Check Engine Light
Even if your car seems to be running fine, the check engine light indicates the engine control module has detected a fault. Ignoring the check engine light could lead to inconvenient collateral damage or increase fuel consumption. A faulty oxygen sensor, for example, could increase fuel consumption by as much as 40 percent. If the check engine light comes on, have it checked and repaired by a trusted mechanic. Regular car care, such as oil changes and tire rotations, are critical to keeping your commuter car on the road.
Drive to Save
Buying and maintaining a fuel-efficient vehicle is a great start. Natural Resources Canada says driving habits can reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 25%. Gentle acceleration, cruise control, and coasting to a stop are fuel-efficient driving strategies. If possible, leave at a different time or take a different route to avoid idling in traffic. Vehicles are typically most-efficient between 50 and 80 kmh. On the open road, stick to the speed limit to save fuel.
Canadians spend a lot of time in their cars. Make the most of it with these car care tips for commuters, whether commuting ten kilometers or forty. On your way to work or school or home, keeping your car in shape helps it last longer and be more reliable, not to mention cleaner for the environment.
Check out all the exterior lighting products available at napacanada.com or trust one of our 600 NAPA AUTOPRO locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more car care tips, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA Auto Parts store.
By Benjamin Jerew