Consumer Alert: Gas Guzzlers
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
PALM DESERT - Are you ready for extreme heat? You might be, but how about your car?
As temperatures heat up so will your car. A number of automotive experts say your vehicle has to work harder to keep cool in the hot summer months and that's likely to cause you to spend more money on gas. But there are some simple ways you can save yourself from some headaches and a strapped wallet.
If your engine is the heart of your car, think of the gas as the blood pumping through it. Now think of summer as a marathon for your car. It's taking all it's got to get through the heat.
With air conditioners blasting and gas prices rising, your wallet is taking a beating.
"We aren't getting taken care of. We're not making more money. Nobody is paying us more money because the price of gas is going up and everything else is going up," says Cathedral City resident Stephanie Stump.
But something as simple as lightening your load and your speed can go miles to save you cash, say the experts at American Automobile Association of California.
"It's figured for about every five miles an hour that we exceed 60 miles an hour, it cost about twenty five cents more per gallon just in that initial speed there," says Tracy James of AAA.
AAA says you'll also want to keep your tires inflated and think twice before rolling down the windows instead of using the air conditioning to save on gas.
"In fact the car is not going to be as aerodynamic. It's going to have a little more drag as the windows are down and it's going to create more of a drag and so sometimes you are not going to have that much of a savings from the air conditioning versus having the windows down," says James.
The type of gasoline you use could be driving costs up more than you think
"Most cars that are on the road today do not require that you go with a higher grade," James says. "They run very well. Most likely you're just wasting money by thinking 'I'm going to do a better job it's going to burn cleaner.' No those things are not happening, you are just using more money."
However, keeping a full tank of whatever fuel you choose could steer your car away from the shop.
"If we do tend to run the fuel to almost empty then that will sometimes allow that fuel pump to overheat ," says James. And then it will fail and that is one of the biggest reasons we have vehicle breakdowns.
According to AAA, about $1.25 a gallon could be saved by following these tips. But the most savings, perhaps, come from checking your car before even starting your engine.
The experts over at Pete's Automotive in Thousand Palms says check the front section of your vehicle for debris. It can get lodged up in front of the condenser, restricting airflow going through the radiator and that's what can make a car get hotter and overheat.
Pete says the less you drive your car in extreme heat the better, it should help prolong your vehicle's life.