‘Drive Clean’ can save drivers money

August 28, 2013

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George Barclay, a master diagnostic technician for nine years, said he has learned how paying attention to environmental issues can help your pocketbook.

“From experience, I know that if you keep a clean air filter, fill your tires with air and get tuneups, it will usually make between 1 and 2 mpg difference,” said Barclay, of Jerry Durant Toyota. “With gas prices going up, everybody is trying to save as much as they can.”

Barclay said he has worked on Toyota hybrids since the company brought them to the U.S. in 2000.

“I was one of the first guys to get a certificate (to work on hybrids).”

TxDOT and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality are in partnership to promote a clean air campaign dubbed “Drive Clean Across Texas.”

Along with the campaign comes a chance to win a low-emission, gas-saving hybrid car by registering online (http://drivecleanacrosstexas.org).

Here are money-saving tips offered through Drive Clean Across Texas:

Check tire pressure about once a month. Underinflated tires can use an extra $85 worth of gas per year.

Have your car tuned up on schedule. A vehicle lacking in proper maintenance can increase emissions and use up to $120 a year more in gas.

Have the oil changed regularly, and use energy-conserving oil. Oil containing special additives can reduce emissions and save about $50 in gas each year.

A faulty oxygen sensor can improve gas mileage by as much as 40 percent.

Keep your speed down. Driving just 5 mph over the speed limit on a regular basis can cost you $180 a year more in gas.

Don’t drive aggressively. That, along with rapid starts and stops, can rack up as much as $850 a year in additional gas costs.

Avoid idling while waiting in drive-through lines. Turn off vehicle if it will be idling 30 seconds or more.

Lighten loads. Carrying an extra 50 to 100 pounds makes the engine work harder and use more gas.

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