http://www.cleanenergy.org/2009/01/05/regularly-maintain-vehicles-for-fuel-efficiency/

SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Regularly Maintain Vehicles for Fuel Efficiency

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Providing your vehicle with regular service maintenance will insure your vehicle is safe and efficient*. Through regular “tune-ups”, your vehicle should reach the best mileage and lowest emissions that it can achieve without any major additions to the vehicle. Regular service to a vehicle should include:

Checking tire pressure: Inflating to proper tire pressure is an easy way to get more mileage from your vehicle. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure for proper inflation, listed in the vehicle owner’s manual.

Regular oil changes: Having an oil change every 3,000 miles makes sure your vehicle’s engine is well lubricated and cooled, resulting in more efficient fuel combustion. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommended oil for proper viscosity, listed in the vehicle owner’s manual.

Changing spark plugs: The key to combustion in the engine, spark plugs should be changed every 10,000 miles. A good spark plug means better combustion of fuel inside the engine, resulting in fewer emissions and more miles-per-gallon.

Replacing the oxygen sensor: The oxygen sensor in your vehicle monitors the amount of oxygen in the exhaust, and tells the engine to either add or reduce the amount of fuel being used. A good oxygen sensor maintains a proper fuel/ air mixture in the engine’s combustion chamber, and reduces emissions and increases mileage. Oxygen sensors could be replaced anywhere from 30,000 -100,000 miles, depending on the year of your vehicle.

Emissions testing: Most major cities perform emissions testing on vehicles, although sometimes not mandatory. Having your vehicle’s emissions analyzed is an indicator on how well the engine is performing, and if the oxygen sensor may need replacing. Emissions testing is a great way to inform the driver on what impact the vehicle is having on air quality.

* All vehicle maintenance should be performed by or under the supervision of a trained automotive technician.