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Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue

Easy changes save money on automotive expenses

01/24/2007 - Many drivers complain that rising fuel, car and insurance costs are putting a big hole into their wallets these days. Prices at the pump continue to fluctuate at all-time highs, and drivers are paying top dollar to insure both financed and leased vehicles.

But high automotive costs are not solely the fault of Big Oil and insurance companies. Some things car owners do — or may not do — can cause them to spend more money than necessary on their vehicles. But a few changes can remedy that. Here are some easy steps to take to save money.

• Feeling deflated. Under-inflated tires can increase fuel consumption by up to three percent, according to The U.S. Energy Department. One study estimates that 50 to 80 percent of the tires rolling on U.S. roads are under-inflated. Drivers could save up to two billion gallons of gas each year simply by properly inflating our tires. Check a vehicle owner's manual or the tire itself for the proper tire inflation psi number.

• Clear the air. A clogged air filter can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent. Air filters keep impurities from damaging the interior of the engine, so replacing dirty filters will save gas and protect the engine.

• Stop friction. High-performance motor oils can make meaningful improvements to your car's fuel economy and engine life. For instance, numerous independent studies have documented that Royal Purple® motor oil improves fuel economy by as much as five percent or more and dramatically reduces engine wear. Additionally, using Royal Purple® motor oil, as opposed to conventional oils, allows for more miles between oil changes, reducing maintenance costs and the amount of time spent on maintenance. You'll pay a little more for premium motor oil, but the savings in fuel and the reduced maintenance costs more than make up for the higher price. Learn more at

• Do your research. Shop around for the best prices on auto insurance. Prices vary from company to company, so it pays to do your homework. Get at least three price quotes. You can call companies directly or access information on the Internet. Your state's insurance regulator may also provide price comparisons.

Those in the know can save hundreds of dollars a year on automotive expenses with a little time, research and better-performing products.

Appalachian Regaional
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