26 Surrey/North Delta Leader Thursday, May 1, 2014
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It’s spring car cleaning time, inside and out If a road trip is part of your vacation An easy check and repair item is plans this summer, it’s time to get lighting. You may need some help the horseless chariot prepared. confirming that the brake and That means cleaning it inside and backup lights are functioning at out and performing some important the rear. Otherwise, it’s a simple maintenance to ensure you get the walk-around check that should best fuel economy. include the turn signals and headIn most parts of B.C., the swap lights (both low and high beams) Unnecessary from winter tires to all-season or weight increases fuel and don’t forget the license plate summer tires is already well under and those little side marker lights. consumption and way (studded winter tire removal is If you’ve got a vehicle with a mandatory by April 30). Winter tires some of that extra headlight (clear plastic) cover are made with a softer and stickier weight could be in that’s showing its age, there are rubber compound that wears faster the form of mud and some good products on the market and increases fuel consumption at now that help restore clarity. dirt on your vehicle’s Wiper blades are another easy higher temperatures. They also tend to be noisier and you’ll hear them undercarriage. check and replace item. A buildeven more, now that you can finally Bob McHugh up of grease or grim on the roll down the windows. windshield will also reduce the You may also be dragging around effectiveness of the wipers. Clean too much junk in the trunk, like that snow shovel the rubber wiper blade with a soft cloth soaked you always pack during in the winter months. in the glass cleaner. In B.C., those windshield Unnecessary weight increases fuel consumption wipers typically work harder than anywhere else and some of that extra weight could be in the in Canada and life expectancy can be less than form of mud and dirt on your vehicle’s undercara year. If they’re still streaking, chattering or riage. Road salt is probably also trapped in that generally not doing the job – replace them. muddy mess, which is a corrosion accelerant that Getting back to tires, a loaded vehicle driven at your vehicle’s body doesn’t need. highway speeds for prolonged periods in hot While you’re poking around in the trunk, take a weather conditions can be a punishing test for look under the floor cover. Water leaking into the tires and the dreaded blow-out is a real concern. vehicle tends to accumulate in the lowest spots, Even a tire that looks okay and has plenty of or maybe that’s why it’s called a spare-wheel tread remaining may not be in great shape. The well. If the spare is a conventional tire, check its “best before” date on most passenger tires is inflation pressure and, while you’re at it, make eight years old and you should be able to find sure that the emergency jack and tool kit are a date of manufacture stamped somewhere on also in good working order. sidewall of the tire.
A tire also performs best, lasts longer and provides best fuel economy when its internal pressure is set at a level recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, and checked on a regular basis. The tire decal, with optimal front and rear recommended tire pressures, is usually on the driver’s door or door jam. If not, the owner’s manual should give you the information and/or tell you where the tire decal is located. A single under-inflated tire (by about 6 psi /40 kPa) can cause a 3 per cent increase in fuel consumption. Using a grade of fuel with a lower octane rating than recommended by the vehicle manufacturer may cause the engine to ping or knock on hard acceleration or when climbing hills, which is not good for the engine! On the other hand, using a higher-octane fuel than your vehicle’s engine needs is generally a waste of money. That said, the pricier fuel may also contain some additional cleaner additives, which is good. Have a great summer and a safe driving vacation. email@example.com
Question of the week: Bob McHugh writes about spring cleaning your car, revealing how a clean car consumes less gas. Do you have a spring car cleaning tip to share with fellow readers?
Please explain why you have made that decision.Go to DrivewayCanada.ca QUESTION to submit your answer and you could OF THE WEEK! win a $100 Safeway gift card.
Safety Tip: Failing to yield may seem harmless, but it’s one of the top high-risk driving behaviours that leads to crashes. Every day there are many situations where you need to yield to another vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist, so slow down and think about it.
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Published on May 1, 2014