For many of us, our knowledge of cars and how to drive comes from our parents. I developed my love for Nascar Cup races as a child, and spent many Sundays watching the race with him. When the time came for me to learn how to drive, it was my Dad that taught me. He tried to teach me a lot of things about cars, some of which I paid attention to and some which I didn’t. He stressed the importance of regular maintenance and things like getting the oil changed. (I didn’t take that one seriously enough despite being told hundreds of times, and somehow managed to be surprised when the engine in my car blew.)
The folks at Growth Energy have put together a list of five important things to remember when hitting the road. With summer winding down quickly, these are good things to keep in mind, whether you’re planning one last family road trip or getting ready to watch your adult child drive off to college.
- Regular Tune-ups: Taking your car to an automotive professional for regular tune-ups will keep your vehicle running safe and help it live a long life. Just as with people, preventive automotive care is far preferable over having to handle an unexpected emergency. Be sure to take your car in for an oil change, wheel alignment and other standard maintenance checks at least once a year.
- Improved Fueling Options: Drivers today have more fueling options than ever before. What some drivers may not know is that all 21stcentury cars are able to take advantage of gasoline with higher blends of American-made biofuels such as ethanol. Ethanol is already in nearly all of the gasoline sold in the U.S. and E15 – gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol – is another option drivers have across the U.S. E15 helps lower greenhouse gas emissions while offering drivers more horsepower. It’s so beneficial, in fact, that NASCAR has been using higher blends of ethanol since 2011.
- Use Automotive Cleaners Only: Keeping your car clean will ensure that it looks good on the road and maintains maximum resale value over the long term – and it can be a fun weekend project for the family! But be sure to only use cleaning products made for use on automobiles. Standard household cleaners can be harmful to leather and upholstery, and most standard window cleaners contain ammonia, which can actually degrade the heating elements on rear windows over time.
- Learn to Check Tire Pressure: Many of today’s cars come equipped with automatic tire pressure sensors that alert drivers when a tire is running low. But having a tire pressure gauge and knowing how to use it will give you the ability to make sure your tires are properly inflated and adjust the pressure accurately when needed.
- Let Technology Help: There are numerous smartphone apps that drivers can use to help track maintenance history, expenses and mileage, as well as remind you when it’s time to head in for your next tune-up.
About Growth Energy
Growth Energy represents the producers and supporters of ethanol who feed the world and fuel America in ways that achieve energy independence, improve economic well-being and create a healthier environment for all Americans now. For more information, please visit www.GrowthEnergy.org. You can also follow them on Twitter or connect on Facebook.