We’re in the midst of it now. Summer is officially here and whether you’re on stay-at-home duty, hauling the mini-van to camp, the pool, the park, or you’re a summer weekend warrior trying to cram as much fun into two-day increments as possible—one thing is for sure: we’re using our cars, and more than likely, we’re taking these “babies” for granted.
As with any child, your car needs proper care and attention, read: maintenance. To make sure you’re firing on all cylinders this summer, and not stressing over some car catastrophe, consider these car care tips so you and the kiddos can drop the staycation and cruise on down that summer bucket list:
- Regular Tune-ups: Dentist, doctor, automotive professional—same thing, right? Taking your car in for a regular tune-up will keep your vehicle running safely and will extend its lifespan. Preventive care is a much less troubling headache than having to handle an unexpected emergency. Take your car in for an oil change, wheel alignment, and other standard maintenance checks at least once a year!
- Improved Fueling Options: It is 2016 and drivers have more fueling options than ever before. But what some modern drivers may not know is that all 21st-century cars are capable of using gasoline with higher blends of American-made biofuels such as ethanol. Ethanol is already in nearly all of the gasoline sold in the USA and E15 – gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol – is another option drivers can take advantage of and it helps lower greenhouse gas emissions while offering drivers extra 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 holds onto maximum resale value in the long term – and hey, it can even be a fun weekend project for the family! Break out the hose and super-soakers! 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 the cars on the road today come with pre-equipped, automatic tire pressure sensors that will alert drivers when a tire is running low on air. 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 tons of smartphone apps that drivers can use to help track maintenance history, expenses, and mileage, as well as send you helpful reminders for 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 the economic well-being and create a healthier environment for all Americans now. For more information, please visit us at www.GrowthEnergy.org, follow us on Twitter @GrowthEnergy or connect with us on Facebook.