As the holiday season approaches, chances are you and your family will be spending more time on the road. Whether driving to see family or friends, going holiday shopping or just running day-to-day errands, now is a good time for you to think about making your car as safe and as road-ready as possible. How? By spending a little time on basic maintenance.
Ideally, the first place to start is with your tires. If you think about it, your tires are the only thing between your vehicle and the road. And to get the most out of your tires – maximum mileage, safety and wear – you’ll need to keep track of three important things:
- Check your tire pressure: keep your tires properly inflated (the recommended pressure is written on a sticker placed on your driver’s side door jam and in your vehicle owner’s manual)
- Make sure you get your tires rotated every 7,000 miles or 6 months
- Have your wheel alignment checked every other tire rotation and always when installing new tires
If you need help, Delta World Tire of New Orleans offers FREE tire and brake checks, so stop by any store for assistance. The experts at Delta World Tire can also help you if you are in the market for new tires. If you’re looking for extra gas savings, one option is to look for tires with low rolling resistance. For example, the MICHELIN® Defender™ provides greater fuel-efficiency and a potential savings of up to $250 in fuel @$3.50/gallon over the life of the tires*. Or check out the MICHELIN® Energy Saver A/S, which is constructed to keep the tire running cooler, increasing fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions.
Here are some other driving and maintenance tips to stay safe this season (and save some money at the gas pump in the process):
- Observe the speed limit. You can actually save money by following the speed limit, especially over speeds of 50mph. According to the Department of Energy, each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph can cost you an extra $0.25 per gallon for gas.
- Try to take out any unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially those that are heavy. An extra 100 pounds in your car can reduce your miles per gallon by up to 2 percent.
- Avoid driving aggressively. Not only is it unsafe, but accelerating quickly and braking often can lower your fuel economy. It is better to gently accelerate and brake, as it can save more than $1 per gallon, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Use the right motor oil. Look for motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.
- Check and replace air filters. A clogged air filter on an older car with a carbureted engine can improve your fuel economy by about 2 to 6 percent, and if it is really bad, you can see improvements by up to 14 percent.
*Based on fuel efficiency estimates from rolling resistance testing versus the Yokohama® Avid® TRZ 215/60R16 over the warranted 90,000-mile treadlife of the MICHELIN® Defender™ tire. Actual on-road savings may vary.
Paul is one of the fourth generation owners of Delta World Tire and currently serves as the company’s president. After attending college at University of Louisiana, Lafayette, Paul currently lives in New Orleans with his wife Jennifer and three children. Growing up around a family business Paul has spent time learning the business in all areas, from working in the shops during high school summers to managing retail locations after college. His passion for the tire business has allowed him to serve on many boards during his career. Paul served on Michelin’s Dealer Advisory Council for eight years and its chairman for six. He currently is a board member for the Louisiana Independent Tire Dealers Association having served as President of the board 2007-08. Paul enjoys his work and strives to create a work environment that his employees can enjoy. When he is not at his office or visiting locations you can find him spending time with his family enjoying his (rebuilt) New Orleans neighborhood.