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Rising Gas Prices Lead Consumers to Consider Ways to Improve Fuel Efficiency

As the busy summer driving season begins and gas prices are expected ...

As the busy summer driving season begins and gas prices are expected to rise well above $2 per gallon in some regions, consumers are finding out that it is now more important then ever to improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicles.

Pep Boys, would like to remind drivers that there are ways to keep vehicles in top shape and get the best gas mileage possible. In an effort to help, the company's stores will be distributing tips on simple things consumers can do themselves to keep more gas money in their pockets.

``Sometimes the simplest things can make a difference,'' said Bruce Chidsey, vice president of service operations for Pep Boys. ``It is important for vehicles to be maintained properly so they run efficiently, especially in times like these when the price of a gallon of gas continues to increase dramatically.''

According to Chidsey, the following eight-point checklist should help drivers make their vehicles as fuel efficient as possible:

Maintenance - Probably the biggest waste of gas is an inefficient engine. A rough running engine consumes more gas than a properly maintained engine.
Tire Pressure - Under- or over-inflation of tires can lead to decreased fuel mileage and improper wear, shorting the life of the tires. Consumers should consult their owner's manuals for the recommended tire pressure and check their tires regularly with a tire pressure gauge.
Air Filters - Dirty air filters can cause engines to run at less than peak efficiency. Regular visual checks of the air filter can show if it needs replacing and the owner's manual will suggest appropriate replacement intervals.
Oil - Using the correct viscosity oil is important because higher viscosity oils have greater resistance to the moving parts of the engine, which uses more gas.
Unnecessary Air Conditioner Use - Using the air conditioner excessively consumes more gas, so motorists should be prudent when turning on the A/C.
Power Accessories - Items that plug into a vehicle's cigarette lighter or are tied into your electrical system can cause the alternator to work harder to provide electrical current. That added load to the engine can decrease gas mileage.
Driving Style - Quick starts from a stoplight or stop sign use more fuel than a smooth steady acceleration. Adjusting driving styles can save gas.
Extended Idling Time - Unnecessary idling of the engine will cause excessive fuel use, so avoiding keeping the car running ``while you run in to the store for a minute.''
Alignment - Improper alignment of both the front and rear wheels and suspension decreases ease of steering, shortens tire life, increases road vibrations and drag, resulting in decreased fuel economy. Maintain alignment regularly for optimum results.
Customers can pick up this checklist and more information on fuel economy by visiting any Pep Boys store nationwide.

Pep Boys, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, operates 628 stores and nearly 6,500 service bays in 36 states and Puerto Rico. Along with its vehicle repair and maintenance capabilities, the company also serves the commercial auto parts delivery market and is one of the leading sellers of replacement tires in the United States.