DEARBORN, Mich., March 12, 2010 – They’ve been around awhile – a snippet of advice here, an old adage there. They’re the guidelines that are supposed to help keep cars running in top condition. Problem is, most of them aren’t based in fact – or they’re just plain outdated.
Ford decided to debunk a few of the most popular maintenance myths, including the following:
SAVE: Either way, there’s a considerable savings here: Let’s say you’re an average consumer who drives 12,000 miles a year, which means you would need about four oil changes a year under the old formula. With the new extended mileage, consumers need only about two oil changes a year, cutting their bill for oil changes in half – you could pocket upward of $50 a year or $650 in the lifetime of your car and do something to help the environment by saving oil.
SAVE: Depending on engine size, temperature and other variables, modern cars can use about a third of a gallon of gas per hour while idling. By giving up that 10-minute idle every weekday morning, you could save more than a gallon a month – $32 a year or $416 over the life of the vehicle.
SAVE: At current gas prices, drivers may save up to $150 a year by opting for unleaded gas instead of premium.
SAVE: The government estimates that the average driver’s tires are underinflated by 26 percent. Generally, underinflated treads lower gas mileage about a half percent for each pound lacking when the pressure of all four tires is added up. An average driver with underinflated tires could add $79 a year to his or her fuel bill – or more than $1,027 in the lifetime of the vehicle. You could also save nearly half a barrel of crude oil per year by keeping your tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended level. Per the EPA, one barrel of crude oil equals 42 gallons of gasoline.
But gas is sold in underground, nonmetallic tanks that typically hold about 10,000 gallons, and it will take a lot of sunlight to raise the temperature even a degree. (However, pumping your gas when it’s cooler does mean less release of vapors, which is better for the environment.)
SAVE: Do your research before buying. Ford’s SIRIUS Travel Link™ sorts gas stations by price on the navigation screen, but Web sites like MSNAutos.com can also help drivers navigate to bargains. In our quick research, we found two gas stations in New York City – less than a mile apart – with 30 cents per gallon price difference. If you know before you go and fill up for less every time, it could result in $227 in your pocket annually, or $2,951 saved over the lifetime of your car.
All totaled, by implementing small changes, drivers could save up to $538 a year or $6,610 in the lifetime of their vehicle. In today’s economy, every penny counts. That’s why it’s important to get the facts.
Editor’s note: All savings estimates are calculated based on the EPA estimates for a 2010 Ford Taurus, which achieves 28 mpg highway and 18 mpg city. This model has a 19-gallon gas tank; the EPA estimates that each fill-up, at current gas prices ($2.70 a gallon), will cost $46.17 and annual fuel costs are $1,843. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 198,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.