October 2013, Ottawa – October is Car Safety Month – a time to ensure that your vehicle is ready to safely take on winter’s nasty weather conditions. That’s why the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada’s Be Car Care Aware program and the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) have teamed up to help Canadians prepare for winter by supplying them with easy preventative maintenance tips that will keep their vehicles running safely and efficiently.
“Regularly maintained vehicles tend to be safer, both for drivers and for the environment,” said Marc Brazeau, President and CEO, AIA Canada. “So it should be a no-brainer for Canadian car owners to get their cars serviced and repaired in preparation for winter’s harsh conditions.”
DesRosiers’ 2013 Light Vehicle Survey found that 44 percent of Canadians consider vehicle maintenance to be important; however, AIA’s Demand Study has shown that Canadians don’t regularly maintain their vehicles. Fortunately, according to CAA, there are simple preventive maintenance steps that every vehicle owner can take to make sure their car is running smoothly and is environmentally friendly. Of course, being environmentally friendly doesn’t just save the Earth; it saves money at the gas pump as well.
“Safety is paramount when out on the road, especially with winter right around the corner,” said Jeff Walker, Vice President, Public Affairs at CAA. “And, if Canadians can keep their vehicles as safe as possible, while protecting their investment and the environment all at the same time, it’s a win-win-win scenario.”
Here are five vehicle maintenance tips to consider that will keep your vehicle running efficiently and reduce its environmental impact:
Keep your vehicle properly tuned for optimum performance. Regular tune-ups and maintenance will help your vehicle pollute less and burn less fuel. A tune-up can improve gas mileage by an average of four percent, while fixing a serious maintenance issue, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve gas mileage by up to 40 percent.
Check your tires. Tires that are not properly inflated require your engine to work harder to move your vehicle and, therefore, to burn more gas. This increases fuel costs and increases the risk of engine damage. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to find its optimal tire pressure, and check the pressure whenever there are significant changes in temperature.
Check your vehicle’s gas cap. Gas caps that are loose, damaged or missing can cause gas to evaporate, which harms the environment and increases your number of visits to the gas station.
Replace dirty air filters. An air filter that is clogged with dirt and dust causes your vehicle to burn more fuel for the same amount of air intake, leading to wasted gas and power loss in the engine. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your vehicle’s efficiency by up to 10 percent.
Have spark plugs checked and replaced if necessary. Spark plugs wear out over time, and as they get older, they lose their ability to spark properly. This affects your engine’s performance and results in a loss of power. A misfiring spark plug can reduce your vehicle’s fuel efficiency by up to 30 percent.
To shed further light on green driving practices, the CAA is running an Eco-Driving Video contest that invites young Canadians to create a Vine or Instagram video illustrating one of CAA’s eco-driving tips or an eco-driving tip of their own. Video uploading runs until Nov. 4th. For additional contest details, please visit: http://www.caa.ca/ecocontest
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AIA is the national trade association representing the automotive aftermarket industry in Canada. The aftermarket is a $19.4 billion industry that employs 420,000 people. The industry is composed of companies that manufacture, distribute and install automotive replacement parts, accessories, tools, and equipment. As part of its mandate, AIA works to promote preventative maintenance through its Be Car Care Aware consumer education program.
CAA is a federation of nine clubs providing nearly 6 million members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection.
For all media inquiries, please contact:
Communications Coordinator, AIA Canada
Toll-free: 800-808-2920 ext. 233
Manager, Public Affairs, CAA National
Office: 613-247-0117 ext. 2006