Nick's 2 Cents...Preventative car maintenance

Believe it or not, a car in need of a tune-up could cost you even more money when you fill up! But what does a tune-up include, and how does it help your pocketbook? The following tips will show you how spending money under the hood now can save you in the long run.

A good place to start is to check your air filter. Max Glenn, the service manager at Barton's Car Care in Memphis, says you should change your air filter every ten to twelve thousand miles.

"If thee engine tries to suck air through a dirty air filter, you're not going to get optimum performance," he said.

If you're driving with a dirty air filter, you are wasting gas...sometimes up to 22 cents per gallon.

Another important component of your engine is the oxygen sensor.

"It's a sensor that reads the fuel/air ratio coming out of the motor," Glenn said. "It's basically like a switch that tells the engine to run lean or rich."

A failed oxygen sensor can decrease your fuel efficiency by as much as 40% Signs of a failed oxygen sensor include:

**A "check engine" light on your dashboard turning on
**Puffs of black smoke coming from your exhaust..
**Surging and/or hesitation in your car when driving.

Glenn also recommends getting a good fuel system treatment, and keeping your tires properly inflated.

A combination of these things will help you save money at the pump while as prices are high.

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