Consumers Cite Gas Prices as Major Economic Concern

by : Anthony Fontanelle

The increasing price of gasoline has forced many consumers to purchase smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles. It has also meant the decline in sales for American automakers like Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler which are known for manufacturing large vehicles like SUVs and pickup trucks. Further concerns about the increasing price of petroleum fuel were uncovered by a poll conducted by Wall Street Journal and NBC News.

The Auto Channel recently reported that in the said poll, Americans cited that the major economic concern for them is the increasing price of gasoline. In connection with this finding, the Car Care Council warned vehicle owners that if they will not take care of their vehicles, they are running the risk of aggravating the problem. The group said that proper maintenance of vehicles will make sure that it would retain its optimum fuel efficiency.

Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council, said that keeping a vehicle in tip top shape is a good way to battle the increasing price of gasoline. "The best way to fight higher costs at the gas pump is to keep your vehicle running properly. You can't control the price of gas, but you can control how much gas you burn by proper maintenance and how you drive," said White. "Performing simple and inexpensive maintenance can save as much as $1200 a year in gas cost," he added.

To help vehicle owners take care of their vehicles, the CCC offered some tips. One of these tips is to constantly check the vehicle gas cap. As gasoline is highly volatile, it can vaporize and be wasted if a vehicle's gas cap is damaged or loose. According to the figures posted by the Car Care Council, about 17 percent of the vehicles on the country's roads have defected or missing gas caps. At that rate, 147 million gallons of gasoline will be wasted every year. This also means that vehicle owners should check other fuel-related components such as .

The Car Care Council also advises motorists to have their tires checked. If a vehicle is running with under inflated tires, it is like driving with the parking brakes activated. That means fuel wastage could amount to about a mile or two per gallon. Spark plugs should also be checked by motorist as dirty spark plugs can cause misfiring which translates to fuel not being burned thus being wasted.