Saturday, 24 May, 2008 1:52 PM
Shows Folks Plan to Drive Smart When Taking Summer Vacations
also outlines how FAR people are going to drive; Angie's List offers
tips for summer road trips
courtesy of www.boston.com
end in sight for fast-rising gas prices, Angie's List members planning
to drive to their summer vacation destination are taking extra steps
to ensure they get the most out of every gallon.
In a nationwide poll conducted this month, 67 percent of Angie's
List members who responded said they will take the time to service
their vehicles before hitting the open road to make their vehicle
as fuel-efficient as possible and minimize the chances they'll spend
their precious R&R time in the breakdown lane.
"No one likes the spike in gas prices, and our members are
choosing to be really smart about their summer road trips, rather
than just giving in to the price at the pump," said Angie Hicks,
founder of Angie's List, which provides consumer ratings on about
a dozen auto-related categories of service.
a breakdown of how far those who are driving to their vacation
spot are planning to travel:
than 100 miles: 9 percent
100-500 miles: 49 percent
500-1,000 miles: 24 percent
More than 1,000 miles: 18 percent
Seventeen percent of those who have driven during past vacations
had their vehicle break down. Hundreds of Angie's List members shared
their auto-related vacation nightmares:
- One member
was driving through a tiny town in Mississippi when their vehicle
kept dying. They spent several hours sitting in a stranger's yard
waiting for a repair.
member spent two days of their vacation in Omaha, Neb. -- while
their car was being serviced.
air-conditioning went out -- in July -- while traveling in Texas.
One member recalled a horrible experience during which they were
stranded after a belt broke; while multiple respondents shared
similar experiences of breaking down while traveling through mountains.
ahead and have your vehicle serviced before your vacation. Remember,
that's your time to relax.
"Members are taking all the right steps in ensuring they have
the right tire pressure, not letting the fuel gauge get to empty
before filling back up and getting the car serviced before heading
out," Hicks said.
a great service station or mechanic, who you can rely on for years
to come, can help you get the best performance from your vehicle.
It'll also help you get quick service in emergencies and great advice
along the way."
Angie's Advice for Summer Road Trips
Take the vehicle you'll be driving to a reliable service provider
for a thorough check-up two weeks before you plan to head out. If
there's an issue, you'll have time to get it addressed without eating
into your R&R time. And, you'll greatly reduce the chances you'll
spend part of your vacation in a break-down lane far from home.
you're on vacation: Driving the speed limit will increase your fuel
limbo for the beach: Avoid going as low as you can go when it comes
to your gas tank. Your fuel pump is located there and the bottom
of the gas tank collects sediment from gasoline. When you run your
car on low fuel, the pump can pick up the sediment and become damaged
from it, which results in low fuel-efficiency.
day, drive all night: Consider driving to your summer destination
during non-peak hours. Nearly half the energy needed to power your
vehicle goes in acceleration. Unnecessary braking wastes that energy.
It will also be cooler at night, meaning you might not need the
A/C, saving even more fuel.
List Advice for Everyday Good Driving Habits
You should have an annual physical, and so should your vehicle.
Plan your vehicle's once-over shortly before your area's most extreme
weather sets in.
car with an emergency kit (high-energy snacks, bottled water, shovel,
blanket, cell phone battery charger, tire repair tools, flashlight
the Tin Man: Don't skip regular oil changes, which should be done
every 3,000 to 4,000 miles on most cars. Check your owner's manual
to see if your car has a specific oil type, and make sure your mechanic
up: A car wash does more than just clean your car. Regular washing,
especially the underbody and especially in the winter for cold-weather
areas, makes an enormous difference in a car's longevity. Brake
fluid and fuel lines run along a car's underbody, which is subjected
to a lot of dirt, water and salt -- all of which lead straight to
than a good listener: Don't make just a mental note when your car
starts to sputter, stall or have other strange symptoms. Put a notebook
and pencil in your car and keep detailed log of any problems and
the conditions under which they occur; (i.e. the weather or speed
at which you were driving when it happened). This detail will help
your mechanic diagnose the problem.
Regularly monitor your tire inflation and mileage to save money
at the gas pump and in the repair shop. Proper tire inflation helps
you get better gas mileage. A drop in fuel efficiency is often the
first warning sign of a problem, so monitoring your mileage can
catch a problem before it gets too big (and expensive).
steady wins the race: Vehicles that are driven gently last longer
and experience fewer problems. Don?t race from red light to red
light. Avoid sharp turns, slamming on the brakes and other habits
that put stress on your car.
Engine' light: If your "check engine" light flashes, stop
the car as soon as possible. Driving even a few miles with an engine
problem can wreak major havoc and cost you more in the long-run.
*1,327 Angie's List members took our poll. Responses are representative
of Angie's List members, but not the general public.
Source: Angie's List