Local mechanics share money saving tips amid rising gas prices

MILWAUKEE — Riverside Automotive owner Peter Bilgo has been working in the automotive industry for more than four decades, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to cars.

When TMJ4 News asked him how drivers can improve their fuel efficiency, his answer was simple: Proper car maintenance.

“Gas prices are still going to be high, they will be for a while. It all matters,” said Bilgo.

Bilgo says the first thing you need to do is make sure your tires are properly inflated, your breaks are working correctly, and your air filters are clear.

“If your air filter is plugged, you’re using more fuel. It would be like running a race with a rag in your mouth. If you restrict airflow you’re going to use more fuel,” said Bilgo.

Knepper Brothers Inc. owner Aaron Knepper says other car maintenance, including oil changes and spark replacements, can improve your gas mileage by an additional mile or two.

“It can definitely make a huge difference in general,” said Knepper.

Knepper also says driving steady and at the speed limit could save you money in the long term.

“The less you accelerate, it’s better for the gas mileage in general. That can definitely make a big difference,” said Knepper.

“If you drive 70 miles-per-hour you’re going to use more gas than when you drive 55 miles-per-hour,” said Bilgo.

The same goes for braking quickly. It’s a gas waster. Both mechanics say these minor changes can quickly add up.

“If you can save 10% on fuel over a years time period, that’s going to be money in your pocket,” said Bilgo.

Car experts also say that while it is cold out, don’t let your car idle too long outside. You’re burning gas you could be saving. They also say to avoid the roof rack if you can. It increases wind resistance. Instead, put cargo in the trunk or on the back of your car.

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Katherine E. Ackerman

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