Proper maintenance cuts the cost of driving

Whether the price of gas is rising or falling, car owners may find that regular car maintenance can help lower the cost of driving.

A recent survey found that few Amer-icans check the tire pressure on their vehicles, even though this simple maintenance task can improve fuel economy.

That was one of the key findings of a survey by the Opinion Research Corp. on behalf of a paper towel manufacturer.

While 61 percent of respondents reported checking the tire pressure on their cars, only 3 percent said they would be most likely to do it more often to conserve gasoline.

The survey polled 849 adults about a variety of auto maintenance topics including the types of do-it-yourself jobs performed on cars, the state of car interiors, and the psychological lift provided by a clean and shiny vehicle.

Topping the list of car maintenance jobs were vacuuming or cleaning the interior (76 percent), washing and waxing and checking tire pressure (tied at 61 percent), followed by changing the oil and filter (32 percent).

After an auto maintenance job is completed, more than half of the respondents said they went inside to “wash up,” while nearly one quarter use some kind of towel to wipe their hands.