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To Combat Record Gas Prices, Pep Boys Offers Consumers Simple Vehicle Maintenance Tips for Saving

PHILADELPHIA - May 20, 2008 

PHILADELPHIA - May 20, 2008 - As motorists across the nation face more and more pain at the pump and with a busy summer travel season ahead, The Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE: "PBY"), the nation's leading automotive aftermarket retail and service chain, offers families information on how to improve fuel efficiency and prepare for safe summer travel.

"Pep Boys recommends that motorists seek preventive maintenance inspections and services to make sure their vehicle's mechanical, electrical, brake systems and fuel systems are able to perform optimally in hot summer driving conditions," said Assistant Vice President of Service Greg Russ. "In addition to preventive maintenance services, there are several simple things that motorists can do to improve fuel efficiency, including ensuring that their tires are properly inflated and that their air filters are clean."

An estimated 37.87 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend. An ill-prepared vehicle, or one that is not fuel efficient, could stall road trip plans.

Here are five easy steps to maximize gas mileage this summer (all estimates are based on a fuel price of $3.72 per gallon):

Step 1: Check Your Tire Pressure

Under- or over-inflation of tires can lead to decreased fuel mileage, as well as shorten the life of the tires. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency (DOE/EPA) jointly report that properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage up to 3 percent, saving up to 11 cents a gallon. Consumers should consult their owner's manuals for the recommended tire pressure and check their tires monthly with a good quality tire pressure gauge. Also check the tread for uneven or irregular wear and cuts or bruises along the sidewalls. It only takes five minutes.

Step 2: Change Your Air Filter

Dirty air filters can cause engines to run at less than peak efficiency. Regular visual checks of the air filter can show if it needs replacing, and the owner's manual will suggest appropriate replacement intervals - usually every 12,000 miles. The DOE/EPA report that replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving up to 37 cents a gallon.

Step 3: Change Your Oil

For maximum engine life, change your oil and filter every three months or 3,000 miles or as directed in your owner's manual. Use the correct oil viscosity because high viscosity oils have greater resistance to an engine's moving parts, which uses more gas. According to the DOE/EPA, motorists can increase fuel efficiency by 1-2 percent, saving 4-7 cents a gallon, by using the proper grade of motor oil.

Step 4: Clean Your Fuel System

There are a number of good reasons to maintain the fuel system of your engine. Your fuel system may need cleaning if you experience stalling, rough idling hesitation or hard starts. Removing the build-up of dirt and particles will not only help restore and improve your vehicle's performance and reduce emissions, it will also help improve your gas mileage-an important factor considering today's gas prices.

Step 5: Get a Tune Up

A properly tuned engine can increase fuel efficiency by an average of 4 percent, saving 15 cents a gallon, notes the DOE. Have your spark plugs, ignition wires, fuel filter and oxygen sensors inspected by a reputable automotive service provider like Pep Boys before hitting the road this summer.

Fuel Factoid: According to the Car Care Council, a vehicle's spark plugs fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced regularly.

About Pep Boys

Pep Boys has over 560 stores and approximately 6,000 service bays in 35 states and Puerto Rico. Along with its vehicle repair and maintenance capabilities, the company also serves the commercial auto parts delivery market and is one of the leading sellers of replacement tires in the United States. Customers can find the nearest location by calling 1-800-PEP-BOYS or by visiting pepboys.com.

  • Media Contact:
  • Lauren Johnson, 215-430-9588
  • Alex Spooner, 215-430-9588