The New Year is Here – Is Your Family Prepared?

The New Year is Here – Is Your Family Prepared?

Automotive expert Ricardo Rodriguez-Long Offers Tips to Whom it May Concern: Hit the Ground Running in Money-Saving Mode


Greenville, SC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – PR Newswire)–January 8, 2008–With the holiday shopping and spending season over, many families are eager to find ways to repair the damage, cut back on spending and save more in the new year.

Typical budgeting strategies suggest tracking expenses such as the mortgage, insurance, food and clothing, but according to automotive expert Ricardo Rodriguez-Long, all too often what’s parked in the garage gets left out of the plan. Rodriguez-Long, a certified mechanic and automotive journalist, is working with Uniroyal Tire in a public service campaign to provide money-saving advice to Hispanic families.

“Families must understand the implications of car care, especially if they are on a tight budget,” says Rodriguez-Long. “A little preventative maintenance can help you save on gas costs and save yourself from costly surprises down the road.”

Before you hit the ground running in ‘08, make sure you aren’t running on empty with your car’s maintenance schedule. Routine checks can help you identify problems that can become large expenses that may be difficult to afford. “No one enjoys spending money on automotive maintenance, but it’s much better to be proactive than to ignore important maintenance that can cause your components to wear faster,” says Rodriguez-Long who recommends following the maintenance schedule outlined in the car’s owner’s manual. “Regular maintenance not only keeps your car running efficiently but will also help you save significant money on gas.”

Together, Uniroyal Tire and Rodriguez-Long have identified some key measures that can help families get the most value from their cars:

Put the Family Vehicle in Money-Saving Mode

— Where the Rubber Meets the Road. Research conducted by Uniroyal tells us that most Americans are driving around on under-inflated tires. Many drivers don’t think about their tires unless something goes wrong, but tire maintenance is critical for saving money and protecting you and your family on the road. Check your tire inflation pressure “cold” (at least three hours after the car has been stopped and before it has been driven one mile) once a month and adjust accordingly. The proper inflation pressure can be found in the owner’s manual or on the placard usually found on the doorjamb. Properly inflated tires not only contribute to greater fuel efficiency, but also last longer and perform better.

— Money-Saving Maintenance. Research shows that a poorly tuned engine can greatly increase fuel consumption. A basic tune up includes spark plug replacement, regular oil and filter changes and cooling system maintenance. Maintaining your spark plugs and changing your oil and filter every 5,000 miles ensures optimal performance. Motorists should also remember to flush the cooling system regularly. Proper wheel alignment is another big factor that affects gas mileage. Your local Uniroyal dealer can assess your vehicle’s wheel alignment. Replacing clogged air filters is a biggie! A clean filter versus one that is severely clogged can have a big impact on gas savings. Air filters also keep impurities in the air from damaging internal engine components. In fact, Rodriguez-Long says, following all of these maintenance tips will help your car’s engine and other components last longer.

— Give Up the Gas Guzzling. There are several ways to conserve how much gas your car uses. In addition to checking the air pressure in your tires monthly, Rodriguez-Long advises:

— Where’s the Wear? If your tires are worn unevenly, it can cause your car to work harder, thus using more gas. Uneven tread wear is usually an indicator of other problems, such as incorrect alignment or balance, which if left unchecked could become a larger, more costly repair. Your Uniroyal dealer can help you determine the condition of your tires.

— Easy Does It – driving far over the speed limit or aggressively accelerating and braking can increase the amount of fuel you consume.

— Lighten Up – driving around with extra baggage in the trunk or on the rooftop can limit your car’s efficiency around town and on the highway.

— Don’t be Lazy – searching for a close parking spot or idling in the drive-thru lane wastes gas. Park and go inside, it’s good for you.

Uniroyal Tire launched its Manejando el Ahorro a Casa (Driving Savings Home) campaign two years ago with Rodriguez-Long to provide tire and automotive advice to Hispanic consumers through media interviews and educational materials.

“I’m very pleased to be involved in this campaign with Uniroyal Tire because we are helping Hispanic families save on automotive expenses so they have more money for the more important things in life that they value,” Rodriguez-Long explains.

Rodriguez-Long, a certified mechanic, race car driver and former engine builder for the Toyota racing division, writes about cars and automotive trends for Spanish-language media and is the editor of the automotive magazine, Auto a Fondo. He lives in California where he manages a truck dealership.

Uniroyal Tire is one of the world’s leading tire brands for passenger and commercial cars, pick-ups, light trucks, mini vans and sport utility vehicles. Dating back to 1892, Uniroyal Tire has developed a reputation for providing high-quality, affordable tires including its Tiger Paw(R) and Laredo(R) tire series. Uniroyal(R) tires offer just the right combination of dependability, traction and grip in almost every weather condition, and come with one of the industry’s leading warranties. Visit Uniroyal Tire online at

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The New Year is Here – Is Your Family Prepared?