NAPSI -- Just because gas prices go up, that doesn't mean your driving has to go down.

You can't control the price of gas but you can control how much you use with some simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance.

Save gas and cash

Consider these simple steps to save gas without driving less:

Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.

Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by 3 percent.

Replace dirty or clogged air filters on older vehicles to improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.

Change oil regularly and gain another mile per gallon.

Check the gas cap. Damaged, loose or missing gas caps let the gas just vaporize into the air.

Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph.

Avoid excessive idling. Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Warming up the vehicle for one or two minutes is sufficient.

Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.

Consolidate trips. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much gas as one longer multipurpose trip.

Don't haul unneeded items in the trunk. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces fuel economy by up to 2 percent.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the "Be Car Care Aware" consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers.

For a free copy of the council's "Car Care Guide" or for further information, visit www.carcare.org.