Last week I went home for a family reunion. Visiting my family was great, and one of my favorite things was hanging out with my dad in the garage while he works on the car. When my siblings and I began to drive and own cars, my dad continually reminded us of the need to keep our cars on a regular maintenance schedule. With warmer spring weather here, and summer just around the corner, it’s a great time to get these things done. To make things easy, we have a checklist for you so it’s easy to remember what needs to be done.

Keeping your engine in tune can be one of the most effective things you can do for your gas mileage. Repairing some problems that can be uncovered with a routine engine tune-up can improve your fuel economy by as much as 40%! Other things, such as putting the right grade of motor oil in your vehicle and keeping the right amount of pressure in your tires don’t take very much time.

So before you head out on your summer road trip, or even drive to the park for a picnic, take a moment to make sure your car is in good health. It will be more than worth your time when you notice the savings.

Amanda McAlpin works for New West Technologies supporting the Vehicle Technologies Program at the U.S. Department of Energy.