Transportation

New App Can Save Drivers Money While Helping The Environment

Drivers can keep track of vehicle maintenance and gas consumption.

TxDOT is unveiling a new smartphone app that helps drivers keep track of when they need to perform vehicle maintenance. Besides saving Texans some money, the app could also help clean the environment.   

We caught up with TxDOT representatives at a gas station in Midtown Houston where they explained the new “Roadcents” app.

The app allows drivers to keep track of their vehicle’s maintenance, things like oil and filter changes and tire rotation.

TxDOT’s Claire Ronner says you can put in the make and model , and the app will give you pop-up reminders that are specific to your vehicle.

“Now during the summer months travel is a lot higher. As we’ve got more people traveling, going on vacation, going to the beach, going all across Texas, this will keep their vehicles safe and running more efficiently.”

Ronner says Roadcents also shows you much money you can save by keeping up with routine maintenance.

“People love infographics, so seeing how much your car is spending and how much you could actually save really gets drivers engaged and understand that, for their own vehicle, there’s a lot of opportunity there.”

And along with giving Texans the opportunity to save at the pump, the app has another purpose, and that’s to help keep the air clean. By burning less gas, vehicles pollute less.   

TxDot says the state currently has about 20 million licensed vehicles.

It started the “Drive Clean” initiative about 12 years ago to educate Texans about the impact those vehicles have on air quality.  

The agency conducts its initiatives in the summer months. That’s when ozone levels rise in cities like Houston that struggle to meet clean air mandates.

Doug Shupe is with AAA Texas. His agency works alongside TxDOT on clean air initiatives. Shupe says Texans spend a lot of time in their vehicles.

“The average driver travels 29 miles and spends about 55 minutes behind the wheel each day.”

And Shupe recommends paying close attention to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule.

“Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve gas mileage by up to 40%. A clean air filter can improve gas mileage by up to 10%. Getting up tune-up can improve gas mileage up to 4%.”

TxDOT says along with keeping the environment cleaner, Texans can save about $100 a year in gas by performing needed maintenance.

You can learn more about the Roadcents app here.

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TxDOT representatives explain the new Roadcents app at a Midtown Houston gas station.

 

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Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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