Owning a car is no longer an honor for the elite in society, but rather a necessity for modern living. Families can enjoy a comfortable drive during the weekend without experiencing the inconvenience of using public transport. Gas prices are trending lower than they have for several years, however, consumers can never save too much. Below are some tips are helping you maximize your fuel efficiency, and keep your car out of the shop and on the road.
BEFORE YOU HIT THE ROAD
CHECK YOUR TIRES
Ensure that the tires are inflated and aligned to reduce the amount of drag that the engine should overcome. Low rolling resistance tires are ideal because they minimize rolling resistance by ten percent. Although they are common in new cars, you can buy a new set to enjoy the benefits if yours is an older model. Remember to adjust your tire pressures with the seasons to ensure you’re getting the most out of your vehicle.
CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER
Many car owners are guilty of not changing air filters. Air filters help the engine to draw air from the environment. If the filters are clogged, the engine must do double the work of getting air and blending it with fuel.
MONITOR FUEL ECONOMY
A decrease in your vehicle’s fuel economy is a sign of trouble in the engine. Monitor how much fuel your vehicle consumes by checking the odometer reading. Many hybrid cars and some gas vehicles have modern gauges that show fuel usage in real-time. Diesel injector cleaner or gasoline injector cleaner, based on fuel type can be used to boost fuel efficiency.
ENSURE THAT THE VEHICLE IS WELL-TUNED
Standard maintenance practices like frequent oil changes and spark plug changes will prolong the life of your car. You can also treat your oil with a synthetic additive to reduce engine wear and increase fuel economy. Stick to the schedule on the manual.
How you cruise down the road will affect your fuel consumption and mileage.
GO SLOW ON THE ACCELERATOR
Accelerate smoothly, just like you would when moving into traffic. Racing might make you excited, but it will drain your finances. Fuel consumption is directly proportional to how hard your engine is working. Even pressing the accelerator hard during lane changes will make you visit the gas station more frequently than you want.
STICK TO THE VEHICLE’S RECOMMENDED FUEL TYPE
There is a misconception that premium gas is ideal in ensuring optimum performance from your car. The notion fails to factor in the fact that cars are different, and so are their fuel requirements. Manufacturers test their vehicles and determine the fuel that will best run the engine. Check your car manual and follow the recommendation. If it says that you should use unleaded gasoline, so be it.
PARK IN THE SHADE
You probably didn’t know this, but parking under the hot sun could be the reason why you run out of fuel quickly. Reduce evaporation by parking your vehicle in cold areas, especially during summer.
ALWAYS SEAL THE GAS CAP
Do you check the status of the fuel cap? Most people remember that this cap exists when they are required to pop the fuel door open. The cover has a rubber seal that forms an airtight protector that prevents air from getting into the gas tank. Sadly, the cap wears off over time, cracks, and fails. When this happens, oxygen might get into the reservoir. When there is a lot of air inside the fuel tank, your engine will require burning more gas.
AVOID LENGTHY IDLING
When starting your car, your engine burns extra gas. When you leave your engine idle for over a minute, it will require more fuel than what it would need if you turned off the engine and restarted it. You can make things easy by buying a car with “stop-start” technology. Such vehicles shut off the engine automatically and restart it when you remove your foot from the brake pedal. Although this advancement is popular in hybrid cars, it is also gaining pace in regular gas vehicles.
REFUEL IN THE MORNING, AND NOT LATER IN THE DAY
Fueling your vehicle in the morning might save you a few dollars. If you refuel twice a week, you are looking at tens of dollars’ worth of savings in a month. In the morning, the ground is pretty cold, so the gasoline is dense. As the day progresses, the temperature increases and gasoline expands. Therefore, a gallon that you refuel at midday might not be a gallon.
Fuel economy is all about the right driving habits and a simple understanding of how the engine works. When you reduce the engine load, you will lower the gas mileage.