Fuel economy is one of the first things we look at when considering a new vehicle. But how can you improve the way your existing car uses its fuel? We've listed a few things that may help.
As little as 100 pounds can begin to impact your fuel efficiency. That additional weight forces your vehicle to burn more fuel to take off. Before you leave, make sure you are carrying only the essentials. Offload any forgotten tools, backpacks, sports equipment, etc. And don’t forget removable cargo on the outside of your vehicle: cargo boxes, roof racks, and bike racks. If you need to carry extra cargo, consider a rear mounted cargo box to a roof mounted one as the former can save on fuel economy up to 16% in comparison.
Check Your Tires
Driving on underinflated tires can impact your fuel economy by as much as 3%. As we discussed in a previous newsletter, underinflation can also cause your tires to bald more quickly. Check your tires regularly and make sure their PSI is in the range indicated in your owner's manual.
Combine Your Trips
Your vehicle has to heat up to a certain temperature before it reaches maximum fuel efficiency. This is especially problematic in the cold months when it takes longer for your engine to heat up. Shorter trips can burn twice as much fuel as a longer multi-purpose trip. So instead of going on one errand one day and another the next, try combining your honey-do's into a single trip as often as you can, reducing the overall distance and time driving with a cold engine.
Idling your car burns more fuel than you may realize. Vehicles can release around 80% more pollution while they are idle and can consume 1-2 quarts an hour depending on make and model. Car manufacturers realize this and have begun implementing the stop-start system to conserve fuel by automatically shutting down the engine when fully stopped. Next time you are picking up a friend or waiting outside a store, turn off your engine to save cash.
Keep a Steady Speed
Hard braking and rapid acceleration can blow through your fuel. Keep your speed and accelerate steadily whenever possible. Doing this can improve fuel efficiency by 15%-30% on the highway and 10%-40% in stop and go traffic.
Also note: after reaching between 45-50 mph, your car steadily loses more and more fuel efficiency. In a light-duty vehicle for every 5 mph above 50 mph, you're paying about $0.30 more every mile you travel. That's about an extra $1.18 every mile driving on a 70 mph highway. (based on the current average gas price of $4.23)
Preform Regular Maintenance
There really is no substitute for proper vehicle maintenance. Damaged spark plugs, filthy air filters, and corroded connections can harshly impact your fuel efficiency. By closely following the maintenance schedule recommended by your vehicle manufacturer and local dealership, your vehicle can run at its full power and efficiency.
Flash Lube Oil's Full Service Oil Change uses CheckChart to ensure every part of your vehicle is operating correctly, keeping you safe and saving you money.
Come on down to your local Shell Rapid Lube owned and operated by Flash Lube Oil! Your friends here are happy to service your vehicle.