6 Maintenance Tips for Better Fuel Economy
Everyone wants to save a buck at the pump (especially here in Victoria BC, where gas prices can be a little bananas). And we all know that bad driving habits are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to fuel economy. We’ve all heard the same fuel saving advice: lay off the brakes, stop idling and quit being such an aggressive driver.
But did you know that vehicle maintenance also has a big impact on gas mileage? Here are 6 easy ways to maximize your dollars at the gas pump and create the most fuel-efficient vehicle possible.
Keep tires properly inflated
When your tires aren’t inflated to the right pressure, it’s like driving with the brakes on. The less inflated they are, the more contact they have with the road and the more resistant they will be. In fact, that U.S. Department of Energy says you improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure.
Use the recommended grade of motor oil
While it may seem like a good idea to go with a higher grade of oil, it’s actually better to stick with what’s recommended by your manufacturer. That way, your engine will operate with the right level of lubrication, improving your gas mileage.
Check for wheel misalignment
Tires need to face straight ahead in order to roll with the least possible resistance. Misaligned tires drag instead of rolling freely, dramatically decreasing your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
Your tires may be misaligned if you notice uneven tire wear, if your vehicle drifts to one side while you’re driving straight, or if your steering wheel vibrates. If you notice any of these things, it’s a good idea to bring your car into Searle’s Auto so we can inspect your suspension. Not only are misaligned tires bad for your gas mileage, they can also be dangerous.
Change your air filter
Whether your car is 20 years old or 2 years old, replacing a clogged air filter has a positive impact on your gas mileage. And as a bonus it also improves your acceleration.
Check the fuel cap
Your vehicle is likely equipped with an evaporative emissions control (EVAP) system, which is designed to store and dispose of fuel vapors before they escape. After containing the fumes, the system condenses them into droplets and reintroduces them in the form of fuel back to the engine.
In other words, your engine requires both fuel AND fumes to perform most efficiently. So if your fuel cap is broken, missing or dangling uselessly (a lot of folks simply forget to put the cap back on after filling up), precious gas fumes are escaping.
Take your vehicle in for regular maintenance
When it comes to saving money at the pump (and being kinder to the environment, of course), all of the little things add up. That’s why it’s so important to follow a proper maintenance schedule for your vehicle. Give us a call or get in touch with us online and we’ll advise you on what should be done to keep your car (and your wallet) in tip-top shape.