Anybody who drives a car, understands the cost of fuel. This is a recurring expense that happens when you own and drive a vehicle. Unfortunately, gas prices tend to vary. There are many factors that contribute to this; prices can change based on where you live, the political environment, the time of year and sometimes the day of the week that you are buying gas.
It stands to reason then, that most drivers probably want to do all they can to help save money on fuel. Fortunately, there are several things you can do t help minimize the pinch at the gas tanks.
Let’s start with some easy ideas that can be done by everyone.
Most people do clean out their cars if they will be driving it for a special occasion or for a night out. However, it makes good sense to clean your car out more often. Any weight added to your car will be a drain on the fuel. The added weight makes your engine have to work harder.
So, clean out the stuff you don’t need – drop off the donations to Good Will and take out anything that is not necessary. Sports equipment should not be kept in the trunk, it adds weight. Simply put it in your car when you absolutely must. Remember that just 100 pounds of extra weight inside your car can reduce gas mileage by 2%.
In a similar manner, remove all exterior cargo holders when they are not in use. Car manufacturers design cars to be aerodynamic. This is not just about the look of the car, but about reducing the amount of drag. This extra drag is a drain on fuel and mileage as well. If you leave a cargo carrier on your roof rack, you are reducing fuel economy anywhere from 6% to 17% at speeds of 55 mph. If you are driving at 65-75mph, the number hits 25%.
Having properly inflated tires is not only a safety issue, it’s a fuel consumption issue as well. If your tire is underinflated by just 2lbs of psi, your car’s fuel consumption increases by 1%. Checking to make sure that your tires are properly inflated is easy and something that should be done every few weeks.
You should also check your tires for wear and tear. Tires that are out of alignment will put a strain on your car when driving, and ultimately have a negative impact on your fuel consumption. Make sure your tires are aligned. If you need to replace them, be sure that they are well rated and provide adequate traction.
This is something that can have a big impact on your fuel use. Most cars are designed to un on at least 87 octane fuel. If you add a higher octane fuel to your car, it will not necessarily make it run faster or better. It will only add to the dollar signs at the pump. In fact, it could easily add over $100.00 to the cost of gas over a year.
How you accelerate and decelerate is one of the most important things you can do to save on fuel. The constant start and stops, hitting the gas and flying, constant speeding up and slowing down are very draining on fuel economy. This type of aggressive driving can actually decrease your car’s fuel economy by 37%. You should accelerate moderately and then maintain a steady speed.
Another easy fix for helping fuel economy is to stick to driving the speed limit. This is more than a safety issue as well. Most cars are designed to work optimally at 50 mph. In fact, for every 5 mph over 50 mph you drive, you will pay $0.15 more per gallon. Driving at 62 mph instead of 75mph will save you 15% of your car’s fuel.
Idling is a great way to waste fuel. When you idle, your car loses up to a ½ gallon of fuel per hour.
You should try to use your car’s AC sparingly. This is because the air compressor uses gas and will drain your tank faster. If it is possible, try to park your car in the shade on hot days. You can also use a sunshade to help keep the interior dark and cool while you are parked. This will reduce the amount of AC you will need to cool down your car.
It is crucial that you have your car regularly serviced. The smoother your car is running, the easier it is on the fuel economy. And certainly, any time the check engine light comes on, get it checked out quickly. Most of the time this light will come on due to a dirty sensor or loose filter. Both of these are easy and quick to fix.
For example, a loose gas cap will cost you 20% of your car’s fuel economy. A bad oxygen sensor can cost you to lose up to 40% of your car’s fuel economy.
And make sure you are using the right oil. Using the wrong oil for your car’s engine can result in a 12% decrease in miles per gallon for your car.
It makes good sense to plan out your trips. This way you can get work, errands or shopping done in an efficient manner. It is easier on your car and means less filling up needed at the pump.
As a car owner, you want o be sure you are taking the best possible care of your vehicle. One of those ways is taking care to optimize your car’s fuel economy; this is a good move for your wallet and better for your car. These simple tips are things that you can do easily every day in order to ensure you are getting the best possible mileage out of your car.