Monday, July 15, 2024 Detailed Auto Topics
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Fuel cost are very high and a big part of many families budget.  It is wise to consider how to stretch a few more miles from each gallon. Many are considering newer more fuel efficient vehicles.  That is one way to immediately increase miles per gallon, but there are extremely less expensive methods as well.

gimmicks don't work but you can save fuel

1. Keep your engine running at top efficiency. Driving with a check engine light on has always been a bad idea. With current fuel prices it is tantamount to burning money. Misfiring spark plugs, bad oxygen sensors and even a bad engine thermostat can waste up to five miles per gallon.

2. Proper tire inflation will reduce rolling resistance. See our article on Tire Pressure to learn what we have found works best for tire air pressure.

3. Keeping the wheels of a vehicle properly aligned can also save fuel, as well as extend tire life.  A vehicle that is out of alignment will cause the tires to drag.  This wears tires and requires more energy [fuel] to propel the vehicle at speed.  This is like spending more money to wear your tires.

4. If it’s time for tires consider one of the more energy efficient tires. Yes, Michelin has tires that actually roll easier and save fuel.  Energy efficient tires sometimes save one to two miles per gallon and are priced comparably with non-fuel saving tires.

5. Switching to synthetic lubricants can sometimes increase fuel mileage. Synthetic oil can lower internal resistance in an engine.  Synthetic lubricants can also be used in the transmission and differential(s). People have reported up to one mile per gallon increase.

6. Changing oil on a timely basis can extend engine life.  Using the proper energy-saving viscosity can also help with fuel mileage.  Thicker oils than the manufacturer specifies may cause engine, catalytic converter problems and lower mileage.

7. One of the biggest wasters of fuel is also one of the easiest and lowest cost to correct. Driving habits will cause fuel mileage to vary, perhaps more than anything else. Quick acceleration, driving fast, powering up to stops and long idling periods all waste fuel. The old, “drive like there was an egg under the accelerator” is good advice. Just like it takes more energy for you to run across a room than to walk, the same with a vehicle.

Allowing ample time to reach a destination and driving slower, will not only save a good deal of fuel, but wear and tear on the vehicle and fellow motorist. Taking off slowly, driving slower and coasting when possible can amount to 5 mpg or more on some vehicles. Driving 68 mph instead of 72 mph can reduce fuel consumption up to three miles per gallon.

Lastly, avoiding unnecessary and especially short trips can save a great deal of fuel and vehicle wear and tear. Keeping a list of needed items, stocking up on commonly used items and planning ahead to combine trips can make a huge difference in fuel usage.

To find the dollar saving, between two vehicles of different fuel mileage, use our MPG savings calculator

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