High fuel prices are on everyone’s mind these days. We all want to squeeze every mile we can out of each gallon of fuel. How to do so is a question we are asked a lot. Here are some tips on how to do just that.
First, the tires are very important, both inflation and ensuring the alignment is in good condition. Inflate your tires to the maximum inflation as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. This information is located in your owner’s manual and very often on the driver’s door or door post. Check the front tires for wear on the edges. If the tires are wearing unevenly, you are wasting valuable fuel because the rolling friction is increased. Performing an alignment to correct this drag will increase fuel efficiency and save on tire wear as well so you receive a double benefit.
Second, and where you will get a large improvement, is to modify driving habits. Look ahead and anticipate stop lights or stop signs and coast up to them. Just understand, every time you step on the brake, you are wasting the fuel that was used to get up to speed. Knowing that can make it easy to remember to change our driving habits as we approach stop lights and signs. Also, when running errands, carefully plan a route that is the shortest and eliminates back-tracking.
If so equipped, use your cruise control whenever possible at speeds of 45 mph or greater. This is very effective at saving fuel. Also, unload unnecessary items from the interior and the trunk. Every pound of weight requires fuel to move it. While it may seem desirable to run with lower fuel levels, modern vehicles should not run below 1/4 tank very much. This is because the fuel acts as a coolant for the high performance fuel pump and more dirt is run through the pump at lower fuel levels due to slosh factor. Running low fuel levels repeatedly can cost you an expensive fuel pump replacement.
And then, of course, the all important care of your vehicle in general. Regular maintenance will ensure that everything stays in good running order and keeps the engine running at peak efficiency. Dirty air filters and worn spark plugs can rob an engine’s efficiency and cost you in fuel loss. Timing belts need replaced at set intervals to prevent sudden breakdown when the belt breaks and, in the case of some engines, severe engine damage results from such breakage. All in all, routine oil changes and following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance intervals will save you money on repairs, save fuel, and keep your vehicle’s value as high as possible.