SAVING FUEL (AND MONEY) IS EASY WITH THESE FOUR STEPS TO BETTER FUEL EFFICIENCY
We’ve all seen them. The huge trucks, with tires so big they can crush anything that comes in their paths and engines so clunky that the need for another fuel embargo seems apparent when you think of how much gas they guzzle. But consider this: with some basic upkeep, you can actually achieve two things at the same time; achieve optimum fuel efficiency while getting optimal driving quality in the process.
Here are some ways to make sure you are not driving around unnecessarily guzzling gas:
Listen to the Big Wigs
When vehicle manufacturers put together those nifty little owner’s manuals and maintenance guidelines, they know what they are talking about. Surprisingly, a LOT of people tend to ignore the manufacturer’s guidelines on vehicle care. But if you make the effort to maintain your engine, keep up the oil changes plus make sure your brakes and other components that endure normal wear and tear are kept up – then the results will speak for themselves. According to the US Department of Energy, you stand to save as much as 4% per gallon when operating a well-maintained vehicle. Taking care of bigger issues, will yield bigger savings.
Pay Attention to Pressure
Tire pressure, that is. Unless your tires are regularly maintained at their ideal and manufacturer suggested pressure, you stand the risk of wasting a sizable amount of fuel energy. The work your engine will have to do just to get that vehicle around on underinflated tires is enough to add as much as almost 3.5% of unnecessary gasoline consumption. What’s more, the percentage of fuel efficiency achieved goes up along with each pound of pressure closer to the recommended level. To find out the optimum tire pressure for the tires on your vehicle, refer to your owner’s manual or check the label inside the front left door.
Feed Your Engine The Right Oil
Since there are several options and grades available when it comes to motor oil, it only makes sense to stick with the one that is best for your vehicle’s engine type. With the exception of synthetic oil vs. natural, the thickness and viscosity are factors that change according to your engine’s specific parameters and needs. The climate where you operate your vehicle also has something to do with which motor oil is best. But if you use the wrong grade or one that is not the best choice for your car or truck, then you are wasting an opportunity to save as much as 1-2% on average of your fuel consumption.
Filters and Belts Need Attention Too
We tend to think of filters and belts as components that have a lot to do with a vehicle’s performance, which is largely true. But did you know that you can also achieve better fuel efficiency by keeping these things up? Clean, unclogged and appropriate filters affect the drivability in all cars and for older, non-fuel injection cars, also offer extra mileage gained per gallon. Similarly, when a vehicle’s belts are running properly and smoothly, the engine has to work less in the same amount of time, giving you great gas mileage!
There are always ways to run machines better so that they perform better and vehicles are no exception. With some attention given to the recommendations made by your car, truck or SUV’s manufacturer, you can be on the way to saving hundreds of dollars each year on better gas mileage alone! The added benefit, of course, is that you will have a smoothly operating vehicle that is maintained in tip-top condition.