Although we published fuel saving tips in recent issues, we thought it might be helpful to reiterate some important gas-saving maintenance and driving tips that really work, from the Car Care Council.
Vehicle gas caps: About 17% of the vehicles on the road have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year. Make sure yours is functioning properly.
Under inflated tires: When tires aren’t inflated properly it’s like driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon. Although many newer vehicles have sensors designed to detect underinflated tires, experts still recommend checking your tire pressure at least once a month.
Worn spark plugs: A vehicle can have either four, six or eight spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be checked often and replaced regularly.
Dirty air filters: An air filter clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture – too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%, saving about 15 cents a gallon.
Don’t be an aggressive driver: Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33% on the highway and 5% on city streets.
Avoid excessive idling: Sitting idle gets zero miles per gallon. Although it may sometimes be necessary in this industry, try to keep it to a minimum.
Observe the speed limit: Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.
Source: Car Care News Service