Reducing your vehicle’s fuel consumption is one of the best ways to cut costs and put extra cash in your pocket. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the average American spends more than five-percent of their income on automotive fuel. Not only is maximizing your car or truck’s fuel economy great for your bank account, it’s environmentally friendly as well. Mitigating your automobile’s fuel usage, in turn, limits the amount of harmful carbon emissions released into the environment. Compiled below is a list of seven tips to improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and save you money.
1) Routine Maintenance and Service
The first step in maximizing your automobile’s fuel efficiency is making sure it is up-to-date with all routine maintenance and service. Keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape ensures all engine components and fuel systems are functioning at optimal levels. A well-maintained vehicle will not only deliver peak performance, but retain its longevity and resale value as well. In contrast, a poorly maintained car or truck will provide significantly diminished fuel efficiency, along with costly breakdowns and repairs.
Regular oil changes are especially vital in getting the most bang for your buck in terms of automotive fuel economy. Keeping an eye on your vehicle’s spark plugs, air, oil and fuel filters are also key in minimizing fuel consumption. If you have any questions regarding your car or truck’s fuel efficiency contact us or visit us today. Here at Carolina Mobile Auto, our staff of friendly ASE certified auto technicians are here to help.
Keeping your vehicle’s tires inflated at their proper manufacturer specified level is an easy yet effective way to maximize fuel efficiency. On average, under-inflated tires reduce an automobile’s fuel economy roughly 0.3-percent for every pound-per-square-inch (psi) drop in tire pressure. In addition, under-inflated tires create more friction and drag, resulting in higher rates of fuel consumption. Generally speaking, improperly inflated tires, which include over-inflated tires, are prone to premature wear along with posing a safety risk. Have one of our certified automotive experts at Carolina Mobile Auto examine your automobile’s tires for optimum efficiency, safety and performance.
3.) Drive Slower
High speed aggressive driving drastically increases the amount of fuel your vehicle consumes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), reducing driving speed from 65-mph to 55-mph can boost fuel efficiency ten to 15-percent. The EPA also estimates overzealous driving behaviors such as hard acceleration, weaving in-and-out of traffic and fast braking can lower fuel efficiency by up-to 20-percent. Not only does fast, aggressive driving require more fuel, it also speeds-up wear-and-tear on your vehicle’s components. Needless-to-say, driving slower heightens your level of automotive safety by significantly diminishing the risk of any accidents.
4.) Reduce Wind Resistance
Another great way to improve your car or truck’s fuel efficiency is by reducing its wind resistance. Roof-mounted racks, lights and storage containers create additional drag that can lower your automobile’s fuel economy rating by up-to 20-percent. The same goes for open windows while driving, regarding fuel consumption. Removing any unused, exterior automotive parts and accessories makes your vehicle lighter and more aerodynamic, equaling better performance and fuel economy.
5.) Limit Air Conditioner Use
One of the most labor-intensive elements of your car or truck is its air conditioning system. Depending on your particular vehicle and environmental conditions, utilizing your automobile’s air conditioning unit can reduce fuel efficiency by 20-percent. When possible, driving with the windows open, along with relying mainly on your automobile’s built-in ventilation system for cooling are highly advisable. If you must turn on the AC, make sure to enable the re-circulate feature for optimum cooling performance and energy efficiency.
6.) Reduce Weight
Your vehicle’s fuel efficiency rating correlates directly to its curb weight. Every 200-pounds of extra weight added to your car or truck equals one less mile per gallon (mpg) of fuel economy. Removing all non-essential items from your automobile such as trash, auto accessories, sporting equipment, strollers, etc. can significantly increase fuel efficiency. Routine car washes are also essential to a good mpg rating. Removing dirt, dust and other grime from your vehicle, lowers its weight considerably, resulting in a boost in fuel efficiency.
7.) Avoid Idling
Last but not least is the energy devouring automotive phenomenon known as idling. Idling is incredibly draining on your vehicle’s fuel resources. When your car or truck is in idle mode, it is essentially providing a zero-mpg fuel economy rating. In essence, restarting your engine requires the same amount of fuel as idling for 30-seconds. Therefore, if you are ever stuck at a railroad crossing or similar situation that forces you to wait in place for over 30-seconds, we recommend turning off your engine.
If you would like to know more about vehicle fuel efficiency or have any other questions or comments, feel free to contact us. Also, if you’d like one of our experienced ASE certified mechanics to examine your automobile for any reason, stop by and see us today.