Five Recession-Proof, Money-Saving Driving Hacks

Money-Saving Driving Hacks2020 has been a turbulent year, to say the least. As the country now finds itself in the midst of an economic recession, most Carolina residents are looking to save. The average American household ranks car costs: fuel, maintenance, insurance, etc. number two overall, after housing, in terms of salary allocation. According to the AAA, the average car or truck owner spends $6650 a year, or $554 a month on operating costs, per vehicle. We explore five useful, money-saving driving hacks that will reduce vehicle-operating costs in these times of economic strife.

#1 Reduce Weight

Eliminating clutter from your car is a simple, yet overlooked money-saving driving hack that anyone can do. You’d be surprised how much all the random things in your car actually weighs. All that extra weight equals more money spent at the pump. On average, for every additional 100-lbs of weight in your ride, you can expect about a two-percent reduction in gas mileage. Smaller cars and trucks experience an even more pronounced decline in fuel efficiency when carrying additional weight.

#2 Decrease Engine Idle Time

When stuck in traffic, at a red light, a drive-thru, etc. your automobile continues to consume fuel while idling. You are essentially getting zero miles-per-gallon when your car or truck’s engine idles, burning gas as well as cash. If your vehicle is at a stop and idling for more than ten seconds, we recommend shutting off your engine. Restarting your engine is actually more cost-efficient than idling for longer than ten seconds. Shifting your car’s transmission into neutral when stopped ten-seconds is more fuel-efficient than letting your engine idle. However, is less efficient than powering down your motor.

#3 Combine Short Trips

Warming-up a car that’s been parked for more than a couple hours consumes more fuel than a freshly driven vehicle. Planning-ahead and consolidating several errands around town into one trip is a great way to maximize fuel efficiency and save money. Combining short trips also helps to reduce the risk of costly repairs caused by worn-out engine components. If possible, make sure to avoid driving routes that are prone to traffic during certain hours. Sometimes taking the “long way’ is more cost-effective than a more direct path due to road congestion, stop signs, traffic lights, or narrow, winding roads.

#4 Smarter Fuel Shopping

Knowing exactly when and where to purchase gas is often an underappreciated, money-saving driving hack. It pays dividends whether the economy is booming or going bust. According to Money.com, the price-per-gallon of gas varies around 50-cents in the average zip code. Over the course of a year, consistently filling up at the best-priced gas stations in town equals a savings of roughly $270 annually. Smartphone apps like Gasbuddy, provide a quick, convenient method of tracking down the best fuel prices. Remember, gas stations in affluent neighborhoods or located just off highways tend to charge a premium.

#5 Save Money on Auto Insurance

Shopping around for the best car insurance rates can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year. Different insurance companies will charge different rates based on a wide variety of factors such as geographical location, vehicle make and model, credit score, and each individual companies’ internal data. Many insurance providers offer promotional discounts to lure potential clients away from their industry competitors.

Most reputable car insurance companies offer discounts to motorists who insure multiple vehicles or additional drivers. Many providers also offer discounts to their customers who currently pay the same company for other services like home, fire, or life insurance coverage. Agreeing to structure your auto insurance payments into a lump sum, six or twelve-month tranches, will typically lead to increased cost-savings as well.

Aside from the money-saving driving hacks listed above, you can never go wrong making sure your car or truck has undergone all of its routine maintenance services. Especially during these unprecedented times. The team at Carolina Auto Service is well aware the country is going through extraordinary circumstances at-the-moment, including an economic recession. We remain dedicated to faithfully serving the Winston-Salem community’s automotive service and repair needs as we have since 2004. We commit ourselves to do our part in making sure NC motorists are getting the best value. Lastly, we hope that these money-saving driving hacks have helped you! Call us anytime!

7 Proven Tips to Maximize Your Vehicle’s Fuel Efficiency

7 Proven Tips to Maximize Your Vehicle’s Fuel Efficiency

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.

2.) Tires

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.

 

Carolina Auto Service