While gas prices may be at a 4 year low, an inevitable rise in prices is coming. Now’s the perfect time to improve your fuel economy with a few simple tips, tricks, and quality parts.
Engine tips to improve fuel economy
Get a tune-up: Keep your car running smooth to help improve fuel economy. Normally, your car’s service manual will have schedules on when to replace “wear” parts, such as oil filters or spark plugs. Following these suggestions can do more than just keep your car safe, but can also increase fuel economy. Healthier oil better lubricates your system, and a fresh spark plug offers better performance. A tune up will also help to ensure any parts that may be faulty and robbing fuel economy can get checked and replaced.
Check your roll: Your tires play one of the most important parts in your vehicles fuel economy. Making sure tires are properly inflated can drastically improve fuel economy. If you do a large amount of driving, then certainly consider having a separate set of summer and winter tires. Winter and all season tires will have a softer compound increasing rolling resistance. There are tires available that are specifically designed to offer lower rolling resistance, but be careful, these tires have been shown to have a higher stopping distance and lowered grip at high speeds.
Unload when you can: A simple way to improve fuel economy is to not carry around excess weight. While it may be convenient to keep enough supplies to live in your car for a year in your trunk, every 100 pounds of excess weight reduces your fuel economy anywhere from one to two percent. There’s an old myth that you should never fill your gas tank above half, as the extra weight of fuel reduces fuel economy. The added weight of half a tank is normally less than 60 pounds, so the minuscule difference in efficiency would be unnoticeable against the more frequent trips to the pump.
Take note of your economy: When you fill up your gas tank, reset your trip odometer. Try and note how many kilometers go into a tank of gas. If you notice a very drastic drop in this amount, it could be the sign of something more seriously wrong with your car. Checking these problems early can help improve fuel economy.
Cover your rear wheels: OK, this one isn’t as serious, but covered rear wheels have been shown to increase fuel economy!
Driver tips to improve fuel economy
Drive casual: You’ll save more on gas the less time you spend driving, so always put the pedal to the floor and accelerate as fast as possible. This is what we’d tell if we wanted you to use more gas, so the opposite is true. You can improve fuel economy with steady, even acceleration and braking. You car will also have an optimal driving speed. This speed is on average 80km/h. At this speed the car has enough momentum to not be slugging along, but not so much as the car is working too hard to go fast.
Store things inside: If you frequent long trips, try to not store bulky or odd shaped containers on the roof, as the added drag can reduce fuel economy.
Get the right parts: Making sure you pick up the right parts for your car, like fuel pumps and oxygen sensors, can help you to further improve fuel economy.
Cruise control: If you’re primarily driving through flat areas, cruise control can be your best friend to improve fuel economy. If you’re driving through areas that are hilly, it’s best to drive with some skill and watch your speed. Cruise control can negatively affect your fuel economy on hilly areas.
Idle hands: a pretty common tip by now is to avoid excess idling in your car. The longer you idle, the more fuel you waste. simple.
While we wish that these glory days of low gas prices would last forever, we know they wont. With a few tips from AutoShack.com you can improve your fuel economy and stretch your time between fill-ups a little bit longer.
We have tons of helpful tips on our blog, be sure to give them a read!