As gas prices continue to rise, trips to the pump are becoming increasingly more painful for drivers across the country. The fact that gas is an unavoidable expense makes it all the more frustrating. Even though hybrid cars offering incredible fuel efficiency have flooded the market in recent years, the cost of these new vehicles is prohibitively high and they are simply not an option for many people. On the other end of the scale, public transportation is thin or spotty at best in the majority of American suburbs and rural hinterlands. The good news is that there are ways to save money on fuel, and VIP has both the tools and expertise to help you improve your gas mileage considerably.
When most of us think of professional auto service tune-ups, we think of them primarily as expenses that are necessary to maintain the health of our car. B ut you might not realize that routine trips to the auto shop can actually save you money in the long run by boosting your fuel efficiency. The average car is made up of approximately 30,000 different parts, down to the smallest screws, and many of these small parts can make a big difference when it comes to improving your gas mileage. When it comes to gasoline saving tips, VIP’s ASE-certified experts are available seven days a week to answer any of your questions. We’ll make sure that all the parts of your car are in good condition and running at peak performance so that you are getting optimal gas mileage. We’ll let you know if we spot an issue that negatively affects your fuel efficiency – and show how to fix it. T he good news is that these issues are oftentimes simple fixes that yield big rewards. To get a better idea what some of these affordable fuel-saving remedies are, consider the following fuel saving tips.
Seven simple ways to improve your fuel efficiency
Routine engine tune-ups
Making sure that your car engine is in proper condition is the first step towards saving money. If you have a faulty oxygen sensor, fixing it (a less than 200 dollar repair) can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent . This can save you up to 320 gallons of gasoline—approximately $1,200. Spark plugs are small but essential components of your ignition system. They are responsible for starting your car by igniting the compressed fuel in an internal combustion engine. Spark plugs that are misfiring not only decrease your gas mileage by as much as 30 percent, they can cause serious damage your catalytic converter. The easiest way to save money and avoid a costly automotive repair is to have your car looked at by a professional who can identify the weak spots that lead to unnecessary gas guzzling.
Replace air filters
Over time, your air filters accumulate dust, dirt and bugs that can negatively affect your fuel efficiency by restricting the flow of air to the engine and forcing it to work harder. Replacing your air filters every three months or 3,000 miles can increase your gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.
Ease up on the gas pedal
Reducing your traveling time by driving above the speed limit may save you a few minutes on your daily commute, but it comes at a high price. Fast and aggressive driving is a surefire way to burn through gas rapidly, as fuel economy decreases substantially with increased speed.
Monitor your tire pressure
Keeping your tires properly inflated at all times is one of the easiest ways that you can ensure better gas mileage. Underinflated tires are a major cause of poor gas mileage, and they often go ignored for months at a time. Tires lose air at approximately 1 psi per month and an additional psi for every 10-degree temperature drop, so checking them at least once a month won’t just save you from spending extra money at the pump—it will also increase the lifespan of your tires and improve your safety on the road.
Choose the right engine oil, and have it changed regularly
Simply using the grade of motor oil that is recommended by your car manufacturer will improve your gas mileage by up to 2 percent, and c hoosing a variety that says “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol will provide additives with beneficial friction-reducing properties. In addition to using the right type of oil for your vehicle, regular oil changes are the most important aspect of preventative auto maintenance. Having your oil changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles (depending on manufacturer recommendations) is a crucial car service. That’s because old oil that has accumulated debris forces your engine to work harder and run at higher temperatures. This unnecessary strain placed on your vehicle’s engine is due to reduced lubrication and increased friction. New oil allows your engine to run smoothly and efficiently, which helps your gas mileage considerably.
Take a load off
A clean car doesn’t only look nicer than one that is cluttered—it also saves money. You might not think that driving around with a full trunk is a big deal, but the truth is that carrying any excess weight lowers your gas mileage. An extra 100 pounds can cause up to a 2 percent decrease in your fuel efficiency, so clean out any unnecessary clutter from your car as an easy way to save a couple bucks the next time you fill up your tank.
Turn off your engine when stuck in traffic
One of the easiest ways to waste gas is to leave your car running when it isn’t moving. If there’s a mile-long traffic jam ahead of you that has come to a dead halt, roll down your windows and turn off your engine. Idling can use up to a half-gallon of gasoline per hour—a considerable amount that is entirely unnecessary. Next time you are waiting in a long line at the drive-through, or when you or your significant other are running into the grocery store to pick up a few items or get takeout from your favorite restaurant, turn the car off. It may seems to like a convenience to keep the car running, but all that idling will catch up with you – and cost you more per month on gas.
VIP can help you get the best gas mileage possible from your car
From a simple check of your vehicle’s tire pressure, to new tires, and from a regular oil change to complete tune-ups, VIP has everything you need to give you better fuel efficiency and help you get the most miles per gallon possible. Stop by or call VIP today and jumpstart your savings—no appointment necessary!