How to Save Money on Gas
High gas prices can put pressure on your wallet. You can save some by cutting back on driving, but there will always be some places you need to drive. Luckily, doing some basic maintenance on your car can make a huge difference for your vehicle’s fuel economy.
We’ve collected some helpful tips below on how you can keep fuel consumption low and make less trips to the pump.
Five Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Gas Money
Do a Tune-Up
An engine severely out of tune has considerable influence on your vehicle's fuel economy. In order for your vehicle to operate at peak operating efficiency, know and follow manufacturers recommendations on when to complete a tune up on your automobile. Badly worn spark plugs and clogged or dirty filters can decrease engine performance, which will result in decreased gas mileage and performance.
Replacing your old worn spark plugs and failed plug wires with new spark plugs and new plug wires can improve fuel economy.
Replacing dirty filters keeps vital systems from working harder than necessary.
Replacing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve your fuel economy by as much as 40%.
Run Clean with a Fuel System Treatment
Over time, impurities in gasoline will build up which form deposits in your fuel system. These contaminates have the potential to rob power from your vehicle, forcing your vehicle to work harder.
A fuel system treatment will clean out power robbing debris and deposits that contaminate your fuel system to restore lost gas mileage.
Check Your Tire Pressure
You can improve your fuel economy by up to 3.3% just by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. It takes more effort to spin flat tires, under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires.
Check the sticker inside your driver's side door jamb, in the glove box, or in your owner's manual for proper tire pressure. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the side wall of your tire.
Keep Your Engine Breathing Easy with a New Air Filter
On carburetor equipped vehicles, replacing a dirty air filter on a vehicle operating under normal conditions may result in a 2%-6% increase in fuel economy. In some cases, replacing an air filter that has become clogged can result in an increase of fuel economy as much as 14%.
Replacing a dirty air filter on a fuel injected computer controlled engine does not improve fuel economy but can improve acceleration between 6% - 11%.
Check to Make Sure You Have Clean Motor Oil
Fuel economy deteriorates as oil ages. Regular oil changes, as recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer help protect fuel economy. You should always use the oil weight and type recommended by the vehicle manufacturer which can be found in your owner's manual. Using an oil other than what is recommended can rob your vehicle of fuel economy of 1%-2% (for instance, using a 10W30 in a vehicle that has a recommendation to use 5W30).
Some motor oils contain friction reducing additives that improve engine efficiency. Engine oils that contain these additives can be identified by locating the API performance symbol "Energy Conserving" on the container.
More Ways to Save
IS YOUR CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ON?
The most common causes of an illuminated Check Engine Light are fuel and emissions related issues that can reduce fuel economy. A code reader can help diagnose the problem.
CHECK YOUR GAS CAP
A damaged, loose, or missing gas cap can allow fuel to evaporate. Consider a locking gas cap to prevent theft.
USE YOUR CRUISE CONTROL
Using cruise control at highway speed can help you maintain a constant speed which saves gas.
WATCH EXCESSIVE IDLING
Running your engine while your car isn’t moving wastes gas.
DRIVE THE SPEED LIMIT
Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds over 50 mph. Fuel economy benefit: 7-14%
REMOVE EXCESS WEIGHT
Driving with unnecessary items in your car can negatively affect your gas mileage. Fuel economy benefit: 1-2% per 100 lbs.
AVOID AGGRESSIVE DRIVING
Rapid acceleration, braking and speeding can significantly reduce your gas mileage. Fuel economy benefit: 5-33%
REMOVE UNUSED ROOF OR TRUNK RACKS
Unused racks increase wind resistance and decrease gas mileage.