We can’t all purchase new hybrid or electric vehicles, and many of us don’t want to. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on green driving. While every driver was taught how to use their vehicle in driving school, not everyone knows how to maximize fuel, both on the road and before getting in the car.
Sound strange? Don’t worry; it’s simple. Whether you’ve recently become more conscious of the impact your vehicle has on the environment, or you’re simply looking to save gas money, there are ways you can increase your fuel efficiency by being more intentional of minor elements of your car. Today, we’ll talk about how.
Your tires are the bridge between your car and the road. If that bridge is weak or poorly maintained, it can reduce efficiency across the board. Your tires need to be properly filled with air and rotated and balanced on a routine basis. Even if you’ve purchased the nicest tires on the market, tires lose air over time – it just happens.
Properly inflated tires can save you up to 10 cents per gallon on gasoline, so it’s a good idea to start keeping an air pressure gauge in your car so you can make sure your tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended level. These figures are usually on the driver door’s jamb or in the owner’s manual.
Keep it Clean
It’s easy to think that vehicles are immune to the weight they carry since they’re machines, but the truth is every ounce counts. On long road trips with the whole family, your car will get worse gas mileage than it would with just you commuting to work.
The same goes for anything you keep in the car. From sporting equipment to spare items you’ve forgotten to unload, you can increase fuel efficiency simply by keeping your car empty until it needs to be filled up. Instead of keeping everything in the trunk, try keeping it by the back door or in the garage, ready to be loaded when it’s time.
Just like keeping the interior of your car clean, another key factor of fuel efficiency is keeping up with routine maintenance, which ensures your engine is also running at peak performance. Sometimes it can be daunting to hear a mechanic recommend a bunch of things you don’t understand to improve your fuel economy.
But with the right expert on your team, you can trust that they’ve got your best interests in mind. If you follow the recommended service intervals, your car will run better, pollute less, and cost less in repairs down the road.
There are two key areas related to fueling your vehicle that can save you gas and money. First, make sure your gas cap is not broken or missing. The gas cap exists to keep fumes from escaping. Those precious vapors can travel directly from your car into the atmosphere, producing smog. Not to mention, it wastes your gas. A replacement cap is inexpensive and worth the cost.
Second, don’t top off your tank. Many people do this in an attempt to fill their tank as much as possible, ignoring signs at most gas stations warning against the practice. The warnings are not a way of gas companies trying to make sure you don’t get extra gas, but are rather for your own good. Overfilling your tank can damage your fuel system, requiring repairs.
New Driving Habits
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but it’s time for you to prove them wrong. Making small changes to your driving habits can influence your fuel in a big way. Cars are designed with these features in mind, and it’s up to you to use them well.
Here are some tactics you can use to boost your fuel economy and reduce your costs:
- Accelerate gently, just enough to keep up with traffic, then coast; do not keep your foot on the pedal at all times.
- Drive at the speed limit.
- Minimize your idling time – don’t sit in your car in the driveway or leave your car running when you don’t need to.
- Use cruise control (when it’s safe to do so).
- Combine short trips into one big trip; consolidate your shopping.
To boost your fuel economy or discuss routine maintenance that can help your vehicle maximize its gasoline as well as save you money, you need an automotive technician you can trust. That’s where we come in. Our team provides expert full-service maintenance for European and Lexus vehicles. Contact us today to learn more or get a free estimate on your vehicle.