With vacation season in full swing and traveling at it’s height, we thought we would share this blog from Monaco Ford, they did a great job explaining various ways you can save money at the pump.
Blog originally posted on Patch.com
When it comes to your car, make sure to set the car tires to the proper inflation. Properly inflated tires can reduce fuel consumption by up to 3 percent.
You will also want to tune up the engine. A properly tuned engine maximizes power and can greatly enhance fuel efficiency.
Select the narrowest possible tires for your vehicle that will satisfy your driving style and demands. Narrow tires have less frontal area, thus reducing aerodynamic drag. You may also want to choose low-rolling-resistance compound tires. These can increase fuel economy by a few percent.
Check the condition of your engine air filter. A dirty filter will reduce fuel economy, or make the engine stall when idling. You also want to replace the fuel filter according to the car manufacturer’s recommended schedule.
Lightening your load can also help to increase your mileage. Get the lightest car that will serve your needs. If seats that you don’t use can be removed, take them out. If you use your trunk as a storage space for heavy things, find another place for them.
On fuel-injected cars, make sure the oxygen sensors, engine emissions system, and evaporative emissions control systems are in good shape. When getting your oil changed, use a synthetic oil additive to either natural or synthetic oil. This can increase your gas mileage if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommended usage.
When you fill up with gas, fill up halfway and try and keep your tank above one quarter full. If your fuel runs low, you could put stress on the fuel pump. Also, 10 gallons adds 60 pounds of weight.
At the gas station, buy quality fuel. No two fuels are the same and the cheaper brands can contain a higher percentage of ethanol, which burns at a faster rate.
Try to avoid using the air conditioner in stop-and-go city driving as it causes the engine to work hard and consume more fuel. However, studies show that at highway speeds cars get somewhat better mileage with the air conditioner on and the windows rolled up.
Monitor how hard your engine is working is key. Air conditioning, acceleration, and speed all affect work but these are not direct indicators. Try monitoring the revolutions per minute your engine is running at.
Some of your driving habits can also impact your gas mileage.
Use cruise control to maintain a constant speed, and slow down. The faster you move, the harder your engine has to work to push through the wind. Speeding can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 33 percent.
When accelerating, do it smoothly and with a moderate throttle. You also want to avoid braking wherever possible. Braking wastes energy from fuel that you have already burned, and accelerating after braking consumes more fuel than driving at a constant speed.
Another thing to avoid is excessive idling. Idling a vehicle wastes a significant amount of fuel. Generally, if you can avoid 10 seconds of idling, you will save gas by turning the engine off and restarting.
Find your car’s “sweet speed.” Some cars get better mileage at specific speeds, usually at 50 miles per hour.
If your car has an automatic transmission with overdrive, make sure you enable overdrive except when towing very heavy trailers.
Select a gear ratio that is appropriate to your engine, transmission, and driving conditions. If you travel on the highway often and do not carry heavy loads, try a numerically lower final drive ratio.
Watching and predicting traffic signals can also help. Stop-and-go driving is wasteful. Don’t circle in a parking lot – creeping and accelerating. Look for a spot in the empty half of the parking lot.
Maintaining a safe following distance will also help you increase your gas mileage. You will brake more and accelerate more to keep that unnecessary and dangerous narrow gap.
Planning ahead will also help.
If you plan your trips and try to accomplish multiple things with each, it will help. It won’t increase your fuel mileage, but it will help you drive less.
You’ll also want to plan your route carefully. Take the route with the fewest stops, turns, and traffic. Take the highway when possible.
These tips will hopefully help you save a few dollars on gas while traveling this season.
Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance
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