Published on September 7, 2016 by Jeffry Gardner
4 tips to save fuel (without driving less)
Even though gas prices are generally on the decline, it is still a significant amount of the typical budget of drivers in Tucson. Obviously driving fewer miles will help save fuel, but that’s not always an option for people who use their car for work or have family responsibilities around town. So here are some tips on how to save fuel without driving less:
Don’t let your car get too ‘tired’
Keep your tires properly inflated – low tire pressure increases the rolling resistance (which is to say, the effort necessary to roll forward) for your tires. If you’ve ever pushed a cart with a flat tire you know how much additional effort is required. Well the same goes for your engine – the more rolling resistance the vehicle encounters, the harder it has to work (and the more fuel it uses).
Let your engine take a deep breath
Your car’s air intake filter keeps debris from entering the engine. As a result (and especially in our dusty climate), air filters do not last long. They become clogged and filled with dust, pollen and other residue. This makes the engine work harder to take air in and achieve the appropriate fuel/air mixture. Imagine having a cloth over your mouth while you exercise and you will understand why this can decrease your fuel economy. Replace dirty or clogged air filters on older vehicles to improve gas mileage by as much as 14 percent.
Don’t put off maintenance
Sometimes drivers feel like putting off their vehicle’s maintenance can save money – and it might, temporarily. But ignoring maintenance items like engine oil, air filters, etc can cause more significant problems down the road. In fact, in the case of parts like air filters or spark plugs, neglecting replacement can cost you in increased fuel costs. One quick tip is to replace old spark plugs, which can reduce mileage by two miles per gallon. This is only recommended if you are reaching your manufacturer-suggested mileage interval for this service.
You should take a deep breath, too
Of course you want to get to your destination without unnecessary delay, but aggressive driving may be costing you. Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city. Accelerating at an appropriate rate will save your engine wear-and-tear and your fuel consumption will go down, too.
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