The price of gas in has got auto owners talking. It seems that folks who need a bigger vehicle to carry family and gear, or provide four wheel drive, are hit especially. That is why we thought it would be good to review some things that anyone can do to improve fuel economy.
First let’s start with how we drive in the area. auto owners may not realize that they can really save bucks on gas by just changing a few driving habits. One of the biggest is jackrabbit starts – you know, flooring the gas as soon as the light turns green. That really wastes a lot of fuel. Building up your speed at a slower pace uses less fuel and is easier on your engine and drive train. And don’t drive with one foot on the brake. That’s also a drag on fuel economy, and it wears out your brakes faster too.
Another thing car owners can do is drive slower – but only when it’s safe. Sometimes on the interstate we drive an extra five … ten . . . twenty … over the speed limit. We do it to save time, but it only saves a few minutes out of maybe an hour long drive, and we may use 10 to 15 % more gas. Just leave a little bit earlier, save some cash and arrive more relaxed.
car owners can also try and combine all of their errands for the day into just one trip, rather than several. If you can put off a trip today that can be combined with one tomorrow – you can save some time and bucks.
Using your cruise control can save money too. Driving in at a constant speed really improves fuel efficiency. Be sure to only use your cruise control in under safe conditions – you can look in your owner’s manual for some essential good tips on using your cruise control.
Did you know that reducing the weight in your saves gas? Clean out the trunk or back seat from time to time so that you are not paying to carry around a lot of stuff around you do not need in the car. If you live in where there is snow and ice, clear it off your car. They add weight and mess with aerodynamics too.
Another tip is to avoid long idle times, which includes warming it up when you start. Modern engines do not require a long warm up to get going – just take it easy for a couple of miles.
Be sure to get a new gas cap if yours leaks or is worn.
Now, let’s start talking mechanical. Bottom line – the better you maintain your vehicle, the less fuel you will use. It all adds up in a big way. For example, replacing your dirty engine air filter will pay for itself in improved gas mileage before your next oil change – and will keep saving you money after that.
A clean, well-maintained fuel system really pays big dividends in fuel economy for auto owners. A clogged fuel filter wastes gas. So does a dirty fuel system, grimy fuel injectors and plugged up PCV valves. A fuel system service decreases the gas you use, and increases the power – so car owners can’t go wrong with that.
Some of us car owners ignore our Check Engine light. But fixing the problem that caused the light to come on will usually save some fuel as well. It may be a bad oxygen sensor that can really rob your fuel economy.
And, it may be time for a tune-up. Tune-ups should improve your MPG. Don’t overlook the critical routine maintenance items, like scheduled oil changes, transmission and cooling system service. Dirty or low fluids actually use more fuel. Just look at your car maker’a recommended service intervals in the owner’s manual, or ask your service advisor for the schedule.
Don’t forget your tires. Under-inflated tires waste gas. And if your wheels are out of alignment you won’t get the fuel economy you need.
None of these things are very complicated or expensive for drivers to stay on top of. When you maintain your car properly, you save gas today, and prevent pricey repairs tomorrow.
Under-inflated tires waste gas for lots of folks in the area. Think how hard it is to walk in sand – you just have to work harder because of the resistance. When your tires don’t have enough air in them, their rolling resistance is dramatically increased and it simply takes more gas to get from to .
Always check your tire pressure when you gas up at one of our local service stations. If they’re low – even just a little bit – bring them up to proper pressure. There’s a sticker on the inside of your driver’s door that gives the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure.
And don’t rely on your tire pressure monitoring system to alert you to when you need more air. The TPMS system is set to warn you when pressure drops twenty percent below recommendations. That’s severely under inflated and you needed more air a long time ago. And if you have a slow leak – get it fixed right away at .
Get some air and save some gas.
With high fuel prices in comes lots of gas saving advice. Some of it, like what you hear on AutoNetTV, is really great. Some is myth. And some is just designed to prey on people desperate to save some money on gas.
Does it really make sense? Does it defy the laws of physics?
There aren’t any magic pills you can drop in your gas tank and the government hasn’t suppressed a device you can clamp on your fuel line to make your car run on air. Not even in !
So next time you get one of those e-mails, check it out with an automotive professional. You’ll get more bang for your buck with an oil change or an engine air filter replacement.
We’re , give us a call at for good honest advice about your car.
You know you need new tires, but you’re not sure what type. You look at a tire to get the size: 225, 50, R, 16, 92, H. All the way to the service center you keep repeating it over and over. You even say it over in your mind while waiting in line. Then you get to the counter and the manager asks what size you need. Then your mind goes blank.
Tire size can be confusing for many drivers. There’s so much on the side of the tire, and it’s hard to keep straight.
Even though there’s a lot on a tire – if you know what it all means, it’s actually more helpful than confusing for tire shoppers. Let’s start with the size number.
For example, let’s say a tire reads: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The 225 part is the width of the tire in millimeters – the width between the sidewalls of an inflated tire with no load. The 50 is the aspect ratio – the ratio of the sidewall height to the tread width. Off-road tires will have a higher number and high performance tires will have a lower number.
The R signifies it’s a radial tire. And 16 is the rim or wheel size in inches.
The 92 is the load rating index – it’s the load carrying capacity of a tire. The higher the number, the more it can safely carry. Your empty can be safe with a lower number, but you’ll need a higher rating if you routinely haul heavy loads around . The next letter is the speed rating. Not all tires sold in are speed rated. The ratings generally follow the alphabet: the further up the alphabet, the higher the speed rating – with the exception of H – it comes between U and V (don’t ask why).
There’s a lot of fine print that most drivers probably need a magnifying glass to read. But there are a couple of other large print items of interest. One is the tread type: highway, mud and snow, all season, severe snow, etc.
And then there’re the Uniform Tire Quality Grading System markings. The first is a tread wear index. 100 is the base line – a lower number is poorer and a higher number is better. All things being equal, a tire rated 200 would wear twice as long, on a government test track, than one rated at 100. These wear grades are only valid within the auto manufacturer’s product line – car owners can’t compare with other car makers. And it’s vital to note that a lower rating might be just what you want – a high performance, sticky tire has a softer rubber compound and won’t wear as long, but boy, will it take those corners on twisting roads.
The next is a traction grade. This measures the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement in government tests. A – the best, B – intermediate, C – acceptable.
Temperature grade measures a tire’s resistance to heat build up in government tests. A, B and C – from best to acceptable.
It’s safe for auto owners to go with the auto maker’s original equipment recommendations that came on your car. But if you want to make adjustments, you’ll now be better equipped to communicate with your tire professional.
Myths passed around our community start with a grain of evidence and are then built up with a lot of imagination and very elastic logic. And the internet is a breeding ground for automotive myths. Some bloggers recall the s of yesteryear and declare their modern decedents to be virtually maintenance free and that anyone who says otherwise is out to rip you off.
Let’s examine a couple of the more popular rants and look at the truth behind them.
The first one is that the chassis no longer needs lubrication for suspension, steering and the driveline. They declare that anyone who has charged you for lubrication is a charlatan.
The truth on which this myth is based is that many new cars come from the factory with sealed joints and cannot be greased. However, there are still some grease points on many cars around . A grease fitting may have been installed in conjunction with a repair. And most trucks and truck-based SUVs driving in still require chassis lubrication. This is because they are more heavy duty and proper greasing is still required to keep them going.
Another common rant you’ll hear around is that modern cars don’t need tune-ups. That depends on your definition of a ‘tune-up’, which has changed as technology has progressed. Before engine control computers, electronic ignition and fuel injection, a tune up meant replacing mechanical parts that wore out. would manually adjust fuel and air mix and timing. When these adjustments were off, spark plugs would foul and need to be replaced.
Of course you can’t lubricate a sealed joint. Of course you can’t adjust a carburetor if your car doesn’t have one. You probably don’t need to change spark plugs every year if your manufacturer says they can go 30,000 miles. What are these bloggers getting so worked up about?
The danger with these modern-day myths, is that they prevent people in our local community from taking care of the routine preventive auto maintenance that manufactures recommend. Check out this partial list of things you still need to do to take care of your car. How many of them are really any different today than they were 20 or 30 years ago?
Oil change, cooling system service, transmission service, tire balancing, tire rotation, wheel alignment, suspension service, power steering service, proper tire inflation, brake service, differential service, battery maintenance, engine air filer, PCV valve, breather element, fuel filter, belts, hoses, timing belt, windshield wipers . . .
You get the picture. Your is still a machine that needs to be maintained. And, hey, your service advisors at have always adapted to keep pace with automotive technology. Next time you come across an angry voice about your car care, talk to your service advisor at , or do some research of your own.