Gas prices have hit their highest levels in over two and a half years, so now is a great time to take a look under the hood. Well maintained vehicles will not only last longer, they’ll perform more efficiently and save you some money at the pump.
Check out the following six steps that are designed to help boost your fuel economy:
1. Use the right motor oil. Did you know that choosing the right type, or grade, of oil can increase your fuel efficiency? Grades represent the oil viscosity, or “thickness,” and different engines require different grades to operate at their best. Choose one that is too high for your car, and it’s like jogging through the mud, so make sure you use the recommended oil for your car. Want to go the extra mile? Using synthetic motor oil has been shown to improve gas mileage by up to 4-5%.
2. Keep your tires inflated to the recommended pressure. Underinflated tires create excess friction that causes your car to work harder and use more gas, reducing gas mileage between 2-10%. Be careful not to overinflate your tires either, as this can lead to unsafe driving conditions. The recommended pressure can be found on the side panel of your car’s doorjamb.
3. Get your fuel injectors professionally cleaned. Over time your fuel injectors will become clogged with impurities found in gasoline. As a result, your car will pump more gas through the fuel system and lower your mileage. Having your injectors ultrasonically cleaned is like Roto-Rooter for your engine and can range in price from $60 to $100, but it’s a sure way to unclog your injectors and get 1-2 extra miles per gallon!
4. Replace your spark plugs. Old, worn spark plugs will not fire correctly and result in unburned fuel. This will decrease engine power can reduce your mileage by as much as 12%. Swap out your plugs for optimum fuel efficiency.
5. Align your wheels. Poorly aligned wheels are harder to roll forward. This causes more friction, so more gas is burned. Getting a four-wheel alignment will allow your car to move down the road with less energy which means less gas burned.
6. Replace your air filter. Driving a car with a clogged air filter is like breathing through a drinking straw. It prevents your engine from mixing air correctly which will reduce your car’s performance and fuel economy by up to 10%! Experts recommend that you replace your paper air filter every 15,000 miles. If you have a reusable one installed, be sure to clean it at least every 50,000 miles.
Keeping your car in tip-top shape will extend its life and improve your gas mileage, keeping more money in your pocket. Another way you can save a bit of cash is by finding the best price for fuel in your area by using websites like GasBuddy.com. Give these tips a try and share a comment with us on how much gas you saved.