Tips to Maintain Your Vehicles Fuel Economy

As gas prices remain volatile, improving your car’s fuel economy can be very beneficial. By stretching a tank of gas to last longer, you can reduce the amount of times you fill up per month, which can help you save hundreds of dollars in fuel cost for the year. Cars run their best and consume less fuel when they are well maintained and driven properly. Alter your driving style, maintain your vehicle, and modify your driving mentality. Follow these tips, and you should start seeing an improvement in fuel economy right away, meaning more money in your wallet:

Accelerate Gently and Gradually

It might be fun and exhilarating to put the pedal to the medal and drive as fast as you can, however speeding can be detrimental to your safety and to your fuel economy. Typically, cars become less efficient when they’re travelling at speeds beyond 85km/h because of the drag they must fight against, therefore it’s best to remain below this threshold. If you’re travelling on the highway its important to gradually build up to your desired speed. To be as fuel efficient as possible, you should take about 5 seconds to accelerate your vehicle up to 20km/h from a stop.

Avoid Unnecessary Weight

You’d be surprised how much all that junk in your car’s trunk can weigh. Especially if your car has front-wheel drive, putting extra weight on the rear axle means the front wheels aren’t getting as good a grip as they could be, which reduces your fuel economy. Ultimately, the more your vehicle weighs the more strain is placed on the engine, making it have to work harder and burn more fuel. According to statistics Canada, the fuel consumption of a mid-size car increases by 1%-2% approximately per 25kg of weight it carries. Furthermore, removing any roof or bicycle racks will also reduce the weight the car is carrying, but more importantly it reduces the drag and can help you save over 20% in fuel consumption.

Avoid Idling for over 45 Seconds

Turn off your engine when you’re stopped for more than 45 seconds, except when in traffic. According to statistics Canada, the average vehicle with a 3-litre engine wastes 300 milliliters (over 1 cup) of fuel for every 10 minutes it idles! Most modern fuel-injected cars only really need 30 seconds to warm up. If your going to be stopped for longer than one minute, then its wiser to turn off the engine and then restart it before you take off.

Fill Your Vehicle with Its Recommended Oil & Fuel Type

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to motor oil. Every car engine is designed to work best with a specific type of oil. If you were to use a heavier oil than the one recommended, then this would create unwanted friction that would cause the engine to work harder and burn more fuel. It’s best to refer to your owner’s manual to see what the recommended oil type for your vehicle is. The same is also true for the type of fuel (regular, premium etc.) you fill your vehicle with. For example, premium fuel is more expensive and won't improve fuel economy in vehicles designed to run on regular gas.

Properly Inflated Tires

Keeping your tires inflated at the correct pressure and aligned properly will help you save on fuel by reducing the amount of drag your engine has to work to overcome. Also, purchasing and installing low-rolling resistance tires can help you save 2%-4% on your fuel economy. There are plenty of useful gadgets out there you can purchase to measure your tire pressure. The correct tire pressure for your vehicle should be found in the owner’s manual.

If you follow these tips and remain committed to them your guaranteed to see hundreds of dollars in savings at the end of the year! If you’re in Dundas, Ontario bring your vehicle by to Eccles Auto Service and we can inspect it and let you know what are the best steps for you to take, specific to your car, so you can save on gas and leave more money in your wallet for you and your family to enjoy.