Editor’s Note: This is the second in our new ongoing series of car care advice from Waikem Fixed Ops Director David Sams. This week, Dave is telling you simple tricks to save fuel.
Do you get frustrated when you have to buy gas? Does the does the ever changing cost of gas add to your anxiety level? Here are several items that may aid in raising your mileage and reduce the number of trips to the fuel pump.
- Check the condition of your tires. If the pressure is low, you will be wasting fuel. Use the guidelines in the door jamb to make sure your tire pressures are meeting the manufacturer’s guidelines. That is where they are set when the fuel mileage is originally tested before posting on your window sticker. (It is not uncommon to see tire pressures change as you may lose 1 lb or more per month as the air seeps through the sidewalls.)
- Avoid carrying any extra items in your car for regular commutes. The more you carry, the more weight your engine has to overcome. This reduces your mileage.
- Look for anything added on the exterior of your vehicle. Each item added adds air drag and will contribute to reducing your mileage
- Make sure your vehicle maintenance is on schedule. Your air filter, tire balance, spark plugs and alignment all have an effect on mileage.
- There are several fuel products that claim to raise your mileage. This may or may not be true. The only item that seems to be most effective is a cleaner that removes carbon buildup on the intake valves. The simple explanation is that is helps your engine breathe better. Most premium Tier One fuel has an additive that cleans this carbon, but it is in small amounts and takes time. It is better at preventing the buildup. The products that have the same additive in high concentrations and are applied by trained technicians is more effective at addressing the buildups being seen in engines with 30000 miles or more.
- Make no jackrabbit starts or sudden stops.
- Apply the accelerator pedal gradually and try to maintain the same speed on highways. Using the cruise control where able is a more relaxing way to maintain the speed. Try to avoid the temptation to be the “first to get there” as it has proven to be fuel consuming.
I hope this helps you experience better fuel mileage and helps avoid frequent visits to the gas station. As always, Happy Motoring as the vacation time arrives!