3 ways to Improve on Vehicle Fuel Efficiency
Tires and Fuel
How long since you last checked the tire pressure of your vehicle? If your tires are below the recommended level, you can cost yourself money every time you fill your tank. On average, a tire will lose about 1 pound per square inch (psi) each month. Less pressure in your tires requires more resistance to friction and rolling on the road, making your engine strain a lot more than it should. At a minimum, be sure to check the tire pressure of your vehicle every month. You can also save fuel by not wasting or losing fuel. Locking fuel caps are a great way to prevent fuel theft. If your fuel cap is damaged or does not close properly, replace or repair it as soon as possible. Replacing any busted caps with locking fuel caps is a good idea if you are replacing them anyway. Fuel caps that are damaged or not properly sealed can result in the loss of many gallons of fuel each year from evaporation.
Speed and A/C Use
The fuel economy of your vehicle decreases exponentially at higher speeds. Driving 65 on the highway instead of 75 could reduce your gas mileage by up to 10%! Your journey will not take much longer, and you will save money on the whole. Air conditioning increases the load on your engine, resulting in increased fuel consumption. Along the same argument, driving with your windows open at highway speeds increases drag and reduces fuel economy. For driving the city at speeds of 45 mph or less, however, rolling the windows down instead of using air conditioning will save you a little more on the gas usage.
Weight and Air Intake
After running around doing all the household chores, packing for holidays, sporting events and pulling boats, it’s easy enough to finish with 50 to 100 pounds of extras in your rear compartment or trunk. The higher the weight of your vehicle, the faster the engine will torque in RPMs. Make sure to regularly clean your trunk and your cargo space to prevent these extra things from weighing you down. Another easy fix is that like all of us, your engine needs to breathe, and a dirty or clogged air filter can impair performance and fuel economy. Replacing an old dirty air filter with a new one can improve the mileage of your vehicle by 5 to 10%. The next time you take your vehicle for general maintenance, ask the technician if the air filter needs to be replaced.
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