How Much to Fix It?

Information about auto repair and preventive maintenance

Summer Gas Saving Tips

Summer driving is here. Road trips are being planned, and the kids are busy running from activity to activity.  What can you do so that each errand doesn’t include a stop at the gas station? A few simple changes in your driving habits can save you money at the pump.petrol-996617_1280

One of the biggest factors in saving gas is taking care of your vehicle. Regular maintenance will save you time and money down the road. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%. A well-maintained engine operates at peak efficiency, maximizing gas mileage. Follow the service schedules listed in the owner’s manual. Replace filters and fluids as recommended; have engine performance problems (rough idling, poor acceleration, etc.) corrected at a repair facility. Given today’s high-tech engines, it’s wise to have this type of work done by auto technicians who are ASE certified in engine performance.

Learning to drive more efficient will save you money at the pump. What exactly does that mean? Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration, and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by roughly 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic. Driving efficient also means that you need to obey the speed limit. While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.17 per gallon.

Another great way to save gas, plan ahead! Schedule your errands around dropping off and picking up kids. By combining trips, you can save both time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer, multipurpose trip covering the same distance. Trip planning can reduce the amount of time you drive with a cold engine. It can also reduce the distance you travel. Planning errands when traffic is light, also helps. You can avoid the “stop and go” of busy traffic.

You can improve your gas mileage by 0.6% on average—up to 3% in some cases—by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by about 0.2% for every 1 psi drop in the average pressure of all tires. When hitting the road, simply clean out your car.  Remove large heavy items from the trunk. If planning a road trip, don’t put heavy items on a roof carrier. Make sure everything fits in the car when hitting the road.

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