Is There a Link Between Proper Maintenance and Fuel Efficiency?

Fuel Gauge

Did you know keeping your car well maintained can help you save money at the gas pump? There are two primary culprits of reduced fuel efficiency: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. Improving either of these issues will translate to saving money on fuel.

Friction Issues

Friction increases the amount of energy it takes to move something, so if we can reduce friction, we can decrease the amount of fuel it takes to run our engine.

When there are friction issues in the engine, it’s usually because of the engine oil. If there’s too little oil, the parts aren’t getting lubricated enough, which increases friction. Dirty oil also doesn’t lubricate the moving parts as well as clean oil. So, one secret to better fuel economy is to keep up with your regular oil changes. Likewise, the same advice applies to your transmission. Keep the fluid full and clean, and your vehicle will run better (and with less friction).

When tires are under-inflated, it increases the friction between the road and the tire. Since there’s increased drag, it requires more fuel to move your vehicle. We recommend checking the pressure monthly and keeping your tires properly inflated to your automaker’s recommended pressure. This will also help your tires last longer and improve handling.

Brake and alignment issues can also increase friction. Beyond saving money on fuel, keeping these systems well maintained helps increase the life of your tires and brake pads. Both items wear out more quickly when the alignment is off or the brake system isn’t in good working order.

Inefficient Fuel Combustion

The second cause of poor fuel economy is inefficient fuel combustion. The engine depends on the fuel injectors getting the right amount of clean fuel to the right place with the right pressure at the right time in the right pattern.

One of the most important factors of peak engine performance is to keep the fuel system clean. Debris can build up in the fuel system over time, which can eventually interfere with the fuel injectors. When they’re dirty, it can throw off the amount of fuel they inject, as well as the timing, pressure, and spray patterns. The result is reduced fuel economy. Fortunately, a fuel system cleaning will get everything back on track and improve performance and fuel efficiency.

There are a few other maintenance items that can improve your fuel economy. One of these is the PCV valve, which allows unburned fuel in the exhaust system to return to the engine. It should be replaced when it starts to become sticky. Replacing worn spark plugs and dirty fuel filters will also improve your performance and help you save money at the gas pump.

Keep Your Vehicle Well Maintained and Fuel Efficient at EuroCar

If your vehicle appears to be running fine, it may seem unnecessary to bring it in for routine maintenance. However, there could be issues brewing behind the scenes that aren’t obvious. Regular maintenance allows our technicians to make sure everything is clean, undamaged, and working as it should. We can replace worn parts proactively, rather than them breaking while you’re on the road. Maintenance not only saves you money at the gas pump—but it also saves money on repairs!

To keep your vehicle well maintained, fuel-efficient, and performing its best, schedule an appointment at EuroCar Service! Our ASE-certified technicians specialize in all European makes, including Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Mini Cooper, Smart Car, Mercedes, Saab, Jaguar, Volkswagen, Volvo, and Fiat. Contact us today at 206-527-8828 or request an appointment online.