What Can I Do to Improve My Fuel Economy?
Watching the price meter at the gas station can be a little disheartening, even with the most fuel-efficient cars. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to stretch your gas money further – and some of them are very easy to do!
DIY Fuel Economy Tips
Properly inflated tires can improve your mileage from 0.6% to as much as 3% on average. While that may not seem like a lot, it definitely makes a difference over time. To find the correct tire pressure for your vehicle, look for a small plate, located on the inside of the driver’s door or door jam. Be aware, though, that some cars may have different pressures listed for the front and rear tires. In general, it’s recommended to check your tire pressure monthly, but you may want to do it more frequently during the winter, as cold temperatures can cause the psi to drop faster. Keeping your tires properly inflated will also help them last longer – and keep you safer.
Unsurprisingly, the more weight your vehicle has to carry, the more it hurts fuel economy. Beyond a spare tire or other emergency roadside supplies, it’s best to eliminate any unnecessary weight from the trunk or passenger compartment. Doing this can increase your fuel efficiency by as much as 2%.
Aggressive driving habits like speeding, quick acceleration, and braking can lower your gas mileage significantly – approximately 15 -30% at highway speeds and 10-40% in stop and go traffic, according to fueleconomy.gov. While it may be tempting to go pedal-to-the-metal at times, you’ll save more gas with gentle acceleration and abiding by the speed limit. This also helps put less wear and tear on your brakes while making the roads safer for everyone.
Maintenance Also Matters!
In addition to the DIY tips above, several maintenance items can improve fuel economy. All lubricants like oil, transmission fluid, and differential fluid, should be changed on a regular schedule. When these become broken down and dirty, it causes additional friction and drag. A dirty fuel system can also greatly reduce engine efficiency and increase fuel consumption.
If your Check Engine light is on, bring your vehicle in for diagnosis. One common cause for the light to turn on is faulty oxygen sensors. These can cause your gas mileage to plummet and increase emissions. If left unaddressed for long enough, this issue can also cause damage to your catalytic converter – another issue that can affect gas mileage. Mass airflow sensors determine the amount of air entering your engine so that the correct amount of fuel is added to the engine. If these sensors fail, it can lead to increased emissions, stalling, and poor fuel economy.
Additionally, avoid miracle cures! There are a lot of products on the market that claim to boost fuel economy but don’t actually deliver results. Do some research before you buy or check with us to make sure that the product does what it claims.
For more ideas on how to improve fuel economy on your Audi, BMW, Fiat, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mercedes, MINI, Saab, Smart Car, Volkswagen, or Volvo, or other European make, talk to your service advisor here at EuroCar Service. They’ll be able to give you recommendations based on your car’s make, model, and age.
Give us a call today at 206-527-8828 or schedule your appointment online.