Save On Gas
As gas prices remain stubbornly high, drivers across the country are scrambling to find new ways to save on gas at the pump. While there isn’t much the average person can do in terms of changing the price of oil and gas, there are ways to save money by getting better gas mileage. Your individual driving habits and maintenance routine make a huge difference when it comes to fuel efficiency. If you notice your vehicle’s gas mileage unexpectedly dip, that may be an indication of serious trouble. Don’t hesitate and bring it in to our team of ASE-certified automotive technicians here at Cox Auto Service Asheville for expert diagnostics, service and repair.
1.) Drive Slower: Driving the speed limit might not sound exciting, but it’s a great way to get better gas mileage. According to the AAA, most cars reach their peak fuel efficiency when traveling at about 50 mph. Every 5 to 10 mph driven above the optimum operating speed increases fuel consumption by up to 14 percent. With today’s gas prices remaining persistently high, those numbers can add up quickly.
2.) Tire Pressure: Properly inflating your vehicle’s tires to the manufacturer-specified PSI level reduces costly fuel consumption. If a tire is even just a few PSI levels underinflated, it creates additional resistance, which requires your car or truck to burn more gas. According to U.S Department of Energy data, American motorists waste 1.25 billion dollars of gas annually due to under inflated tires. Most auto experts recommend checking the PSI level of your car’s tires every month.
3.) Routine Service & Maintenance: Staying up to date with your car or truck’s service and maintenance routine plays an essential role in getting better gas mileage. Needless to say, a properly maintained car will run more efficiently than a poorly maintained vehicle. Aside from saving at the pump, keeping your car, truck or SUV in good overall condition extends its life and longevity. This in turn lowers the overall operating cost of the automobile by keeping service and repairs to a minimum over the life of the vehicle.
Essential Maintenance Services for Better Gas Mileage
- Regularly scheduled oil changes
- Inspection and replacement of fluids and filters
- Properly aligned and maintained suspension
- Battery and electrical components in good working order
- Spark plug inspection or replacement
- Balanced and rotated tires with plenty of evenly worn tread
- Exhaust system in good working order
- Inspection and replacement of hoses and cables
Automotive service and repair work is only as good as the mechanic doing the job. An incompetent or dishonest mechanic can actually do more harm than good with low quality work. That’s why you will want find a reputable auto service center like the team here at Cox Auto Service. Located just off Patton Avenue, we’ve proudly served the Asheville, North Carolina community with trustworthy automotive service and repair since 1970.
4.) Lighten the Load: Removing as much excess weight in your car, truck or SUV plays a big part in getting better gas mileage. All the random clutter and junk living inside your vehicle hurts fuel economy. For every additional 100 pounds of weight your vehicle hauls, its fuel efficiency drops by about two percent. When it comes to roof racks, bike racks, cargo containers or other external add-ons, you can expect a 6 to 25 percent decrease in gas mileage driving on the highway. Consider removing these external components when not in use or utilizing your vehicle’s trunk whenever possible for better gas mileage.
5.) Smooth Acceleration: Aggressively accelerating and braking significantly increases a car’s fuel consumption level. Rapid acceleration can burn an additional 15 to 30 percent more gas under highway driving conditions and a wallet-busting 10 to 40 percent while operating in traffic. For maximum fuel efficiency, gradually bring your car or truck to speed by smoothly stepping on the accelerator with measured pressure.
6.) Plan Ahead: As the old saying goes, “luck favors the prepared”. Another crucial aspect of getting better gas mileage is knowing when and where to drive. Planning ahead helps limit or avoid gas-guzzling traffic jams, poor road conditions, inefficient routes or inclement weather. Combining multiple stops and errands into one trip provides a way to counter the elevated cost of oil and gas.
7.) Limit Idling: Depending on the make and model of your car or truck, leaving it running on idle can burn up to a full gallon of gas every hour. Aside from the additional pain at the pump, an idling car emits up to 80 percent more harmful carbon emissions than it would while driving. Turning off your engine and restarting uses less fuel and creates less air pollution than letting your car or truck idle for a minute. The practice of warming up a car by idling is highly inefficient and in most cases unnecessary. Warming up a modern car, truck or SUV simply driving it delivers far better gas mileage.
8.) Cruise Control: Driving at a constant speed consumes less gas than driving at variable speeds. Activating your automobile’s cruise control can save up to 14 percent more fuel while driving on the highway. Beware of utilizing cruise control during poor weather or wet, slippery road conditions due to the increased risk of an accident.
9.) Turn Off the Air Conditioner: The Environmental Protection Agency estimates blasting a car or truck’s AC unit can decrease fuel economy by up to 25 percent or more. Operating the air conditioner while on shorter drives further decreases fuel efficiency. Electric vehicles and hybrids also experience a significant drop in efficiency when running the AC. Unfortunately driving with the windows rolled down also diminishes fuel economy. Based on a report by The Society of Automotive Engineers driving with the windows down reduces gas mileage by an average of eight percent.