save on gas

9 Ways To Save on Gas

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

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.

Car overheating

What Can Cause Engine Overheating?

Engine overheating is among the most serious car problems encountered by drivers in North Carolina. When your temperature gauge begins to approach the danger zone, it’s important to pull over as soon as possible. Not only can overheating leave you stranded, but the potential engine damage can be expensive to repair.

Car overheating

Here Are Some of the Most Common Causes of Overheating.

Leaks in the Cooling System

Leaks are by far the top reason for engine overheating. When the coolant level becomes too low, temperatures will quickly start to rise. This is why you should have your cooling system professionally inspected every year. Simply adding more coolant is only a temporary fix.

Parts prone to leaking coolant include the thermostat housing, hoses, heater core, and plastic reservoir. If a head gasket begins to leak, you have an even bigger problem on your hands. Aside from inducing engine overheating, a bad head gasket can also cause a major loss of power.

Bad Thermostat

A thermostat is a simple valve in your cooling system. However, it holds a big responsibility. The thermostat’s job is to help the engine to maintain the correct temperature.

If the thermostat fails in a closed position, the coolant will no longer be able to pass through the radiator. Engine overheating can occur quickly, especially on a hot summer day. The good news is that new thermostats are not expensive.

A Busted Hose Can Cause Overheating

It’s important for worn-out coolant hoses to be replaced in a timely manner. A burst hose will cause coolant to literally gush out of the engine. You’ll also notice steam pouring from underneath the hood.

To avoid overheating, check your coolant hoses from signs of wear and tear. Cracks and bulges in the hose are definite red flags. A soft hose also needs to be replaced.

Malfunctioning Water Pump

A properly functioning water pump barely makes a sound. If you start to hear a whining noise coming from the water pump, immediately bring in your vehicle for service. You may also notice coolant leaking from the part’s weep hole. At this point, the water pump is on borrowed time.

When a water pump fails, it can no longer propel coolant throughout the cooling system. Overheating is bound to occur at some point. The bright side is that you can expect a new water pump to last for 100,000 miles or more.

Overheating From a Bad Radiator Fan

A radiator fan, which enhances cooling by pulling air across the radiator, is an essential component. It’s designed to automatically kick on at a certain engine temperature. If the radiator fan isn’t working, overheating becomes a real possibility.

In some instances, the problem can be traced to a blown fuse. It only takes a few minutes to swap out an old fuse for a new one. You also can’t rule out a worn fan motor as the culprit. On the other hand, your fan may be in perfect working condition. A faulty temperature sensor may not be signaling the fan to turn on. Cleaning the sensor may fix the problem.

Six Big Car Care Mistakes Made By Vehicle Owners

Six Big Car Care Mistakes Made By Vehicle Owners

Six Big Car Care Mistakes Made By Vehicle Owners

Six Big Car Care Mistakes Made By Vehicle Owners

As a car owner, you need to take care of your ride. Not only will your vehicle last longer, but it’ll also provide a safer driving experience. Here’s a look at six of the biggest car care mistakes to avoid.

1. Driving On “E”

Whether you’re short on cash or simply don’t feel like stopping by the gas station, it’s never a good idea to drive on a near-empty tank. This is among the most costly car care mistakes. A low level of gas can cause your vehicle’s fuel pump to overheat, thus making it more prone to failing. This is why you should always keep at least a quarter tank of gas in your vehicle.

2. Using the Wrong Motor Oil

Most drivers recognize the importance of getting regular oil changes. However, it’s just as critical to use the recommended type of motor oil. If you use the wrong motor oil grade, you could experience a loss of fuel economy or decreased performance. Even worse, the wrong grade may not provide an adequate level of protection. The extra wear and tear could noticeably decrease engine life.

3. Buying Inferior Brake Pads

In an attempt to save a few bucks, some drivers choose to use the cheapest parts available. Installing cheap brake pads is a big car care mistake. During heavy braking, low-quality pads are far more prone to fading. This means you’ll experience diminished stopping power. Cheap brake pads can also lead to warped rotors, which is yet another safety hazard. For your own personal security, spend the extra money on quality brake pads.

4. Failing to get a Wheel Alignment

Most automakers suggest car owners getting a wheel alignment once a year. Unfortunately, many drivers tend to neglect this important maintenance item. Failing to get a wheel alignment can cause your tires to wear down much sooner than expected. When your wheels aren’t properly aligned, your vehicle also won’t handle as well. If your vehicle is difficult to keep in a straight line, this is a tell-tale sign that a wheel alignment is needed.

5. Hiring a Backyard Mechanic

Think twice before taking your vehicle to a backyard mechanic. This could prove to be one of your most regrettable car care mistakes. Although these amateur handymen may offer you a great deal, the best approach is to take your vehicle to a certified automotive professional.

If a backyard mechanic makes a mistake, you stand to lose thousands of dollars. Some of today’s modern cars are engineered with sophisticated technologies, which makes them more complicated to work on. The average do-it-yourselfer doesn’t have the knowledge or equipment that it takes to perform certain repairs.

6. Ignoring Issues

When encountering potential car problems, always get your vehicle checked out as soon as possible. Taking action could prevent you from becoming stranded on the side of the road. In most instances, car care issues gradually become worse over time. This means you’ll likely end up spending even more money on repairs. Strange noises, check engine lights, and funny smells should all catch your attention.


Contact Cox Auto Service

Cox Auto Service is located in Asheville, NC, and covers the gamut on mechanical service for automobiles. Our highly qualified mechanics work on anything from minor repairs such as belts, oil changes, maintenance work to major repairs like engine and transmission work. We take pride in the auto repairs and services we provide. Rely on us to treat our customers’ vehicles as if they were our own.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

Cox Auto Service