Aside from running out and buying a hybrid, what can we do to keep the costs down at the pump? Here’s 5 simple and basic things we can all do that will help us to save money and maximize fuel efficiency.
The A/C uses up a lot of gas when it’s running. One of the best things that can be done is to limit the time the air conditioner is on. I know that in some areas and during the height of summer this can be almost impossible to do. I know where I grew up in the High Desert of California it’s not uncommon to have triple digits for days and weeks at a time. One option is to utilize the “Auto” feature available on many cars. This way the A/C will only be on for limited times, just long enough to maintain a comfortable temperature. Some other quick solutions would be to park your car in the shade, tint the windows and leave the window’s cracked so that the air can flow.
Get The Right Oil
Making sure your oil is routinely changed goes a long way to keeping your car running at peak performance. One thing that people might not think about is making sure they are putting in the right oil for their car. Having the wrong oil can be just as bad as not changing it at all. Having the wrong viscosity for your engine creates gunk and buildup, strains and over works the engine; this will in turn create massive wear and tear on your motor and destroy performance.
Change The Air Filters
Having clean air filters ensures that your engine is getting the proper mix it needs. It helps to also make sure the engine doesn’t over heat and keeps it at peak performance.
Check Tire Pressure
Keeping your tires inflated to proper PSI (pounds per square inch) will help maintain fuel efficiency. You can find the recommended pressure settings for your car’s tires on a small sticker that is usually on the driver’s side doorjam.
Turn The Car Off
This is one I don’t think we think about too much, I know I haven’t. Idle time continues to burn gas, all those times sitting in parking lots or waiting for someone is a perfect chance to save money. I admit turning the car on does create an initial power surge and also wear and tear so I’m not talking about shutting the car down every time you stop. A great rule of thumb is the 1 Minute Rule; put simply if the car will be idle for less than a minute then you won’t get any benefit from turning it off. On the other hand if you will be idling for more than 1 minute it will be a net positive benefit to turn the car off.
With some basic and simple changes to your habits along with routine maintenance you can squeeze out some great savings on your gas. The best way to start is to plan a regular maintenance schedule and stick to it. This will not only ensure maximum fuel efficiency but also minimize wear and tear keeping your car running for years.