With gas prices climbing higher than we’ve ever seen, you may be wondering what steps you can take to help lower your fuel consumption. Keeping a well-maintained vehicle partnered with altered driving habits can help you space out how frequently you’re having to fuel up.
Modify Your Driving Habits
- Minimize how long your engine is running cold by starting your engine and driving normally to warm up the engine to operating temperature faster than idling in your driveway.
- Drive conservatively by avoiding rapid acceleration and hard braking, which could increase your fuel economy by 15-30% at highway speeds and 10-40% in city traffic.
- If you are driving a manual vehicle it is recommended to upshift as soon as practical and utilize your brakes instead of downshifting to slow the vehicle.
- Predict road conditions ahead of you to avoid hard braking and unnecessary acceleration to a red light. Typically, stoplights are timed to avoid unnecessary braking and slowing when vehicles are driven at the speed limit.
- Following speed limits can help increase fuel economy by 7-14% as most vehicle’s fuel economy peak around 50 mph and begins to drop off at higher speeds.
- Avoid excessive idling whenever safe. Most engines utilize ¼ to ½ gallon of gas per hour when idling, however warm engines only take about 10 seconds worth of fuel to restart. Many vehicle manufacturers have employed the “start/stop” functions that once your engine is warm it will shut off at stop lights and start again as soon as you remove your foot from the brake to help maximize fuel efficiency.
- Plan your trips to combine errands and minimize travel around town by finding “one stop” businesses and strip malls with multiple stores that you need to visit.
- Avoid driving during peak traffic periods whenever possible to decrease your likelihood of being in stop and go traffic.
Maintaining Your Vehicle
- Lighten your load by removing unnecessary items because every 100lbs of weight reduces fuel economy by about 1% on average.
- Keeping up on regular tune-ups and vehicle maintenance can drastically increase your fuel economy. It is found that performing regular tune-ups can increase fuel economy by 4% on average.
- If your vehicle has a check engine lamp on come visit Seyfer Automotive for diagnostics. When your engine isn’t running right due to a faulty oxygen sensor, mass air flow sensor, misfire condition etc. it is important to repair these faulty components quickly as otherwise you could be losing up to 40% of your fuel efficiency.
- Check tire pressure for proper inflation about once a month as underinflated tires increase the rolling resistance and therefore reduces fuel economy as well as potentially lead to a blow out.
- Avoid rooftop cargo carriers as items on top of the vehicle alters the aerodynamics of your vehicle and subsequently reduces fuel efficiency by about 2%
- Turn off the air conditioning and roll down your windows to save on fuel. Running the A/C system puts additional load on the engine forcing it work harder and therefore reducing fuel economy up to 25%. Parking in the shade can help keep the cabin of your vehicle colder when not in use and therefore helps avoid the need to use air conditioning.
If you find yourself dropping in miles per gallon with no logical explanation it may be time to schedule an appointment as that would be a good indication that your vehicle is not running as designed and is in need of general maintenance or repair. Increasing your fuel economy not only saves your wallet but increases the air quality that we all breathe.
At Seyfer Automotive we strive to provide our neighbors in Wheat Ridge, Arvada, Evergreen, Lakewood and surrounding Denver-metro areas the best service and treat you like one of our own friends and family. We promise to never recommend a service for your vehicle that we would not recommend performing on one of our own personal vehicles, and whenever possible alert you for upcoming maintenance so you never get a surprise repair bill. If you have any questions on how to best maintain your vehicle or schedule your next oil change or repair, call one of Denver’s longest standing Auto Repair Shop’s today! (303) 422-5261.