Squeeze A Few More Miles Per Gallon Out Of Your Vehicle

June 2nd, 2016

We all know that fuel prices can be pretty unpredictable, and while prices might be relatively low right now, that doesn't mean they will be this time six months Fuel Economy in Abbottstown PA down the road. The good news is that all sorts of vehicles now get better fuel economy than they used to...and even if you drive a thirsty truck or SUV, there are things you can do to squeeze a little better fuel economy out of it. 

  • Tires: Many people don't realize that tires are such an important part of the fuel economy equation. Even one underinflated tire, though, can be enough to compromise gas mileage. A low tire means added friction and rolling resistance, causing your vehicle to use more fuel just to get you down the road. It also means heat buildup, which will speed up tire wear and can lead to tire failure. 
  • Your right foot: Watch your driving habits! That means no hard acceleration, especially around town, and keeping your speed down on the highway. If your vehicle is equipped with a real-time trip computer, keep an eye on it and see how your fuel economy suffers with increased speed. If you keep it between 70 and 75 on the highway, you may be a rolling roadblock for many other drivers, but just hang out in the right land and know you're using less gas to get where you're going. 
  • Cruise control: Regardless of how steady of a speed you try to keep on the highway, you can't do as good a job of regulating your vehicle's speed as your cruise control can. Don't use it in heavy traffic or around town, but engage it whenever possible on the highway. 
  • Anticipate: In town, you're going to use the most fuel getting that mass of a few thousand pounds of metal going from a full stop. Keep an eye out for signal lights coming up; whenever possible, just let off the gas and coast your way up to a red light in the hopes it will turn green before you get there and you can get rolling back up to speed again. If signal lights are timed for a certain speed, try to take advantage of that whenever possible. 
  • Tune your car: Make sure your car's in good shape all the time. That means a clean air filter that doesn't restrict air flow through the engine, and staying on top of routine maintenance. If your Check Engine light is illuminated, don't hesitate to have engine diagnostics performed to find out the problem -- it could be something minor, or it could be something that could have a real effect on your fuel economy and emissions. 

 

We're not talking about sometimes-crazy, sometimes-dangerous "hypermiling" techniques here. These are all just common-sense ideas that you can use in day-to-day driving, and chances are you'll see that fuel gauge go down a little slower if you stick with them. Got any questions? Or maybe it's time for a little routine maintenance? Give us a call and make an appointment at L & M Tire and Wheel! 

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101