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Fuel Economy Tips From Oak Motors

Making the most out of every fuel drop is imperative with diesel and petrol prices constantly rising. Improving the fuel economy doesn't only save you a significant amount of money but also saves the environment from harmful emissions that largely contribute to the ongoing climate change.

You can incorporate varied habits and techniques in everyday driving to increase fuel efficiency, primarily by driving more efficiently and ensuring your car is maintained correctly.

Some top fuel economy tips include:

Fuel-Efficient Driving Techniques

Avoid Idling Your Vehicle

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, idling a vehicle covers zero miles per gallon and collectively consumes billions of gallons per year. The California Energy Commission emphasizes that cars should be turned off if it is expected to idle longer than 10 seconds. They posit that turning a vehicle off while waiting can save you at least 3 cents per minute, which interprets as huge sums if the idling is prolonged.

Don't Carry Unnecessary Weight

Additional weight in your vehicle reduces the gas mileage by about 1 %. The consumption is relative to the vehicle's weight, with the smaller vehicles being the biggest victims. For an extra 100 pounds, a car consumes 3 cents per gallon to carry the weight. When planning a journey, you should think carefully about what you need to pack and leave the roof racks if not required.

Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned

Engaging your engine in the highest gear without excessively laboring it significantly reduces fuel consumption. For example, driving at an average speed of 60 km/h will consume 25% more fuel while in the third gear than in the fifth gear. Driving at high speed in low gears (first-third) can consume about 45% more fuel than required.

Check and Replace Air Filters Regularly

Air filters trap dirt in media made of synthetic fibers and paper. When these media are clogged with contaminants, especially debris, it prevents the smooth flow of air in and out of the engine. As a result, the engine starts working with difficulty, thus consuming more fuel.

This impact may not be noticeable on modern engines because they use sensors to measure the air circulation in the engine. The information is used by the vehicle's onboard computer to adjust engine operations if necessary and sometimes compensate for the dirty filters.

However, too much clogging compromises the effectiveness of the computer. Most automotive manufacturers emphasize the replacement of the air filter after every 15,000 to 30,000 miles to boost the health of the engines.

Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated

Most people don't see the connection between deflated tires and fuel consumption, but the impact can't be ignored. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that a cumulative volume of 1.25 billion gallons of fuel, close to 1% of total gasoline consumption, is wasted every year on underinflated tires.

Each underinflated tire can lose up to 2 pounds per psi monthly. A deflation of 10 psi per tire reduces the fuel efficiency by approximately 3% of the overall monthly fuel consumption across the U.S. For the four-tired vehicle, deflation by 10 psi would reduce a vehicle's fuel efficiency by 10% at an extra cost of up to 31 cents per gallon.

Use the Recommended Grade of Motor Oil

Using the recommended oil and octane gas for your car significantly reduces the overall fuel consumption. For example, 0W-30 and 5W-30 oil reduces the cumulative fuel consumption by about 3% compared to 5W-40 and 10W-40 oils. You should always confirm from your brand's maintenance manual to ascertain the most appropriate oil or consult a mechanic at your most reputable car dealership.

Fuel Savings Maintenance Tips

Tips for Optimizing Fuel Economy
  • Ensure your vehicle's gas caps are sound and tight to reduce fuel wastage through evaporation.
  • To prevent backsplash or overfilling, always refill your vehicle with a fill nozzle placed at the lowest setting.
  • Check your tires regularly to ensure they are well inflated before taking off.
  • Use the right tires at the right moment. Using wider, snow or mud tires for additional traction increases friction, thus, reducing the miles per gallon.
  • Regularly check the oil and air filters to remove dust, dirt, and bug smokes that may make your engine lose power and increase fuel consumption.
  • Replace worn-out spark plugs to prevent misfire that wastes a significant amount of fuel
  • Use recommended oil from certified dealers.

There are varied observations and many responses to the questions on increasing fuel efficiency, with proper maintenance serving as the center post where all other tips are anchored. However, you can significantly improve fuel economy by reducing or adopting the most efficient driving techniques discussed above.

Maintenance services from a reputable service provider don't only save you money and increase the lifespan of your vehicle but also reduce the amount of carbon footprint and other environmental pollutants. At Oak Motors, we have a professional team with profound experience servicing most car brands. Contact us today to schedule our quality service appointment.

Categories: Vehicle Maintenance
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