Fuel Economy Tips from Driving Comfort
Like you, we’re basically astounded at how much a gallon of gasoline costs these days. The days of 99-cent unleaded suddenly seem as long ago as those of 25-cent hi-test and drive-in movies. Or, come to think of it, $1.50 premium and VHS tapes.
With gas prices higher than ever, fuel economy has become a very hot topic, and everyone is looking for a way to squeeze the most miles out of every fill-up. For every common-sense solution you hear, there seems to be two amazing, stupendous wonder products that claim to produce miraculous mileage figures. We’ve heard from a number of customers who are looking for something like that and, honestly, we don’t blame them – we’d love to find (or, better still, patent) a 100-mpg wonder-widget, too.
But we haven’t seen anything yet, so while we can’t help your seven-passenger SUV achieve econobox-like mileage numbers, we can offer a few tips to help you squeeze more miles out of every gallon. Give them a try and we bet you’ll see a difference. As it turns out, the most amazing fuel economy enhancer ever made is probably holding the steering wheel during your morning commute!
Fuel Economy Tips
Tip: Use the fuel recommended by your owner’s manual. Some people think they’re doing their car a favor by upgrading to mid-grade or premium. Not necessarily. A quick check of the manual will tell you the type of gasoline that’s right for your car. Some require higher-octane gas, but for many cars, regular unleaded is just fine.
Tip: Check your tires. Properly-inflated tires are important for safe driving, but they’re also a big part of efficient driving. Under-inflated tires need more energy to roll, which wastes fuel and makes the tires wear faster. Having a good tire pressure gauge makes it easy to be safe an improve your fuel economy and tire wear
Tip: Use the correct grade of motor oil. Your owner’s manual will tell you which type is best for your car. Also remember to look for oil labeled “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol.
Tip: Replace dirty air filters. A clogged air filter can reduce your gas mileage, so make sure it’s checked during your next oil change. A new filter will save fuel and keep impurities from damaging your engine.
Tip: Engine maintenance is essential. If your engine is poorly maintained, your gas mileage will drop dramatically. Follow the recommended maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual and have your vehicle checked out if you detect any unusual sounds, smells or vibrations.
Tip: Lighten your load. Extra weight requires extra fuel, so if there’s anything in your trunk or cargo area that you don’t need, take it out and store it in your garage or basement. Our helpful garage organizers give you maximum storage without taking up floor space.
Tip: Be efficient with a warm engine. A cold engine (one that hasn’t been started for many hours) is less fuel-efficient than a warm one. Your engine warms up faster while driving than while sitting and “warming up,” so don’t let your vehicle sit at idle for more than 30 seconds. Start it up, drive it, then shut it off between errands to conserve fuel. Also, try to combine as many errands as possible into one trip.
Tip: Don’t run the air conditioning unless you really need it. Using the A/C robs power from the engine and uses additional fuel. On cooler spring and fall days, open the windows and experiment with the vent and fan settings during short trips. At highway speeds, however, an open window adds drag and harms fuel economy. If you’re taking the highway on a hot afternoon, use the AC.
Tip: Reduce aerodynamic drag. Unused ski racks, bike racks and cartop carriers create added wind resistance, which makes your vehicle’s engine work harder. If you’re not using them, remove them.
Tip: Watch your speed. Your vehicle’s fuel efficiency decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Once you’re up to speed, maintain a steady pace in top gear and use cruise control. Keeping your vehicle at a steady speed is a great way to stay safe and save gas.
Tip: Use overdrive gears on the highway. Overdrive gears reduce engine speed, saving fuel and reducing engine wear.
Tip: Relax! Aggressive driving — speeding, rapid acceleration, hard braking — are sure ways to reduce your gas mileage. Driving smoothly and steadily saves fuel and also extends the life of your engine, transmission, brakes and tires.
Tip: Shop around. Most gas stations carry the same quality fuel, so as long as you’re already on the road, keep an eye out for the lowest price. You can also check online for sites that monitor gas prices in your area.
Ordering information: Call 1-800-726-1199 or visit www.drivingcomfort.com
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