Fuel Economy Tips From the Pros

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Save money by maximizing your fuel economy. Regardless of whether your car is new or old, or you have an internal combustion engine or a hybrid, follow the tips below and make the most of your fuel and money.

Driving habits

by Atomic Auto, Portland, Oregon

Accelerating your car uses fuel. Decelerating the car turns that energy that you just burnt in gasoline into heat from the brakes. Wasted energy. If you assume that the average gasoline engine is 20% thermally efficient (meaning that 20% of the energy in the gasoline actually goes towards propelling the car the rest is all wasted heat dissipated into the atmosphere via the radiator) you begin to understand how completely inefficient cars actually are. Toyota is almost to 50% in current production hybrids, but the modern internal combustion engine is still not that efficient.
Have you ever had your cruise control set at the speed limit and then been passed by some idiot, you get to the next stop light and he’s right there beside you? He’s the problem. Slow down. Accelerate slowly think about conserving momentum and not accelerating so fast if you are just going to stop again soon. It’s totally stupid and pointless to accelerate quickly.

Easy-to-overlook maintenance

by Chi Auto Repair, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Keep tires inflated at the proper air pressure. There are also tires today that are designed to optimize fuel economy–they would be called LRR tires (low rolling resistance). If the vehicle has aftermarket bigger wheels, that will affect gas mileage as well, since the engine has to work harder to get the vehicle moving.

If your vehicle’s “Check engine light” is on it will also use more gas as the Power control module of the car will add more fuel to protect the engine. Resolving the issue will regain gas mileage. There are also engine additives like Liqui Moly Ceratec that have added a tad bit of MPG.

Also an often neglected item that never comes up for maintenance would be the oxygen sensors. The oxygen sensors over time become “worn or lazy.” Over time they wear out and could impact the gas mileage by 10% or more.

Lastly, remove any unnecessary items from the trunk that’s adding weight to the vehicle.

Try holding off…

by Luke’s Automotive,¬†Redmond, Washington

1) Biggest and foremost is to keep the tires at their correct pressures.

2) Another one that many folks forget is to Wash & Wax your vehicle on a regular basis, less air drag. And we’re not talking the car wash type of waxing, An actual hand waxing.

3) Try to time your drive with the cycle of the signal lights so there is less stop and go. Starting off takes the most energy and Jack Rabbit starts are the worst for Fuel Economy.

4) Try holding off on those quick trips to the store and such to coordinate them all into one trip. Mapping the trips out to do them in a big returning circle will save time, fuel and money.

5) Get the “Junk” out of the trunk or back seat. That extra weight adds up more than folks realize.