It can seem like household budgets get tighter and tighter every year, and that’s never seemed truer than over the past few. Families are trying to save money wherever they can, from groceries to utilities to those little luxuries like movies and trips to the zoo. That said, it’s important not to forget about where your car fits into all of this. Remembering to save money on repairs by keeping up with routine maintenance is one thing, but a hidden way to save some dough is by improving fuel efficiency.
Decreased fuel efficiency means more trips to the pump, which means spending a lot more over the course of a year or even a month. Read on for some car fuel efficiency tips that will help you drive greener while also saving your wallet:
- Monitor tire pressure: Underinflated tires can be a real drag on your car’s gas mileage. Fuel consumption can rise by as much as 3 percent if your tire pressure is low. Make sure you’re checking the pressure once a month or so. At a bare minimum, you should check it when the seasons change—if you’ll recall high school science for a moment, differences in air temperature can affect compression.
- Clean out the junk: If you’re a neatnik whose car is spotless, then you can keep reading on to our next car fuel efficiency tip. For the rest of you, it’s vital to keep your car free of extra junk. Don’t drive around for weeks with that chair you picked up off the side of the road—it’s dragging down your mileage because the extra weight is causing your car’s engine to labor more. It may not seem like much, but as little as 100 extra pounds can cause a noticeable effect on your car’s fuel efficiency.
- Drive consistently: The reason your mileage gets far worse in cities or in traffic is because constant acceleration and deceleration is the kiss of death if you’re trying to improve fuel efficiency. Braking and hitting the gas means the engine’s RPMs are rapidly shifting, which consumes far more gas than just maintaining a consistent speed. Cruise control can be your friend here if you have trouble staying at a constant pace.
- Perform regular maintenance: While these car fuel efficiency tips are a good start, it’s important to remember that a lot of fuel efficiency just boils down to consistent care of the vehicle. Things like bad spark plugs and air filters can hurt your numbers just as much as a few hundred pounds of extra junk, so be sure to head to the auto shop for regular auto services.
Improving fuel efficiency is mostly about just being conscientious and having better driving habits. Smartphone reminders can be great with reiterating when tasks like pressure checks and filter replacement should be done, but it’s also a good idea to trust the pros. Our team at Madison Muffler & Auto Repair is ready to earn your auto service business. Call us today to schedule an appointment!