A properly serviced vehicle will go a long way to help save that precious fuel. Here are a few things you can do to get the most from every drop of precious fuel…

  • Tire pressures, rotation and alignment; have you ever had that shopping cart at the grocery store that is hard to push because the one or more of the wheels are bent and wont roll straight? That’s what it’s like for your vehicle when your wheels are not properly aligned and/or tire pressures are under-inflated.
  • Dirty air filters make your vehicle harder to breathe in air it needs to run efficiently; dirty/clogged fuel filters make it harder to get fuel to the engine which makes you push on the gas pedal even harder (which you probably won’t even notice); and dirty cabin filters make the heater and defroster work harder which puts more load on the alternator, and since the engine turns the alternator, is use more fuel to run.
  • Fuel/Air Induction system cleaning. Better known as “fuel injection/system cleaning” regularly done (15-30,000 miles) can keep or improve fuel miles levels. This service cleans away the carbon deposits that naturally form during the combustion process. The deposits even form after engine shut off due to the fuel vapors that are trapped in the engine.
  • Check engine light on? There are hundreds of reasons for the check engine light to come on and many of those reasons can waste fuel or even cause progressive damage to other system and components on your vehicle.
  • Make sure you follow the specified maintenance schedule from the manufacturer to get the most from your vehicle.
  • Don’t drive with the defroster on unless you need it to clear the windshield. Running the defroster causes the Air Conditioning Compressor to run in later model vehicles (it acts as a dehumidifier and clears the windows faster) and puts more drag on the engine.
  • Accelerating gently and smoothly from stops and letting off the gas early as you come up to a stop can save an enormous amount of fuel over a tank full. I’ve even seen reports that people have gained as much as 10 miles per gallon or more.
  • Don’t carry a lot of unnecessary stuff around in your trunk; carrying around golf clubs, etc. can waste fuel. Keep only the necessary things like first aid or other safety items in the trunk.
  • Try to consolidate errands and trips to the store so you’re not going three or four time a day.
  • And my personal favorite, ride your bike or even car pool to events or possibly even shopping.

These and other ideas can greatly reduce the overall cost of your vehicle over time and not to mention the increased value and piece of mind you will get from a properly maintained vehicle.