5 Fuel Efficiency Tips to Save Money on Gas
Are trips to the gas station costing you more than normal? It might not just be the rising gas costs.
If you haven’t been following routine maintenance for your vehicle, you could be decreasing your fuel efficiency by up to 40 percent in some cases.
A common misconception is that fuel economy is a fixed number like cargo space. The reality, though, is that a number of things can burn or save you fuel. Fortunately, understanding and implementing these maintenance tips and driving habits can save on not only fuel costs, but also any costly repairs that may occur in the future.
To get the most out of your vehicle, we recommended these 5 fuel efficiency tips to save you money on gas:
1) Keep your engine properly tuned
Taking your car into a dealership for routine maintenance can identify any areas where your vehicle is not running optimally. On average, drivers can improve their fuel economy by roughly 10 percent by keeping their vehicles properly tuned. When you factor in that Americans are spending nearly $5,000 a year on gasoline now, that can be up to $500 in savings!
There are a few components that are essential to your vehicle’s mileage. One that has the biggest impact is your vehicle’s oxygen sensor. In some cases, this can increase or decrease your fuel economy by as much as 40 percent.
It may be tempting to delay a trip to the service department, but the money you’ll save on gas in the long run is well worth it!
2) Make sure your tires are properly inflated
Underinflated tires burn through fuel quicker, and they’re dangerous, too. This is because they increase your car’s drag, thus creating more fuel consumption. In fact, one National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study revealed every 1% decrease in tire pressure correlated to a 0.3% reduction in fuel economy.
Furthermore, when Edmunds.com conducted a tire pressure study of their own, they found that, on average, their own employees (all automotive enthusiasts to begin with) had underinflated tires. Typically, a tire’s inflation pressure will go down by about 1 “pound per square inch” or PSI every month. This means that if air isn’t added for two to three months, the tire will likely be 2 to 3 PSI low.
All that’s to say, you likely need to check your tire pressure if it’s been a while. It’s important not only for fuel efficiency but also for improved safety and the prevention of tire wear, which could save you even more money. Fortunately, this is a simple fix and can be done at nearly any gas station. Be sure to check your owner’s manual or tire manufacturer’s website for your vehicle’s specific PSI ratings.
3) Change your air filter often
Reduced airflow can make your car’s performance suffer. Dirty air filters can clog and prevent airflow to the engine, changing your vehicle’s air-fuel balance. When this balance is thrown off, it can pollute spark plugs, cause damage to internal engine parts, and reduce your fuel economy.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save as much as 22 cents per gallon by replacing a dirty air filter. Time to replace yours? Stop in by our Express Service Lane for speedy expert service with no appointment needed.
4) Avoid excessive idling
If you own or have test-driven a newer vehicle, you may have noticed that most have a feature that turns off the engine when you idle the car. The reason for this is to save fuel! Waiting at a red light can take upwards of 2 to 3 minutes while starting your car only requires 10 seconds of gas. Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of gas per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner use, according to the Department of Energy.
If you have to stay in your car for longer than a minute and you are parked safely, it is highly recommended to stop your car. Newer cars are equipped with heavy-duty starters that can handle dozens of starts a day, but it should be noted that turning your engine on and off excessively can increase starter wear in older models.
5) Adopt good driving habits
Kindness on the road pays off. That’s because aggressive driving habits like speeding and gunning the engine are major fuel wasters.
Practicing good driving habits isn’t just the safe thing to do, but it can also save you money. The Department of Energy states that for every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph, “you are paying an additional $0.18 per gallon.”
In real-world testing by Edmunds.com, they found that aggressive driving, such as rapid acceleration and sharp braking, was the biggest culprit for reduced fuel economy. Furthermore, they found that drivers who adopted good driving habits could save 33 percent to 38 percent on gas.
Tired of your gas-guzzling vehicle? Trade it in for a newer model! We have dozens of options available now at United Nissan Reno, from award-winning, fuel-efficient models to gas-saving hybrids. Value your trade using our online tool.
Or, if you’re tired of gas altogether – go electric. United Nissan Reno in Reno, NV has various all-electric options for drivers. Shop our new Nissan models and used car lot online or visit us in-store at 865 Kietzke Ln.
0 comment(s) so far on 5 Fuel Efficiency Tips to Save Money on Gas