Gas prices have been falling lately, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned with gas mileage of our older vehicles. One of the best indicators of vehicle health is tracking gas mileage from tank to tank. You may not see a major decline the first few years of ownership, but as your vehicle ages it will start to show signs of losing efficiency. Dirty filters and missed maintenance may cause your cheap weekend getaway to cost a little more. Why spend the extra money for gas when you can keep your vehicle running strong and keep your mileage at its best? These are just a few ways to increase your fuel mileage.
Use Cruise Control
This one may seem a little easy, but you’d be surprised at the difference a steady throttle can make on gas mileage and fuel economy. Cruise isn’t just for the highway or interstate either. Most cars will engage the cruise control at 35 miles per hour, so even if you’re in town you may find that cruise can be a benefit. If you don’t have cruise control as a standard feature on your vehicle, an aftermarket unit could be installed for a low price. You may be able t offset the installation cost by increasing your fuel mileage and decreasing fuel costs.
Plan Your Most Efficient Route
Planning for a long trip usually involves a little mapping of how to get where you want to go. Most of the latest software in your vehicle’s navigation system or your smart phone can choose the most efficient method. The key things it looks for are areas that you have to slow down or stop, which may include suburban areas and construction. For your day-to-day commute, you can look for the same things that may cause delays and slowdowns. Are there any routes that you can take that don’t have stoplights, school crossings, intersections, etc.? They may be a longer distance, but could be a more efficient option if they don’t slow you down.
Properly Inflate Your Tires
Your vehicle manufacturer most likely has a sticker inside the door opening with the proper air pressure for your tires. If not, you can find that information in your owner’s manual or via a quick search online. All vehicles made after 2008 have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that will alert you to a low tire pressure, and that can keep you out of the danger of a flat tire. Keeping your tires inflated correctly will minimize the rolling resistance, which keep efficiency high and won’t affect your fuel mileage. A tire that is 10 psi under the correct inflation amount can reduce fuel economy by 1 mile per gallon. That can really add up over time.
Reduce Rolling Weight
Your vehicle comes with lightweight wheels designed to offer a specific fuel mileage rating. A lot of times they aren’t very attractive, and there is a direct replacement available in the aftermarket. One thing that should be considered when replacing the wheels is the weight of each wheel. Adding a larger or heavier wheel adds rotational mass that makes your car work harder to accelerate and slow down. That working harder part can reduce fuel mileage because your engine has to work a little more to turn a heavier wheel and tire. If you plan to replace your wheels (and tires too), look for options that don’t increase the weight.
Keep Up On Your Air Filter Maintenance
A clogged or dirty air filter is an easy way to decrease fuel mileage. Imagine trying to run a marathon breathing through a snorkel. It’s hard, and that’s what happens to your engine when the air filter gets clogged with dirt and bugs. You should be checking your air filter at every oil change. Most air boxes have a few screws or clips that need to be removed to access the air filter, and you can quickly determine if you’re ready for a replacement. AMSOIL offers a complete line of replacement air filters, and a quick guide to find just what your vehicle needs.
Use the Lowest Octane Fuel You Can
In the numbers game, high octane fuel sounds like it should be the best option for your vehicle. More is always better, right? Well, in the case of octane, the lower octane fuel will produce more power that directly translates into your engine working less to move you forward. Higher octane fuel resists detonation more, but will produce less combustion power. If your car will run lower octane fuel without the risk of detonation (also called pre-ignition), do it. It saves on the fuel cost and offers better fuel economy. If your vehicle needs a higher octane fuel, you may be better off adding an octane booster before you fill up the fuel tank. Adding a bottle of AMSOIL Dominator Octane Boost will keep your fuel octane rating high, yet may save you money compared to buying premium at the pump.
Keep Your Fuel System Clean
There are many pieces in your fuel system that need to stay clean in order to offer maximum fuel economy and great mileage. A simple system cleaner is an easy way to keep the complete system running well from start to finish. Your injectors face a lot of heat and deposits over thousands and thousands of miles on the road. Those miniscule deposits can start to reduce their ability to spray correctly and thus reduce fuel economy and combustion power. Small changes will start to add up to a reduction in miles per gallon. Simply adding a fuel system cleaner like AMSOIL P.i. will remove deposits and can improve fuel mileage up to 5.7% when used every 4,000 miles. More and more vehicles are changing their oil and filter at 4,000 miles, which makes adding a fuel system cleaner at the same time a winning combination.
Beyond the fuel system cleaner, you can also add AMSOIL Upper Cylinder Lubricant to every tank of fuel to keep injectors clean and protected from corrosion or deposits. Both products work together to keep fuel mileage high and troublesome deposits out of the fuel system.
Utilize Your New Car Fuel Economy Gauge
Many new vehicles come with a standard setting in the instrument cluster offering fuel economy advice. You can use that to understand how to best drive your vehicle for maximum fuel economy and mileage. Typically using a lighter foot from stoplights and keeping a steady pedal pressure work best.
Add a Gas Pedal Module
More and more vehicles are now turning to drive-by-wire technology rather than keeping the old throttle cable design. What that means is that your gas pedal isn’t connected to your engine using a cable anymore. It has electric solenoids that work together, and there are modules that you can add to decrease sensitivity and throttle response. That decrease can then add fuel economy to your vehicle without the hassle of trying to learn better driving techniques. You can also check if your vehicle has an economy mode built-in, which may do the same function. Rather than go for sport or race mode, program your car for fuel economy.
Wash and Wax Your Car
Everyone likes a clean car, but did you know that a freshly washed and waxed vehicle can increase fuel economy? A clean surface allows air to flow over it easier, which makes it more efficient. AMSOIL has a Waterless Wash and Wax Spray that will keep your vehicle surface clean and waxed to provide maximum fuel efficiency.
Beyond these 10 ways to increase fuel economy, there are many more. Adding synthetic lubricants to your engine, transmission, and axles can decrease resistance that your engine has to overcome during driving, and keeping all fluids clean with proper filters will help with maximum efficiency. If you need help with determining a complete maintenance plan for your vehicle, your local AMSOIL dealer at Buy Great Oil is here to help with a complete package of products and hints to make the job easier.