Today’s cars and trucks are engineered to extract more miles from a gallon of gas than ever. But if you find you’re not getting close to your vehicle’s advertised fuel economy, perhaps you shouldn’t just chalk it up to a case of “your mileage may vary.”
Even though gas prices remain reasonably affordable, it’s still foolish to burn money. Adjusting a few bad habits and keeping your vehicle in top condition can go a long way toward maximizing its mileage.
- Avoid subjecting your ride to jack-rabbit starts and sudden stops
This can curtail a car or truck’s fuel economy by as much as 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent in the city. Speeding also consumes more gas than taking it easy on the accelerator. Driving at 75 mph a vehicle uses 25 percent more than cruising at 55 mph.
- Always turn off a car’s engine while idling at a curb or an extended stoplight
This can conserve more than half a gallon of fuel for every hour that would have been spent idling, when a vehicle gets zero mpg. And if your car comes with a start-stop function that automatically turns off the motor while at idle, be sure not to disable it.
- Consolidate multiple errands into one trip to save both time and gasoline
Several short trips taken on different days, each from a cold start, can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Be sure to use your car or smartphone’s GPS to navigate your way to unfamiliar destinations to avoid wasting fuel by getting lost.
- Ensure your car or truck is in tip-top shape
Taking a car or truck into a local auto shop for a needed tune-up can boost its mileage by about 4 percent. Simply changing a clogged air filter can improve a car’s fuel economy by as much as 10 percent, while addressing a more-serious problem like replacing a faulty oxygen sensor can increase it by as much as 40 percent.
- Change oil based on the manufacturer’s recommendations for “severe” service
Also, be sure to use the recommended grade. Switching to synthetic motor oil can help a car run more efficiently under extreme conditions, and it can last up to three times longer between changes than pure-petroleum based oil.
- Check the tire pressure frequently
Use a good-quality tire gauge to verify they’re inflated to the recommended psi (pounds per square inch) levels. You’ll find this information in your vehicle’s owner’s manual and on a sticker inside the driver’s side door.
Running on underinflated tires can slash a car’s mileage by as much as 3.3 percent and lead to uneven and/or premature wear that could become a serious safety issue. When it’s time to get a new set, consider low rolling resistance tires, which can improve a car’s fuel economy by around 5 percent.
- If your car or truck has a roof rack, remove it to improve its aerodynamics
This can boost its mileage by around 5 percent. At highway speeds, keep a vehicle’s windows closed to maintain optimal aerodynamics and prevent a 10 percent loss in fuel economy; open the vents to bring in outside air, but use the air conditioning sparingly as it causes to the engine to consume more gas
And while you’re at it, clean out the trunk. Carrying an additional 100 pounds of gear can increase a vehicle’s energy consumption by 1 or 2 percent.
Get the most out of your gas mileage by consulting the experts at Jack Furrier Tire and Auto Care for a summer car inspection.
For more than 55 years, the experts at Jack Furrier Tire and Auto Care have been serving the Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley and Sierra Vista communities. Whatever your needs, the team at Jack Furrier has the expertise to get you back on the road faster. They were even voted “Best Auto Repair Shop,” “Best Tire Store,” “Best Locally Owned Business” and “Best Customer Service” in the Arizona Daily Star’s 2016 Reader’s Choice awards.
To find the Jack Furrier Tire and Auto Care location nearest you, visit JackFurriers.com.