With the price of gas going up, more drivers are concerned about how to improve fuel economy. The more efficient your vehicle, the more money you’ll save at the pump every time you go to fill up. There are a few key maintenance tasks that you can do to improve your fuel economy—or have the team at Gene’s 112 Auto Service Center, Inc. help.
Here’s what to put on your maintenance to-do list:
- Maintain proper tire pressure: When your tires are underinflated, the rolling resistance increases. Even 8 psi underinflated will create 5 percent more resistance. Check your tire pressure once per month, and re-inflate as necessary.
- Get the right motor oil: Use the manufacturer’s recommended motor oil grade. Doing so can improve your fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent—and every little bit counts. Be sure to change your oil at regular recommended intervals, too. Your engine depends on proper lubrication to reduce friction.
- Tune up your engine: Have your engine tuned up at recommended intervals (check your owner’s manual for more information). If it’s been a while since your last tune-up, you could further improve your fuel economy by another 4 percent.
- Monitor the air intake system and engine cooling fan: If your air intake system (which includes the air cooler, filter and tubing) is restricted, it can decrease your engine’s power output. Low-emissions engines run hotter than older engines, which means the fan requires more power to operate. Make sure that the fan clutch is working properly so that the fan only comes on when needed.
- Keep your air conditioner in good shape: Your air conditioner compressor uses horsepower to function. If the air conditioner hasn’t been properly maintained, it can put more of a burden on the engine. This decreases the power that your engine can produce—and decreases your fuel economy. The refrigerant should be in the recommended range, and the coils and condenser should be clean and free of obstructions. Check to make sure the drive belt is functioning properly, too.
- Clean corroded battery cables: When your battery cables are corroded, they force the alternator to work harder and use more fuel. Check the cables periodically, and clean them when necessary.
- Check your alignment: If your chassis and suspension are out of alignment, it can create drivetrain drag. Look for bent axles and wheels, worn-out shocks and broken springs.
This is some easy maintenance to improve fuel economy. If you’re still having issues, even after making these adjustments, your mechanics can provide more insight. Your vehicle’s onboard computer systems have sensors in key areas and can show a trained mechanic where the problem may lie.
Generally, you should notice a marked difference when you keep your vehicle properly maintained on a regular basis. Save yourself some gas money—and keep an eye on critical systems—when you take your vehicle to Gene’s 112 Auto Service Center, Inc. Call or stop by today for an appointment.
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