How do I Improve my Fuel Economy?
These days you might be cringing at the gas pump each time you visit with the rising fuel prices. In this blog, we would like to discuss what you can do as a driver to improve your fuel economy and hopefully save you some money when it's time to fill up! Summer months are quickly approaching, when there is a rise in temperature, your fuel economy can actually increase because your engine doesn't have to work so hard to get up to a normal temperature. To counteract this though, there is the running of the A/C system in your vehicle that reduces fuel economy to keep the inside of the vehicle at a comfortable temperature.
The easy solution to this you would think would be just rolling the windows down, right? But no. Rolling the windows down can also decrease fuel economy because now your vehicle is fighting against the wind resistance and using more power to push through that! Not to mention, who wants to roll the windows down with no A/C on a hot, humid summer day here in FL!? I would say nobody...
Here are a few things you can continue to do when the heat sets in that will help improve your fuel economy:
- If you can, leave the windows down when you start the vehicle to let the hot air out of the car, give your vehicle the time to cool off and not use so much energy by immediately cranking the A/C.
- Using the A/C at highway speeds versus when you are idling through the streets. Turn the A/C off when idling. (Always make sure you are maintaining a comfortable temperature)
- Try to keep your vehicle cool at all times when you are away from it. Use a sunshade to keep the dash and vehicle cooler than they would be exposed. This way, when you start the vehicle, it won't take as much energy to cool down.
- Park in the shade whenever possible! This will again help conserve the energy needed to cool your vehicle down.
- Use the A/C on a realistic setting versus the coldest. Be conservative when choosing a temperature.
Now, let's discuss driving habits. That plays a huge roll in the improvement of your fuel economy. Believe it or not, it can make a huge difference!
- "Jackrabbit" starting and stopping. This is the act of accelerating on the gas fast from a stop, and then braking hard to come to a stop.
- Always maintain the speed limit. Going over speed isn't safe and doesn't save you any at the pump! Fuel economy is best at 50 mph, but the higher you get, the less fuel economy you will expect.
- You can turn on cruise control, this helps maintain speed, but never have it on when it starts to rain, or the roads appear wet or slippery. This can cause you to hydroplane or lose control and you want to maintain control of the vehicle.
- Try to avoid high traffic locations or times. We know this isn't always possible, but if you can avoid the heavy traffic areas it would be ideal
- Pay attention to traffic. Avoid hard braking and be aware of your surroundings so you can anticipate the stop.
- A lot of new vehicles come with automatic engine shut off. Ensure that button is on, so the vehicle has the best chance of maintaining good fuel economy!
The capital "A" with the circular arrow around it is your automatic shut off button for the engine when your vehicle is in a stationary position or at a stand still.
As we mentioned in the previous blog, it was Car Care month for April, never too late to get those maintenance items taken care for May! Let's take a closer look at what maintenance items we can repair on your vehicle to help improve fuel economy!
- Make sure to stay up to date on your vehicle's maintenance items. We recommend by time and miles, but your owner's manual can also give you the recommended services needed to keep your vehicle up on its maintenance!
- Use the proper fuel grade for your vehicle and consider purchasing quality fuel. Just because the gas price is cheaper doesn't always mean that it's better for your vehicle.
- Check the tires and tire pressures. If your tires have low pressure or under inflation, that means increased resistance when the vehicle is moving. Tires under that kind of pressure, can blow out at no given notice! Also, very important that you have the proper tires on your vehicle! Let one of ur service advisors pick the best ones for you, we have years of experience with tires so let the professionals help you!
- Make sure if you check Engine light comes on, you call our shop immediately! It could have come on because of a loose gas cap, a dirty air filter, a sensor, a problem with the ignition system, battery issue, or vacuum leak. All factors can affect your fuel economy
- Make sure the Engine air filter is clean. A dirty and corroded one can keep clean air from flowing into your engine compartment, making it work hard and use more fuel!
- If you are hauling luggage, or have carriers attached to the roof of your vehicle that can add to the pressure on your vehicle and add force to the opposite way your vehicle is traveling. (Reverse Aerodynamics)
- Ensure you are bringing your vehicle in when the oil change service is due, our shop can add the correct oil with the best performance, without a doubt!
- Keep significant weight off your vehicle. Don't travel far distances with bulky loads of transport or anything that will cause strain to the engine.
- We can inspect your car battery and make sure there is no corrosion and perform a test to ensure it's running properly. If there is significant corrosion, that can cause the alternator to work overtime, which also, burns more fuel!
Here is an example of a Fuel and Air Intake Cleaning Service we conducted through our digital inspections. This is what our client saw, offering full transparency of what we are performing on your vehicle!
Making sure you have a trusted Auto Repair Shop near you can be iconic in improving your vehicles fuel economy. At American Import Auto, we are committed to making sure we are making the best decisions for your vehicle and only using quality parts to repair them. We have been trusted in Venice for over 32 years with your vehicles, we want to get you through these tough times and help you save where you can! If you have any concerns after reading this blog, please don't hesitate to call us and schedule a reservation for you to come in and answer all of your questions!
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