With the price of gas continuing to rise now is a great time to think about gas mileage. There are many ways to improve your car’s MPG that are simple and will reward you with less money spent at the pump. Every little bit helps and if you do all of these things the savings will surely add up!
Proper Inflation: Under-inflating your tires creates resistance and reduces mileage. You can find proper tire pressure recommendations on the inside or your car’s door or on the side of the tire itself. Keeping tires within 5-10 pounds of the maximum will improve your mileage.
Balance: Tires that are unbalanced create an uneven vibration that hurts your mileage.
Alignment: You know that wiggly feeling in your car when you’re driving at a higher speed? This is caused by tires that are out of alignment and creates more rolling resistance which lowers mileage. Check your alignment twice a year and have it adjusted at least once a year.
Tread: Good tread not only makes a safer tire it also decreases the rolling resistance that increases fuel economy.
Air Filters: A dirty air filter restricts your car’s “breathing” and lowers gas mileage considerably.
Spark Plugs and Fuel Injectors: Fuel injectors spray gasoline into your car’s motor and the spark plugs ignite the fuel. Dirty injectors make for a messy relay of gas and old spark plugs inefficiently burn the fuel. Both of these problems reduce your mileage. At Sallas Automotive Repair we use a MotorVac that cleans the injectors and the inside of the motor and can increase mileage up to 3 MPG on a car with 100,000 miles. Replace spark plugs according to your owner’s manual.
Engine Light: We’ve probably all done it. We see the Check Engine light is on and we just sort of ignore it. This is a mistake for a couple of reasons. When the light goes on your car enters a “fixed values” mode and stops managing fuel usage. Secondly, if another problem arises with your car and your engine light is already on you won’t know about it. If your engine light is on your best bet is to take it in.
Mass Air Flow Sensor: This sensor is normally between the air filter and your car’s engine and it measures the airflow. If this sensor is dirty or restricted it is a blow to your mileage.
You have a choice of the kinds of fluids you add to your car. We recommend using all synthetic fluids if possible as they increase your car’s performance all around. So choose synthetic oil, transmission and differential fluids.
Engine Coolant: This is crucial. Dirty coolant makes your car run hotter which, you guessed it, makes your fuel efficiency go down.
Another good recommendation for fuel efficiency is to keep an eye on your O2 sensor. The sensor is in the exhaust stream and is part of the vehicle’s emissions control system. It monitors the ratio of oxygen to fuel and adjusts the amount of fuel your car uses. To keep a consistent ratio it’s best to replace your O2 sensor every 100,000 miles.
Keeping your car running smoothly improves your gas mileage so making any of these adjustments will help. Better gas mileage also means more money in your wallet and that’s a great reason to see just what’s going on under your hood. For more vehicle maintenance advice you can visit our Vehicle Maintenance page or just keep reading our blog.
We hope you find our information useful and if you have any questions or need our expertise please contact us at 816-765-6060 or you can visit us at www.sallasauto.com