For months, rising gas prices have been giving headaches to drivers in Southern California. During our many years of servicing vehicles, we’ve learned a thing or two about saving gas and prepared some of our best fuel-saving tips for you.
Tip #1: Ensure Proper Maintenance
First, if you want to save as much gas as possible, it all starts with your vehicle being in optimum shape.
- Following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule
- Get your oil and filters changed regularly
- Check your tires and wheel alignment
It’s an inescapable fact of life that a vehicle with all its components properly working sticks much closer to—or even exceeds—its estimated miles-per-gallon (MPG) rating. Whenever there is a problem with one part, it causes the engine to have to work harder to compensate, thus burning up more fuel.
Tip #2: Monitor Tire Pressure and Health
Most people don’t realize when their tires aren’t inflated to the correct pressure. Underinflated tires leave you more exposed to dangerous situations like on-road blowouts. Not having enough air in your tires also creates more work for your engine to keep you moving at the speed you need. As we mentioned in the previous point, more work for the engine means more gasoline being used.
If you’re unsure about your vehicle's optimum tire pressure, check your owner’s manual, or ask an auto technician for advice.
Tip #3: Improve Driving Behavior and Habits
The way you drive your car also has a massive impact on the amount of fuel that you use up. In particular, those who drive more aggressively tend to spend more refilling their tank than those who favor the “slow and steady” approach.
No one is saying you have to drive at a snail’s pace. It’s more to do with how you accelerate and brake than anything else. For instance, if you like to launch off from a standstill, put the pedal to the metal, and then race along at high speeds before harshly braking to slow yourself only to jump right back on the gas…you’re going to burn up fuel fast.
It’s far better for your fuel budget and your car’s powertrain and drivetrain to accelerate more gradually, maintain steady speeds on the road, and coast to slow initially, followed by more gentle brake actions. This kind of measured approach will see each tank of gas take you much further.
Tip #4: Limit Your Idling
Another mistake people make is idling in traffic for long periods without moving. There is a common misconception that idling is better than turning off your engine and restarting it. This isn’t entirely false, but if you’re idling for more than a minute without going anywhere, it makes more sense to turn the engine off.
Tip #5: Reduce Your Vehicle’s Load
How much stuff do you usually load into your ride on a daily basis? How much of what you have in your car right now can you say for sure needs to be in there?! Adding more and more to a vehicle’s payload makes the engine work harder, which in turn uses up more gas. There’s nothing you can do about the natural weight of your vehicle with its equipment and whatnot, but you can lighten the load as much as possible by not keeping excess weight in there regularly.
Tip #6: Use Cruise Control
One final tip we have for you is to employ your vehicle’s cruise control feature whenever possible, especially when the terrain gets hilly. Some studies have shown that it can save as much as 14 percent on your overall fuel consumption.
The good news is that cruise control is a standard vehicle feature nowadays. You might not have the fancier “Adaptive Cruise Control” or newer equivalents, but it’s pretty rare for cars and trucks not to have some form of that function on there. If you normally ignore it, start using it!
A Vehicle in Good Order Goes More Miles
Let us stress just one more time the importance of proper and regular maintenance when it comes to preserving fuel economy. Following the manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule is not “wasting money,” but investing in keeping your car in the best possible condition, which saves you money over time.
Life is expensive enough in Southern California without adding unnecessary repair costs to your vehicle. If it has been a while since your vehicle’s last service, or you think you’re not getting enough bang for your buck from the fuel tank, give one of our SoCal centers a call, and we’ll take a look for you!
AAMCO has more than 50 years of experience diagnosing, servicing, and repairing more than 20 million vehicles. Customers rely on us for:
- Quality repairs
- Expert technicians
- Superior customer experience
- Trustworthy, honest service
- Best warranty coverage available
AAMCO Centers of Southern California and surrounding areas represent trust, quality, and value.