Today’s Earth Day celebrations seem more relative than ever. Here are five simple steps to making your car more fuel efficient.
Fuel Efficiency Tips
1. Inflate Your Tires
I can’t stress this enough. Remember as a kid when you used to ride your bike to the beach/park/store? When those tires were flat, you knew it, because it took twice as much work to move yourself! In a 2007 study by the US Department of Energy, it was found that the cost of under inflated tires in the US was substantial- more than 1.25 billion gallons of gas (yes, billions). Check them every time you fill your tank, and save money by getting better gas mileage. You should be able to find the proper inflation numbers in your owners manual, inside the drivers side door when it’s open, or inside the gas cap.
2. Use Proper Oil
Many people are under the impression that you should use different kinds of oil for different seasons. While this may be true for some vehicles under certain conditions, studies suggest that you might just be able to improve your gas mileage by 1-2% simply by using the recommended grade.
3. Stay Tuned
Keeping your car in tune can help in a big way. By simply changing the spark plugs and spark plug wires, you will be able to see a noticeable difference in gas mileage.
You can do it yourself, or bring your car to your local mechanic. If you do bring it in, have them run a diagnostic on your car, to see what else you may be able to fix. Something like a broken oxygen sensor can seriously impair your ability to get good gas mileage.
4. Get Rid of Excess Baggage
What’s in your trunk or back seat? I really need to take my own advice on this one. Mine is filled with clothes for good will, lots of tools, a snowboard, snowboard boots, a winter coat, a blanket, two jacks, and a spare tire. Sans the blanket and maybe jacket, it can all go. My spare tire doesn’t have any air in it anyway.
5. American Idle
Most of us don’t take the time to turn off the car when idling. Turning off your car if you’re going to be stopped for more than 30 seconds will help save gas in a well tuned car. Think about this next time you take someone to the store for a couple things, and you’re relaxing in the car with the A/C on. If you can put your windows down instead of cranking the A/C, that’s going to help too.
Have a helpful Earth Day hint? Leave a comment and let us know!