Spring 2007 Forward to a Friend


Fuel Economy - Five Ways to Improve It!

DRIVING HABITS, BY THE NUMBERS

Increase your fuel economy by:
  • 5% by avoiding "jackrabbit" starts and stops
  • 10% by maintaining a steady speed
  • 6% by improving the grade of your motor oil to reduce engine friction
  • 10% by rolling up the windows
  • 13%-15% by slowing down from 75 to 65 mph
  • 20% by driving more efficiently
Decrease your fuel economy by:
  • 4%-50% by poorly maintaining your vehicle
  • 5% with a loaded roof rack or car carrier
  • 3% with one underinflated tire
  • 10% for a clogged air filter
  • 33% (highway) and 5% (city) with aggressive driving
  • 1%-2% for the incorrect grade of motor oil
  • 2% for each extra 100 pounds your vehicle carries

WITH GAS PRICES TAKING A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF YOUR BUDGET, HERE ARE SEVERAL TIPS YOU CAN USE EVERY DAY TO HELP CONTROL THE AMOUNT OF GAS YOUR VEHICLE CONSUMES. FROM NORMAL VEHICLE MAINTENANCE TO YOUR DRIVING HABITS, EVERY PART OF VEHICLE OPERATION PLAYS A ROLE IN CONSUMING FUEL AND, CONSEQUENTLY, HOW MUCH YOU SPEND ON GASOLINE.

1. VEHICLE MAINTENANCE
Properly maintaining your vehicle is important to how efficiently it runs. Follow the scheduled maintenance plan in your Warranty and Maintenance Booklet for tune-ups, oil changes, and air filter and spark plug replacements. Your Owner’s Manual provides you with the recommended grade of fuel and motor oil - use them!

TIP: Don't waste your money on higher octane fuel than recommended when it is not necessary. (But don't use a lower octane.)

2. TIRE PRESSURE
Correct tire inflation is not only crucial for your safety, it also improves your fuel mileage. An underinflated tire reduces gas mileage by 4 percent per every one-pound-per-square-inch (psi) drop in pressure per tire. Keep a pressure gauge handy, and check your tire pressure regularly.

TIP: The most accurate tire-pressure readings are taken when tires are cold.



3. DRIVING HABITS
Habits that can improve fuel mileage:

  • Slow down and use the brakes less; a more consistent driving method will greatly improve your mpg.
  • Drive during less busy times to avoid traffic and congestion.
  • Roll up your windows to improve the aerodynamics of your vehicle.
  • Remove all excess weight from your vehicle.

TIP: Use your air conditioning only when necessary since it pulls power from your engine.


4. CITY DRIVING
Ways to improve fuel economy:

  • Combine your errands to make fewer trips and shorten your overall driving time.
  • Avoid excessive idling (even if it's just for a minute). Idling uses more fuel than turning off and restarting your engine. Additionally, this helps reduce the number of pollutants your vehicle emits.

5. HIGHWAY DRIVING
Here are some tips for your next road trip:

  • Pre-plan your trip and route.
  • Reduce your luggage and avoid packing things on top of the vehicle.
  • Use the vehicle that gets the best mileage.
  • Slow down and use cruise control.

TIP: Gas mileage rapidly decreases above 60 mph.

And, don't forget about alternate transportation, such as car pools, public transportation, biking, and walking.

Following these simple tips, you can make your vehicle more fuel-consumption friendly.