Maintain Your Vehicle to Save Money and Energy
Photo: State Farm
Keeping your car maintained properly does more than prolong its life: it’ll save you money at the pump too. And you’ll reduce smog and the emissions that contribute to global warming. Follow these tips to keep get the maximum fuel efficiency from your car.
- Change your air filter. Cleaning your air filter regularly can improve your gas mileage significantly.
- Avoid speeding. Speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking are not only unsafe; they lower your gas mileage. Every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas.
- Use cruise control. Using your cruise control will keep you driving at a more consistent speed and can generally improve fuel efficiency.
- Don’t idle. Idling wastes fuel. It’s more efficient to turn the car off and restart when you are ready to go. Hitting the drive-through? Consider parking and picking up food inside. The US Department of Energy has some resources to encourage cities to reduce idling. Read them here.
- Lighten up. Driving around with heavy objects in your trunk? Leave them at home and save some fuel.
- Inflate tires properly. Car tires that are under-inflated will lead to poor gas mileage. You can often find the correct pressure for your car printed on the edge of the driver’s side door.
- Mileage still too low? A tune-up could make a considerable improvement in your miles per gallon.