Fuel Economy Tip – Check Your Spark Plugs

Today’s tip will hopefully help you save some money on gas and help improve the performance of your vehicle.

Check your spark plugs and replace as necessary.

The purpose of spark plugs is to ignite the air/fuel mixture, which turns that mixture into the energy that moves your car.

If you’re driving around with fouled spark plugs, the air/fuel mixture will be ignited less efficiently, which robs your car of performance and needlessly wastes fuel.

So, how do you know when it’s time to change your spark plugs? According to About.com, you should replace your vehicle’s spark plugs every two years or 30,000 miles, although some plugs may get up to 100,000 miles before they need to be replaced.

Also, when the spark plugs become inefficient due to carbon build up, it’s time to go ahead and replace them.

So, this tip goes along with the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” By replacing spark plugs as necessary you’ll improve both the performance of your car as well as its fuel economy.

Fuel Economy Tip – Check Your Gas Cap Gasket

Today’s tip is a good addendum to the Three Click Your Gas Cap post and is another cheap and easy way to save a lot of gas.

Check your gas cap’s gasket for cracks.

In order for your vehicle’s gas cap to get a proper seal (which makes sure vaporized gas does not escape from your gas tank) the gas cap’s thin rubber gasket must be in good shape. If there are any cracks or breaks in the gasket, the cap will not get a full seal and vaporized gas will escape from the gas tank which needlessly wastes gas and money.

Even if the gasket is in good shape, it may not be a bad idea to ahead and apply a small amount of lubricant to the gasket to keep it from dry rotting and to extend its life.

If you find that you do need to replace the gasket, you should be able to get the proper replacement at most auto parts stores. Even if you can’t find the proper gasket, it is probably worth it to go ahead and pay a few extra dollars and just buy a brand new gas cap.

Making sure your gas cap’s gasket is in proper shape is just another one of those small things you can do that can help you save gas and money without taking a huge cash outlay or time commitment.

Fuel Economy Tip – Replace Your Air Filter

Today’s tip will might cost you up to $20 bucks but in the end will probably help you save 10 times that amount!

Replace your dirty air filter.

According to fueleconomy.gov driving with an excessively dirty or clogged air filter can reduce your vehicle’s gas mileage by up to 10%. In terms of dollars, that’s the equivalent of adding close to $.30 to each gallon of gas you buy!

Edmonds.com recommends that you change your air filter at least once per year. But how do you know when your car’s air filter is dirty enough so that it should be replaced?

Here’s a simple way to know that your air filter has become so clogged that it has become a detriment to your fuel economy: Remove the air filter from its casing and shine a flashlight on it. If light (or most of the light) is able to get through, your air filter is fine for the time being. However, if most of the light is unable to get through, it’s time for you to replace the filter.

More than likely, the air filter that you would need is readily available at most auto parts stores and you should be able to replace the filter on your own. All said and done, it should take less than 15 minutes to check and, if necessary, replace a clogged air filter.

Sounds to me that 15 minutes and $20 bucks (for the new filter) is time and money well spent if it means your not tacking $.30 extra cents on to each gallon of gas you buy!

Fuel Economy Tip – Maintain Your Vehicle

Today’s tip will not only help you save money on gas, but it will save you even more money by helping you stave off costly engine repairs and by extending the life of your car.

Properly maintain your vehicle.

What I have put together certainly isn’t an exhaustive list of things you can do to make sure your vehicle is properly maintained, but it’s a good place to start:

  • Replace dirty air filters
  • Replace worn spark plugs
  • Maintain proper fluid levels
  • Regularly change your vehicle’s oil
  • Use the proper grade of oil

By doing the above suggestions, you will help your car’s engine run much more efficiently, which means two important things:

  1. You will use less gas, potentially saving you a couple hundred bucks per year
  2. There will be less excessive wear on the engine, potentially saving you thousands of dollars

While doing the above items may seem like a burden at the time, they will definitely help you save a lot of money in the long run.

For example, driving with a dirty air filter can decrease your vehicle’s gas mileage by up to 10%, which is essentially the same as adding $.29 to each gallon of gas you buy. Over a year, this extra cost can total over $200!

Now, just imagine you would have gone out and paid $20 for a new air filter. You’d technically be ahead at least $180 (if not more) instead of out $200.

Take care of your car and it’ll take care of your wallet.

Addendum to Proper Tire Pressure

I’ve received several emails in response to yesterday’s tip regarding proper tire pressure and fuel economy, so I’ll go into more depth regarding the issue today. There are two additional items I’d like to focus on regarding tire pressure:

  1. Where else you can find information regarding proper tire pressure
  2. What happens if you OVER inflate your tires

In addition to being able to find the proper tire pressure for your vehicle in the owners’ manual or on the inside of the driver’s door, you may also be able to find the proper tire pressure on the actual tire itself.

If you check both the owners’ manual and the tire, you may notice that each recommends a different tire pressure, although that may not always be the case. If there is a difference, it should be pretty small.

The reason for the difference is because the tire pressure given in the owners’ manual is meant for giving the car the smoothest ride, while the pressure listed on the tire is meant to reduce wear on the tire and maximize its life.

Ultimately, which one you choose will probably just come down to personal preference, and shouldn’t really make much of a difference regarding your fuel economy.

Now that you’re making sure that you don’t have under inflated tires, you also should be aware of the problems presented by over inflated tires. Some things that can happen if you have over inflated tires include:

  1. Faster wear on the tire
  2. Increased stopping distance and time
  3. Increased likelihood of a blowout

Taking the negatives of having either under or over inflated tires into account, it should become even more obvious how important it is to maintain proper tire pressure.

SEO Powered By SEOPressor