As fuel prices continue to increase, finding ways to save money on gas can put a remarkable amount of money back into your wallet.
In addition to saving money, reduced fuel consumption is beneficial to Kitchener’s air quality and the planet at large.
Of course, some of the most obvious gas saving tips are things like purchasing a more fuel efficient vehicle, driving slower (the “sweet spot” is between 50 and 80 kph), and reducing the amount of time your car idles. However, there are lesser known tricks for keeping your car running as efficiently as possible.
The following are 7 lesser known tips to decrease fuel consumption and save money on gas
1. Keep your tires at the proper pressure
Properly inflated tires can increase your tires’ lifespan by up to 10,000 kilometers and can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 4%. Low tire pressure is most often an issue during the winter months.
Read the manual provided by your vehicle’s manufacturer to verify the recommended tire pressure for your make/model. Keep your tires inflated to the specified pressure posted on the driver side door post or in the owner manual and have them rotated and aligned regularly.
You’ll save money on gas and other costs associated with wear and tear.
2. Observe routine vehicle maintenance
Mechanical parts always work most efficiently when they are properly serviced and maintained. This includes things like oil changes, using the correct grade of oil specified by the manufacture, replacing the air filter and observing other factory recommended service appointments.
3. Cold weather driving
When possible, avoid driving during extremely cold weather, your engine will require more fuel to develop the energy necessary to keep the mechanical parts running smoothly and maintain its ideal operating temperature and at the same time keep the driver and occupants warm inside the car.
There are coolant temperature sensors and ambient temperature sensors measuring and comparing the outside and inside temperatures while adjusting fuel injection according to the needs of the engine to maintain smooth operation and sufficient power to move the car.
4. Driving with a faulty thermostat
This very common but least recognized failures in the industry, and a major contributor to poor fuel efficiency.
When the thermostat sticks in the open position, the engine runs cold, and if the outside temperature is low the car computer constantly injects more fuel in the engine in its quest to reach the proper operating temperature, which translates in more fuel consumption then desired.
Your thermostat will be checked during certain routine service appointments, which is another reason why making those appointments is so important.
5. A dirty mass air flow sensor (MAF)
You will benefit from better fuel consumption when your MAF is clean. The MAF measures the amount and density of the air entering the engine. This lets the computer know how much fuel to inject into each cylinder.
When this part becomes contaminated or a slight film of dirt builds up, it acts as an insulator making the sensor insensitive to the temperature and amount of the air entering the engine. This is a vital sensor that the computer uses to calculate the fuel to be injected. It is imperative that this sensors be kept clean or replaced if they become contaminated and dirty.
You can end up burning way more fuel than necessary.
6. Lazy oxygen operation
Faulty oxygen sensors can wreak havoc on the environment and will unnecessarily burn gas when they become lazy. When the sensors are working well, they tell the fuel injection computer how much fuel the engine needs to operate efficiently.
Over time, oxygen sensors become “lazy” and output signals begin to deteriorate. They don’t necessary have to be defective, since the computer would identify them as defective, just not responding with the speed and accuracy necessary. This then becomes a problem that is hard to identify resulting in wasted fuel.
7. Cargo racks
If your car comes with a standard cargo rack, know that the drag created by the rack wasn’t factored into the published fuel economy statistics. You are better off purchasing an aftermarket rack that is used only when needed.
Integrating these gas saving tips into your day to day driving habits and observing routine maintenance appointments can save gas to the tune of 30% of your normal gas expenses. Over the course of a year, that is hundreds if not thousands of dollars that will happily stay in your bank account.
The Centre for All Your Car Needs
Peter’s Auto is the centre for all your car needs with over 20 years of experience in repairing a variety of cars along with up to date mechanics and equipment. Our knowledgeable and helpful staff will take care of all your auto service and repair needs.
Our shop is located in Kitchener, ON. We proudly serve the following areas: Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph.