Don’t Let Lower Gas Prices Make You More Fuel “Inefficient”
OK, so gas prices are dropping, but they’re still expensive, relatively speaking. And with “cheaper” gas, drivers tend to care less about fuel efficiency. Not a smart move, says George Winkler.
As Owner & Proprietor of Winkler Automotive in Gaithersburg, Maryland’s top-rated independent service center, and an AAA approved and ASE Certified operation, one of the reason’s for Winkler’s success since opening in 1982 is its proactive approach to car maintenance and care.
Especially when it comes to fuel efficiency.
“People don’t realize the number one unnecessary car expense by far is fuel inefficiency,” notes Winkler. “But fortunately, much of this waste can be corrected with simple measures – many of which don’t cost a penny!”
Thus, Winkler offers 10 tips on the most effective ways to cut down on gasoline guzzling – short of purchasing a more fuel-efficient car, of course:
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1 – Check that lead foot . . . You may be in a hurry, but aggressive driving can lower your mileage by 33% on the highway and 5% around town.
2 – Observe speed limits . . . Mileage decreases rapidly when you are driving over 60 mph. Every five mph you drive over that is like raising your gas price by 24 cents a gallon.
3 – Keep it light . . . Every 100 pounds you carry in your vehicle can reduce you mph by 2%.
4 – Avoid excessive idling . . . Idling gets 0 miles per gallon. The larger the engine, the more wasted gas.
5 – Use cruise control . . . Maintaining a constant speed on the highway saves gas.
6 – Use overdrive gears . . . They slow your engine down, reducing gas consumption.
7 – Keep the engine tuned . . . A car that is out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve gas mileage by 4% when tuned.
8 – Keep tires properly inflated . . . Under-inflated tires lower gas mileage. You can improve your mileage by 3.3% by keeping them properly inflated.
9 – Use recommended grade of motor oil . . . You can improve mileage up to 2% by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade.
10 – Replace clogged air filters . . . In older cars with carbureted engines, a clogged air filter can improve fuel economy by 2-6% or more. (This does not apply to newer cars with fuel-injected, computer controlled gasoline engines).
As Winkler implores, pick just five of these to follow (at a minimum) – and ideally, all 10 – and you’re going to notice the difference in your wallet immediately!