Gas prices are at an all-time high causing Minnesota drivers to deal with sticker shock at the pump. Short of riding your bike when you need to get somewhere, saving on gas looks like a tall order. But, what if we told you there’s another way to cut down on the amount you spend on gas? Since we can’t control the gas prices, the next best option is to take some steps to make your car more fuel efficient. These simple steps can help you spend less at the pump and go longer between fill ups.
Focus on your tires
Properly inflated tires not only ensure your safety, but also increase your fuel efficiency. On the other hand, improper inflation will decrease your fuel efficiency by 3%. While it may not seem like much, 3% can start to add up over time. To ensure your tires are properly inflated, we recommend checking your tire pressure monthly.
Check your front end alignment to save money
With pothole season upon us, drivers like you may be hitting more than their fair share of bumps on the road. If you’d run into a pothole or even a large bump, chances are your alignment could be affected. Front end alignment issues can decrease your gas mileage by 10%. If you’ve noticed any pulling to one side while driving, a little extra bounce after you hit that bump, or shaking while driving at high speeds, then you may need to get your alignment checked by your mechanic.
Keep your tank ¼ full
While it seems like a minor detail, keeping your tank at least ¼ full can help your fuel efficiency. When you allow your tank to get below ¼ full, your fuel pump has to work harder which decreases fuel efficiency. While we’re on the subject of filling up, it’s important to choose the fuel with the octane levels your car needs. You may be thinking a higher octane leads to greater efficiency. On the contrary, if your car needs 87 octane (according to the manufacturer), using 89 or 91 won’t make your car more efficient. This will simply cost more without added benefit.
Lighten your load and save money at the gas pumps
Did you know those extra items in your trunk can be weighing down your fuel efficiency? The heavier your car is, the harder it will need to work. For every 100 lbs you are storing in your trunk, your fuel consumption will go up by 1-2%. If you want to save money at the pump, it’s always a good idea to clean out your trunk/back end and lighten your load.
Keep your cool
Extra AC usage can really put a damper on your fuel efficiency, especially with the frequent stop and start of city driving. Turning up that AC can weigh on your engine and create inefficiencies when it comes to fuel. When you’re driving in the city or stop and go areas, consider rolling down those windows and getting some fresh air. On the flip side, keeping your windows open while driving on the highway can reduce your efficiency by 10%. Keeping these cooling tips in mind can help you save on gas and make your car more efficient.
Give your car some TLC
Your car can burn up to 30% more gas if it’s not properly maintained. So if it’s been a while since you’ve taken your car into the shop for maintenance, it’s time to get a tune up on the books. During your spring maintenance check, your mechanic can check your tire pressure, inspect your front end alignment, replace your air filter, and check for any other inefficiencies in your car.
These simple tips can get you started on driving further on every gas fill up. And if it’s time to give your car the TLC it deserves, our team is ready to perform your spring maintenance check to ensure your car is fuel efficient no matter how far you’re driving.