How to Get the Best Fuel Economy Out of Your Car or RV
With the cost of gas prices always on the rise in Arizona, it is definitely worth the time of every driver to learn how to save gas, and therefore to save money. However, truly being fuel efficient is easier said than done. As everyone prepares to embark on family road trips and vacations this summer, Premier Coach Works is here with some tips for cutting fuel costs and preserving your engine. Here are some of the easiest ways you can save gas and money this summer:
Make Your Air Conditioner More Efficient
One of the more common mistakes that Arizona drivers make when attempting to cool the interior of the vehicle is running the air conditioner at full blast right away. Under very hot conditions, the air conditioner can reduce a conventional vehicle’s fuel economy by more than 25 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. For newer cars that have been built to be more aerodynamic, the added drag of simply driving around with the windows rolled down, especially on the highway, uses even more fuel than it takes to power the air conditioner.
Instead of blasting the air conditioner right away as you start the car, or driving with the windows down all of the time, open the windows right as you start the engine to let out excess heat. After the cabin has been aired out and the car is in motion, turn the air conditioner on. The A/C really cannot do its job until the vehicle is moving anyway, so it is better to wait to turn it on until you have had the engine on for a minute or two. In addition, it definitely helps to park in the shade – if you can find some. A high quality sun shade for your windshield can protect your dashboard and also reflect some of the sun’s rays to keep the vehicle cooler.
It is estimated that tires can impact mileage by as much as 10 percent, so regularly check your tires to make sure that they are at the ideal pressure recommended by the manufacturer. Be sure to gauge the tire pressure early in the morning before you drive anywhere, as friction from the road is known to increase pressure.
By driving at the speed limit, coasting to a stop and accelerating smoothly, a good driver can increase their fuel efficiency by 33 percent! Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and take corners slowly to maximize your mileage.
Perform Regular Maintenance
Before going on a road trip, schedule a summer service check and have the engine tuned as well as the air conditioner. Make sure the radiator has enough coolant to run efficiently, and enough antifreeze to prevent boil-over in the summer temperatures.
As with a standard vehicle, it is well worth slowing down, since high speeds and rapid acceleration can reduce fuel economy by up to 33 percent.
Check and adjust the tire pressure to its recommended pressure level in order to increase fuel economy by 3 percent. This also prevents premature tire wear and failures caused by overinflated or underinflated tires.
Use a clean air filter. This simple fix can improve your fuel economy by up to 10 percent.
Use overdrive to save fuel by decreasing the engine speed. Cruise control saves fuel because it keeps the vehicle at a constant speed rather than variable speeds, so long as you are driving on relatively flat terrain.
A poorly tuned engine can lower fuel economy by up to 20 percent, so be sure to keep it well maintained.
Make sure the vehicle can pass an emissions test and has a good oxygen sensor, as poor emissions and/or a faulty oxygen sensor can cause a 40 percent reduction in fuel economy.
Don’t overload the vehicle. Added weight can reduce fuel economy significantly.
Premier Coach Works is a full-service auto, RV, truck and class car repair company that provides all kinds of mechanical services to Arizona Valley residents. For more details, please contact us online or call 623-935-6678 today.