For fuel’s sake, check your pressureReduced tire pressure significantly reduces fuel efficiency; AAA gives away free tire gauges JOURNAL STAFF According to AAA, for every pound of pressure your vehicle’s tires are low, fuel efficiency is reduced by as much as two percent. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but it adds up fast.
“Motorists have more control over optimizing their vehicle’s fuel efficiency than many may realize,” said AAA Washington’s vice president of Automotive Services, John Milbrath. “Regular maintenance, driving techniques and when the vehicle is fueled up, all play a significant part of fuel consumption.”
Checking your tire pressure is one of the easiest ways to quickly improve fuel efficiency. Tire pressure should be checked monthly and when the tires are cold.
Regular vehicle maintenance inspections with your trusted automotive technician are recommended, especially before heading out on the road this summer under harsh weather conditions. These inspections will identify many of the problems linked to reduced fuel efficiency, such as: dirty air filters, clogged fuel filters and malfunctioning spark plugs.
How you drive your vehicle can also influence your fuel efficiency. AAA recommends the following driving techniques to increase fuel efficiency:
• Gradually accelerate from a stop
• Maintain steady speeds
• Anticipate traffic conditions and stops
• Decelerate by coasting when possible
• Use cruise control when possible
• Travel at moderate speeds, higher speeds require more fuel to overcome air resistance
• To prevent wasting gasoline through evaporation, fill up your gas tank during the cooler temperatures of the day and make sure your gas cap is made for your vehicle and fits tightly. Motorists should use the grade of fuel recommended in their owner’s manual purchasing premium gasoline, if not required, is a waste of money.
As gas prices climb so does the temptation to stretch a tank of gas to the limit. AAA cautions motorists to not let their tank drop below a quarter of a tank. Running low or out of gas may cause sediment in the bottom of the tank to enter the fuel system, potentially clogging different parts in the system. Plus, running the tank dry may cause the electric fuel pump inside the tank to overheat, a fix that could cost $500 or more.