How to Maximize Your Fuel Economy

One of the dominant metrics when it comes to picking a car for many people is fuel efficiency. Those who use their vehicles for commuting, errands, and long-distance trips want a vehicle that allows them to go far on their dime. 

The battle for fuel economy goes beyond just picking an efficient car though, as there are some steps you can take as an owner and driver to allow your engine to run as efficiently as possible. In this article, we’ll go over some of the best maintenance services and driving techniques to save yourself more money at the pump.

Pumping gas

How to Increase MPG

Proper Tire Pressure

One of the easiest ways to ensure you’re maximizing your car’s fuel economy is to keep an eye on the tire pressure. Underinflated tires cause an increase in resistance as they roll, leading to the engine using more fuel to cover the same distance. 

Overinflated tires are also a problem, and can result in rapid and uneven tire wear and potentially even blow out at high speeds. We recommend checking the pressure of your tires at least once a month. 

Steady and Smooth Driving

Even in the same vehicle, the fuel economy can differ considerably between different drivers as a result of their driving style. Those who drive more aggressively, brake later, accelerate hard from stoplights, or are generally lead-footed will see increased fuel consumption as some of the fuel being consumed is wasted. 

Driving with smooth and gradual starts and stops, coasting the vehicle, and keeping it at or below the speed limit will maximize the use of gasoline and get your vehicle further with less fuel. For what it’s worth, hard driving is also harder on the components of the powertrain and will result in increased wear and maintenance.

Maintain Engine Air Filter

The engine’s air filter is responsible for filtering the dirt and debris from the air entering your engine, protecting your sensitive engine components. These filters gradually accumulate a mass of this debris and can become clogged over time.

When the filter is blocked and does not allow in the proper amount of air, the engine can become choked out running at a sub-optimal air/fuel ratio leading to increased fuel consumption and decreased performance. It’s recommended to have your air filter replaced around every 12,000-15,000 miles to ensure the proper amount of air. 

Limit Climate Control

We know this one is kind of a big ask, as climate control systems provide a comfortable experience for the driver and passengers. It’s always important to use your heater and A/C when needed, as extreme temperatures can induce driver fatigue or become distracting.

However, these creature-comfort accessories use extra power produced by the engine, leading to increased fuel consumption. On temperate days where neither system is needed, it’s best to turn them off entirely and avoid the parasitic effect that comes with them operating.

Some will recommend rolling your windows down rather than using your A/C to stay cool while saving fuel, unfortunately, the increased drag caused by air rushing into the cabin largely cancels out any efficiency benefits. Whether you should crack your windows or blast your A/C is entirely up to personal preference. 

Air conditioner dials

Keep Up to Date on Maintenance

This one is mostly self-explanatory, but it should be noted how important general preventative maintenance is to the performance of your engine, and subsequently the fuel economy. 

From routine oil changes to injector replacements, every maintenance service plays an integral role in allowing your engine to perform at its best. Allowing an issue to linger in your engine will likely cause sub-optimal operation, reduced MPG, and even potential engine failure. You can’t save gas if you have no engine… so preventative maintenance is beyond important. 

Use Cruise Control

Cruise control is one of the most useful features included in the vast majority of modern cars, but even so not everybody uses it. 

Not only does cruise control allow you to stay at a steady speed without managing the accelerator, but it also saves you gas. Having to modulate your throttle to correct your speed leads to wasted fuel that could be saved by the consistent engine speed of cruise control. 

Fuel System Services in Naperville

If you’re experiencing decreased fuel economy and don’t know where to start, trust the experts at Becker Service Center for inspection, diagnosis, and repair! Our friendly team has the training and equipment to pinpoint the source of your issue and return your vehicle’s MPG. Give us a call or schedule online to secure an appointment today!