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Tips To Live By For Better Fuel Economy

By:John Whelan

With fuel prices going through the roof and hitting us hard in the wallet we need to fight back, taking time to check out our vehicles and adjust our driving habits. The following tips are common sense procedures that will save you money in the long run.

According to government statistics a vehicle that is properly tuned up will increase your fuel economy by four percent or approximately 12 cents a gallon. So if you havenít replaced your fuel filter, spark plugs or checked the air filter in awhile, itís time to get it done.

Itís interesting to note that just changing a plugged air filter will increase your fuel savings up to 10 percent or 29 cents a gallon. If you own a newer vehicle itís a good idea to get a qualified technician to run a scan on your engine electronic control system.
A faulty oxygen sensor could possibly decrease your fuel mileage as much as 40 percent.

Improperly inflated tires reduce fuel economy and causes premature tire wear. A harsh ride, poor handling and excessive road noise will develop as well. A 10 degree change in temperature equals a 1 pound difference in tire pressure, while inflation pressures should be adjusted according to the sticker located inside your door frame or on the trunk lid.

Tires pressures should be checked when cold or when your vehicle has sat for at least 3 hours or driven no more than one mile. Tire rotation at least once a year is also recommended.

Use the right grade of oil, if you use a thicker grade of oil the resistance increases in your engine and eats up more fuel. 10w30 is heavier than 5w30 so just remember, the higher the number the thicker the oil. Make sure the oil you buy is energy conserving which means friction reducing additives have been added.

Aggressive driving which includes speeding, quick acceleration and hard braking take a toll on your gas budget. You could save 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city so try and keep the pedal off the metal. For every 5 miles per hour over the 60 mile per hour speed limit you will pay an extra 20 cents a gallon on gas.

For every one hundred pounds of excess weight in your vehicle you will eat up an extra 2 percent of fuel. This applies more to smaller cars, so itís time to get the weight set out of the trunk.

Try not to idle the engine too much as this wastes fuel especially on bigger engines. A new engineering concept to save energy is vehicles that shut off automatically when stopped and start up again when the throttle pedal is depressed.

Use cruise control on the highway to maintain a constant road speed compared to the up and down engine speeds when using the gas pedal.

Use your transmission overdrive selection, this will lower your engine revolutions per minute and reduce fuel demand.

Itís hard to believe that only 15 percent of the gas we put in our tank is used to move our vehicle down the road while the other 85 percent gets burned up in other areas. Sixty two percent of energy is lost due to heat loss and inefficiency of the gas engine itself. Itís interesting to know that diesel engines are 30 to 35 percent more efficient than gas engines.

Fossil fuels are not going to be here forever with the progress of alternative fuels and the hybrid car market. Right now we just have to concentrate on driving the vehicles we have and keeping them maintained along with watching our driving habits. I hope you use some of these gas saving tips and keep some money in your wallet.

Article Source: http://www.redsofts.com/articles/

John Whelan is a certified mechanic with 30 years experience and likes to share tips and resources that will help vehicle owners avoid costly auto repairs.
For more information check out http://knowyourautotips.com

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