Over time, you may notice that your car can’t go as far as it used to with the same amount of fuel. Normal wear and tear, seasonal and daily changes in temperature, and certain styles of driving can all contribute to decreased fuel efficiency. With the fluctuations in gas prices, we’ve all wondered, “Are there ways I can improve my car’s mpg?” and “Can I use them together to save some money on gas?” The answer is yes.
At Huffines Hyundai McKinney, we value the opinions, time, and money of our clients and have gathered five ways you can improve the mpg of your car, helping you save money for every mile you drive.
Get an Alignment
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If you spend time on the road, you know potholes are an almost inevitable part of the driving experience. While you might avoid running over the old familiar one near your house, perhaps you’ve braced for a surprise pothole while taking a route you’re not familiar with. While one pothole rarely messes with your vehicle’s alignment, driving through multiple potholes and other small hazards on the road can bring your vehicle’s wheels out of alignment. If you notice vibrations or your car is pulling left or right, your wheels could be unaligned, decreasing your full efficiency.
A tire alignment is something that a mechanic can do on your vehicle to prevent it from pulling in one direction and increase your fuel efficiency. If you notice the warning signs mentioned above, then taking your vehicle to a shop can help you increase your car’s mpg. Performing this maintenance can also keep you and other drivers safe because it can increase the control you have over your vehicle. If you drive in an area where you experience many minor road hazards, checking your vehicle’s alignment during regular maintenance can keep you from spending extra money.
Use the Right Motor Oil
Motor oil is an important component for maintaining your vehicle’s performance. It lubricates mechanisms in your engine, collects dust and grime from the road and fuel combustion, and keeps your engine cool. While it might seem like any motor oil will work for any car, it’s important to use the lowest viscosity oil for your engine to reach its peak performance. If you use an oil that is too thick or thin, it can cause your engine to overheat, leading to malfunctions. An engine operating below its peak performance decreases your car’s fuel efficiency.
You can replace the engine in your vehicle yourself, which can often help you save money. However, before you change the oil yourself, check your vehicle’s user manual for the type of motor oils that are best suited to it, or look for online resources for your specific car. These resources can include what kind of oil your car needs and how to change the oil for your vehicle. Videos can be helpful because they can show you exactly where your car’s oil is. Finally, change the oil in your vehicle whenever the dashboard light activates.
Clean Out Your Car
Cleaning out your car, especially if you’ve been using the trunk or other spaces to store heavy objects, can increase the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. While your car can carry these large loads, most manufacturers don’t design their vehicles to do so for long periods of time. A large and heavy load can decrease engine performance because your engine has to work harder to get you from place to place. An unbalanced and heavy load can contribute to the misalignment of your vehicle’s wheels, as mentioned above, decreasing your vehicle’s mpg and increasing the money you spend.
When you clean out your vehicle, decide what items are necessary for your everyday trips and which ones you can store elsewhere. After making these decisions, remove all unnecessary items from your car and replace anything you need. Cleaning your car can also help you and your passengers remain safe from harmful things like mold or fungus and improve your vehicle’s air quality. Finally, cleaning your vehicle regularly can help you reduce particles from the road inside your car, leading to better performance from your engine.
A major factor for the fuel efficiency of your vehicle is your driving style. To increase your car’s mpg, you can do three things. First, if you keep your left foot resting on the brake pedal, removing it can increase your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Even if you’re not actively pressing the brake, you are applying some pressure, which engages the brakes slightly. This makes your engine fight harder than it should and can increase wear and tear on your vehicle. This can increase your mpg and increase the longevity of your brakes and engine.
The second thing you can do is slow down. While you don’t want to annoy other drivers, pushing your vehicle to maintain high speeds slowly wears down the engine, wheels, and brakes. Slowing down can increase the time you can go between repairs, help you increase the fuel efficiency of your vehicle, and help keep you and others safe on the roads.
The third thing you can do is shut your engine off when you’re idling at a light. Sitting at lights uses fuel, so turning the engine off reduces the fuel you use. Some modern vehicles come with this feature, but you may have to do this manually if you’re driving an older car. If you turn the engine off, make sure you’re prepared to start it again to avoid causing traffic at an intersection.
Take Your Car in for Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance can help you catch mechanical issues that reduce the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. This includes misaligned wheels, worn-out brakes, and clogged air filters. Each of these can decrease your car’s mpg, and getting them checked at each inspection can help you maximize your vehicle’s performance.
Interested in Maximizing Your Miles per Gallon?
At Huffines Hyundai McKinney, we can help you find fuel-efficient vehicles and maximize the longevity of your current car. If you’re interested in our new cars, you can visit our new cars inventory. Besides fuel-efficient vehicles, we also offer services such as maintenance, parts, and financing for your vehicle. At Huffines Hyundai, we’re interested in meeting your needs with excellent service.