With the price of gas steadily increasing, a trip to the gas station is kind of–ouch. Luckily, spring means better fuel economy. This is due to gas content, and our Senior Service Advisor, Tim Islip, told us why it happens: “Gas has a natural water content in it due to processing, so gas companies add ethanol/methanol to it to keep the gas from freezing. In winter, of course, they have to add more,” says Tim, “so your gas might be as much as 20% methanol/ethanol. Those materials have a higher flash point and burn faster, causing you to run through more gas.”
There also things you can do, as a driver, to get the most bang for your buck as far as gas is concerned. Here are some tips to help you improve your car’s fuel economy:
1) Change the way you drive: Are you a “Tailgater” or a “Speed Demon”? Time to quit that. Consistent, lower speed with minimal braking is best because it keeps your car’s momentum going. Plus, when you drive above 45 mph, the aerodynamic drag significantly reduces fuel mileage.
2) Remove extra weight from your car: If you’re a pack rat, you need to clean out your car because heavy items weigh it down, reducing fuel mileage. Trailers, cartop carriers, roof racks, and bike racks on the outside of your car can also affect fuel economy.
3) Properly maintain your car: Follow your manufacturer’s recommended oil change schedule; generally between 3,000 and 10,000 miles, depending on the age of the vehicle – and always use the recommended engine oil. Monitor your tire pressure and tread to improve your ride quality and fuel mileage. Lastly, if you are noticing any problems with your car, make sure to see a technician.
4) Only use A/C when absolutely necessary: When you turn on the A/C, the engine has to work harder, which further reduces your fuel economy. If you’re making short trips on really hot days and you use the A/C, you could be reducing your fuel economy by more than 25%.
5) Get a new, fuel-efficient car: Every year, cars are coming out with improved fuel economy, not to mention the new hybrid options that are available (check out the Honda Accord Hybrid). Older cars do not always run as well, and getting a new car can help you save on gas, repairs, and more!
This blog is brought to you by Herb Chambers Honda of Seekonk. We invite you to like, comment, and share! Check out our selection of quality new and used cars. Stop by our full-service dealership for test drives, parts, service, repairs, or just to say hello!