Top tips : Saving on gas
Lower-octane gasoline: Buy the lowest grade or octane of gasoline that is appropriate for your car. Unless your car requires premium gasoline, filling up your car with high-octane fuel is a waste of money. That pricey premium fuel won’t boost your car’s fuel economy or performance in the least. If you’re not sure what grade of fuel works best for your car, open up your owner’s manual and take a look. As long as your engine doesn’t knock or ping when you fuel up with regular unleaded, you’re good to drive on this much cheaper gas. Passing on pricey premium gasoline could save you hundreds of dollars a year. Don’t top off: Don’t bother
topping off when filling your car’s gas tank. Any additional gas is just going to slop around or seep out. Why waste your money paying for gas your car won’t use? Stop pumping at the first indication that your tank is full when the automatic nozzle clicks off. Tighten gas cap: Gas will evaporate from your car’s gas tank if it has an escape. Loose, missing or damaged gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate each year, according to a study carried out by Car Care Council. So be sure to tighten up that gas cap each time you fuel up your car.
Go for shades: The hot summer sun that makes the inside of your car feel like a sauna also zaps fuel from your gas tank. “If you let your car bake in the sun there’s going to be a greater amount of evaporative emissions that take place than if you park in the shade,” according to Jim Kliesch, research associate at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and vehicle analyst for GreenerCars.com.
So park your car in the shade of a building or tree whenever possible. And buy a good windshield shade. A windshield shade blocks Sunlight and helps to keep heat out of the inside of your car. Use your garage: Got a garage? Clear it out and make room for your car. Parking in your garage will help your car stay warm in winter and cool in summer, and you won’t have to depend as much on your gas-guzzling air-conditioning or defroster when you drive.
Pump up tires: Don’t get caught driving on under-inflated tyres. Under-inflated tyres wear down more quickly and they also lower your car’s gas mileage. “Tires that have low pressure offer more resistance so the engine is going to work harder to keep the cars at 60,” says Brian Moody, road test editor at Edmunds.com. Your car’s gas mileage may plummet by as much as 15 per cent. Driving on under-inflated tyres may also reduce the life of your tyres by 15 per cent or more.
Check tyre pressure: Buy a digital gauge and keep it in your glove box. Compare the pressure in your tyres with the recommended pressure listed in your owner’s manual and on the placard in your car door. Then inflate your tyres as needed. Be sure to check tyre pressure when your tyres are cold. A good time is early in the morning after your car’s been idle overnight. Keep engine tuned: Fixing a car that is out of tune or has failed an emissions test can boost gas mileage by about four per cent. So be sure to give your car regular tune-ups. You’ll also want to watch out for worn spark plugs. A misfiring spark plug can reduce a car’s fuel efficiency by as much as 30 per cent. Replace air filters: When the engine air filter clogs with dirt, it causes your engine to work harder and your car becomes less fuel-efficient. Replacing a clogged air filter could improve your gas mileage by as much as 10 per cent and save you Rs 12 a gallon. It’s a good idea to have your engine air filter checked at each oil change.