Just by following some routine maintenance, you can use less automotive fuel and save hundreds each year. And many of these you can do yourself … on your daily driver or business fleet. Check out the 5 tips below to use less gas and save more green.
Note: For each of the tips below, follow the recommendations in your owner’s manual for best results.
Proper pressure can improve your gas mileage by 3.3%, according to Saulsbury Industries. Lower tire pressure means more fuel is needed to move the car. Buy tire pressure gauges for each of your vehicles and make sure tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended level.
Check once a month: tires lose an average of about two pounds of pressure per month. By keeping tires inflated you can save between $100-$800 a year in fuel costs, according to a study conducted by Edmunds.
The U.S. Department of Energy reports 1% of all gasoline usage (1.25 billion gallons) is wasted each year by underinflated tires.
Front tires wear faster than rear tires, and rotating helps them wear evenly. Misaligned tires drag and can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 10% (about 31 cents per gallon).
A dirty filter clogs an engine’s air supply, increasing gasoline consumption — as much as 14 percent in older cars. To keep dirt out of the engine and improve fuel economy, you should replace your air filter every 30,000 miles or so. While replacing filthy air filters on newer cars doesn't necessarily improve MPG significantly, every little bit counts.
Tuning your car properly can improve gas mileage by up to 4%, according to the EPA. Routine maintenance — like oil filter changes and spark plug replacement — can improve fuel economy and minimize emissions. An old or dirty spark plug can misfire and cause a drop in fuel economy by up to 30%, says The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. That’s up to about 94 cents per gallon at today's prices.
Using a grade of motor oil other than the manufacturer's recommendation will lower your gas mileage by up to 2%. The correct oil can prevent metal in the engine from grinding together, reducing friction and fuel use. Look for oil that says "energy conserving" on the API performance symbol — this means it has friction-reducing additives.