Fuel Consumption Tips to Combat Rising Gas Costs in Southern California
California gas prices have reached an all time high in the first time in over 5 years and in Los Angeles county motorists are seeing the highest fuel costs in 2019. Reasons for the gas price increase include California's carbon program (CARB-mandated fuels) which are not easy to produce) that adds to fuel costs and other setbacks from several local refineries are primarily the main culprits for prices to skyrocket.
Here at Shige's Premier Automotive we'd like to provide you with some fuel consumption tips that will not only help out on improving your gas mileage but prevent you from spending what's left in your wallet!
1.) Slow down while driving - racing to the finish line going from 0-60 mph in just a few seconds will burn more fuel, the faster you have to go, speeding, rough braking lowers your gas mileage.
2.) Don't overload your vehicle with excess weight - empty your trunk, driving with your trunk full adds weight and reduces your fuel mileage. Each 50 lbs of added weight results in a 1% reduction in fuel economy.
3.) Inflate your tires to correct pressure - One of the best ways to improve your mileage is to inflate your tires to the correct pressure. You can improve your gas mileage by 0.6% on average by keeping your tires to the proper pressure, if your tired are under inflated (this is unfortunately very common), rolling resistance of the tires increases by 5%.
4.) Make sure your car is properly aligned - Wet weather in the fall and winter months create more potholes and can easily throw your car's alignment out of whack, not only wearing our your tires more quickly, but makes your engine work harder, this can reduce your gas mileage as much as 10%. Don't forget at Shige's we offer free tire alignment inspections.
5.) Avoid traffic and prolong idling - We know that traffic may seem unavoidable here in Los Angeles but getting stuck in stop and go traffic, obviously ruins your fuel economy. Try planning your drive ahead of time by checking traffic reports on the radio and using your smart phone to map out your day. Same with sitting idle in traffic or waiting for someone, it wastes fuel, modern cars don't need much warming up, so if you're in a safe place waiting for more than 30 seconds, it's better to turn your engine off.
6.) Keep your engine air filter clean - Air filters that are clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a "rich" mixture that wastes fuel power and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%.
7.) Use GPS navigation - Getting lost wastes gas, GPS devices can help you decrease the amount of fuel consumption, giving you the shortest, least congested and more efficient routes.
8.) Air Conditioning on and Windows Open - Unlike a car's heater, which uses free engine heat to warm the cabin, A/C steals engine power and lowers fuel economy. We recommend turning on your air conditioning once you reach over 60 mph to close your windows and to turn your A/C off when you're in traffic and leave the windows open. Of course heat, temperature may affect these things on a hot day, leave your windows open for a few minutes to cool off, then close them once you're on the highway.
9.) Check Your Engine and Transmission, is everything working? Have a regular engine check-up, there is really no such thing as a "tune-up" anymore in the age of computer controlled fuel injection, spark plugs are responsible for sparking combustion in your engine. Misfiring or poorly working can affect your mileage in a negative way. Changing spark plugs early can save you a lot in gas mileage. Oxygen sensors monitor the efficiency of combustion, tracking the amount of oxygen remaining in the exhaust, which can degrade over time costing you up to 15% in gas mileage. When they fail a check engine light code will come on. It's important to come in for a full digital inspection, so we can identify the problem.
10.) Fuel Injection Service - Having bad fuel injectors can cause bad mileage because the fuel injector's are responsible for putting fuel into the engine. If there is a leak of some sort, less fuel will make it to the engine and will cause it to run less efficiently. A Fuel Injection Service cleans all the nasty build up and flushes it out of your fuel system. Check your manufacture's service guide, but it is normally around 60,000-90,000 miles and every gasoline powered car from the early 1990's to current needs this.
We hope that these tips help and of course regular maintenance on your vehicle makes a difference, make an appointment and mention this article at time of service to save $25 anytime in the month of October.