No one likes high fuel prices. But if one good thing has come about, it’s that people are really focused on how to reduce their fuel consumption. North Americans literally drive billions of miles less each month during times of high fuel prices. But we still need to drive, so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.
Let’s look at a real life example of one of our AutoNetTV producers. He has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here’s what he did to cut his fuel costs:
First, he installed a new, high-flow engine air filter. Then he had his service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had a fuel system cleaning, replaced his PCV value and breather element. He also made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.
Now this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway; it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.
So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a ton of trailer with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he had turned in the best fuel economy he had ever gotten on that vehicle. It had improved 25 percent. He saved $48.00 on that trip alone. And the savings keep on coming every day.
Here’s a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel. First get caught up on your routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can save you some fuel. If its time for a tune-up, git ‘er done. That’s a big item.
If your check engine light is on, have your service center figure out why and fix it. Check engine problems can be real gas wasters.
Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment can really help as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra hundred pounds can cost a mile per gallon.
Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most people is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights and hot rod lane changes really waste fuel. Take it easy, don’t speed and plan ahead.
Finally, you may have noticed that we haven’t mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That’s because there aren’t any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot of scams. Do some research and check with your service advisor before spending your hard earned cash.