While gas prices continue to climb, people still need to use their vehicles, and have to endure the financial burden of filling up at the pump. Smaller, gas efficient vehicles are the more appealing vehicle to purchase at this point, which can be difficult for people who need the space of a larger vehicle.
The most important part of vehicle ownership is maintaining your vehicle. Not only does it prevent costly repairs later, it can assist in stretching the miles between fill ups.
Most people are diligent about getting their oil changed every 3,000 miles, but they neglect their tires, which have a significant impact on fuel economy. Tires that are off by 2 PSI (pounds per square inch) can negatively affect your gas mileage, and the solution is very simple. Pay attention to how your tires look before you drive the vehicle. Most newer vehicles are equipped with TPMS, which will alert you when you have a tire that is low on air. Most of the time, putting air in your tires will correct that issue. There is also the possibility of a foreign object being in your tire, slowly letting air out of it. Rotating your tires is also important, as you can cause uneven tire wear. Your front wheels hold more of the weight, plus we turn with those tires. They need to be rotated to the back of the vehicle to slow down the wear, and put the back tires on a similar wear pattern. Uneven wear can and will affect how your vehicle drives, which will in turn affect your fuel economy. You should also align your vehicle at least yearly. When they align your vehicle, they adjust the wheel angles so that they are parallel to each other. This will ensure that your vehicle drives straight, which in turn prevents uneven tire wear.
Keeping your fuel injectors clean is also very important, and most people believe that this service is unnecessary. Deposits build up in your fuel system, which can significantly lower your fuel economy. While you can buy cleaner from regular auto parts store, it is not as effective as having it done by a repair shop. The repair shop with inject fuel cleaner that is under pressure into your fuel system. It is similar to washing a pot that has food stuck to it. You can't just pour some water on it and expect it to come clean. You need to use the sprayer, which has pressure behind it, and the food will come off of your pot.
Contrary to popular opinion, using a higher octane in your vehicle that only requires regular gas is a waste of money. It will not improve your gas economy, nor will it keep your fuel system any cleaner than regular fuel. In a time where gas is this expensive, nobody needs to put in more expensive gas to get the same results.
The easiest way to preserve your fuel economy is your driving. Don't take off too fast at traffic lights, and don't brake too hard. Obey the posted speed limit, which saves you money on tickets as well as gasoline.
Simply put, following laws and following your vehicle's owners manual will save you money on gasoline. I think that is something that everybody can appreciate.