Despite the fuel prices people always want to save on gas. It is easy if you follow a few basic rules.
1. Use lowest octane gasoline possible. It does not mean to go and get the cheapest thing at a gas-station, but to use the lowest grade appropriate for a specific model. A car manual is the source to check if it is necessary to fuel with premium gasoline or high-octane will work fine.
Although there are stories and legends about better performance if fuel is cleaner, it is not true: the higher octane gasoline will not help to save on gas or provide better performance for the vehicle.
2. Do not fill to the rim. First of all if a car owner keeps adding fuel after the automatic nozzle clicks off, the extra gas will spill out and turn into nothing but waste. Secondly, too much fluid increases the weight of a vehicles and it uses more fuel to run itself. Filling the tank to about half of its capacity is absolutely enough in case there is always an available gas-station nearby in case of necessary refueling.
3. Tighten up the gas cap. Lately some manufacturers have been working on gas tanks without caps. If you are one of the lucky owners of a vehicle without a gas cap then there is nothing to worry about because the automaker has taken care of this problem.
In other case, tightening the gas cap well will help to avoid wasting fuel which evaporates easily. Car Care Council has counted that damaged, missing or untightened caps cause 147 million gallons of gasoline waste each year due to evaporation.
4. Empty the trunk. As a rule mindless car owners carry a lot of things in their trunks. This does not mean that they constantly need those boxes, blankets, books, and other junk, the owners simply forget about the stuff in their trunks. It is important to remember: one of the best ways to save on gas is to enlighten the vehicle as much as possible.
5. Inflate the tires properly. Underinflated tires do not give any benefits: they wear out quickly and they lower gas mileage. Weak, soft tires offer more resistance which makes the engine work harder for the same performance as it would have otherwise with well-inflated tires.
Overinflation is not advised either. Many owners think they can save on fuel if they pump too much air in the tires. Unfortunately, they make a big mistake. First of all, overinflated tires wear out unevenly and the major part of wear comes to the middle of the wheel, so before you save on gas, you’ll have to buy new set of tires. Besides, there is always a danger to blow out a tire at a most unexpected moment. Finally, there is no proven evidence that overinflated tires help using less fuel than underinflated ones.
Pumping the tires properly saves up to 15% on gas.
6. Take care of the engine and the vehicles in general. First of all any vehicle should go through basic maintenance regularly. The guide to manufacturer-recommended care is described in the car’s manual.
Oil change should be done frequently with the proper oil. Old burning oil wastes gas, wrong type of oil does the same. Using manufacturer’s recommended grade of engine oil saves 1-2% on fuel. A good choice would be “energy conserving” oil that contains friction reducing additives.
Dirty air filter is another source of gas waste. Watch it from time to time, especially when there are more possibilities for it to get clogged with bugs, dirt, dust and pollen. The motor works harder if it has to “breathe” through a dirty filter. Its replacement saves 10% on gas-mileage. The Car Care Council recommends to check and/or change the air filter with every oil change.
Tune-up the engine regularly. Vehicle health is as important as the health of any family member. Nobody would want a car to break in the middle of family vacation, so follow the rules established by the manufacturer in owner’s manual. Tuning the engine and fixing emission problems saves 4% of fuel, healthy spark plugs improve it by another 30%.