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Best Vehicle Practices for Better Fuel Economy

Let's face it, gas is expensive. Whether you drive around town or take the highway to work everyday, you probably find yourself filling up at least once a week, if not more. Aside from buying a new vehicle with better fuel economy, there are things you can do to help you save a little extra at the pump. Check out these 6 ways to improve your vehicle's fuel efficiency.

  1. Maintain your engine. A properly tuned engine will provide you with optimal fuel efficiency. Adhere to the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule to get more miles for your dollar. If the "Check Engine" light illuminates, be sure to take your car in for service in a timely manner. Waiting will increase the chance of costly repairs.
  2. Keep tires properly inflated. The condition of your tires can significantly impact fuel economy. The proper pressure for your tires can usually be found on the driver's side door jam or in your owner's manual. Underinflated tires may increase rolling resistance and eat up your gas. In addition, underinflated tires are prone to overheating and more likely to be involved in a tire-related car accident.
  3. Assess your driving habits. Aggressive driving behaviors such as rapid acceleration, and speeding can significantly lower fuel economy. Stop and go driving doesn't help either. If you can limit your car's idling time, drive the speed limit, and drive safely, you can help save on fuel costs.
  4. Use the right motor oil. Using the proper type and viscosity of motor oil will maximize your fuel efficiency. Schedule regular oil changes as part of your maintenance plan and change your oil filter as recommended by the manufacturer. It is also very important to check your oil level and keep it in the “safe” range on your dipstick between oil changes. Many of todays’ vehicles’ engines adjust the timing based on oil pressure so if your oil level is low it can adversely affect the efficiency of the engine. 
  5. Check and replace your engine air filter if it is dirty. Air filter replacement will keep the dirt and residue from entering the engine while maintaining proper air flow into the fuel delivery system which can affect gas mileage up to 6%.
  6. Plan Ahead. Combine your errands to make fewer trips. This will not only save fuel, but wear and tear on your car. If you know you will be out and about, try to get more done. Extra trips to and from home quickly add up to more money. Also, plan to remove excess weight like extra car seats and a cargo carrier when not in use, to lighten the load.

For additional tips on saving fuel, conserving money, and protecting the environment, check out AAA Gas Watcher's Guide. In addition, come in to your local AAA Car Care Center for a free multipoint inspection. We can help determine if your vehicle is working optimally and if it is fuel efficient. We offer a full range of automotive services and repairs, as needed. Our ASE certified technicians can set you up on a maintenance schedule that meets your needs. Visit a nearby location today.

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