Optimizing Your Gas Mileage
October 9th, 2010
If you stay on top of your car’s maintenance, you can not only extend the life of your vehicle, but also enjoy better gas mileage for as long as you own the car. Even people with little to no auto mechanical knowledge can follow these tips to optimize their gas mileage in any vehicle they own.
Before anything else, invest in a repair manual specifically made for your car’s make and model. This manual can help you understand more about the way your car operates and items you will need to take care of it. And when you do need to have your car repaired by a certified mechanic, you will not be completely clueless as to what he is talking about, reducing your risk of getting ripped off. These manuals can be purchased either through your car’s dealership or at most auto parts stores.
The following are a few procedures and helpful tips you can use to keep your car running great and consuming less gas mileage too.
Once Per Week
Take a look at all of your vehicle’s fluids and top them off whenever necessary. Fluids you should pay attention to include radiator fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, windshield wiper fluid and of course, engine oil. Each one is essential to the operation of your automobile, with the exception of windshield wiper fluid.
But the wiper fluid is important in its own right as a dirty windshield can be a safety hazard. However, only check these fluids when the car’s engine is completely cooled off; otherwise, you may burn yourself. If any of the above fluids appear to be dirty or emit a strange odor, it is time to have them changed.
Twice Per Week
Check your tire pressure by using a pressure gauge that you can buy at all auto parts stores and even some gas stations. The tire valve caps will need to be unscrewed in a counter clockwise motion and then removed. After you do that, insert the pressure gauge in the valve itself to view the pressure reading.
Take a look at your repair manual and compare the numbers to find out the ideal pressure for your car. Be aware that the best time to do this is when the car has not been driven for several hours and the tires are cold; this will ensure an accurate reading. When tires are warm, the rubber expands, causing an inaccurate pressure reading.
If the reading shows excellent tire pressure, you are all set but if it seems to be under or over inflated, it is time to drive it to your nearest mechanic or service station where the problem can be taken care of in a few minutes.
What You Should Know About Tire Pressure
Tire pressure is often a key car repair tip many people overlook, especially in relation to gas mileage as the tires are not part of engine maintenance. However, tires that are set to the proper pressure can save you money spent on gasoline as it will help your car run more fuel efficiently. Also, it prevents the car from pulling to the side due to being over or under pressurized.