May is Car Care Month, and giving your vehicle a little extra love can get you maximum gas mileage, and maybe leave some money in your pocket:
- Ensure you have a well-fitted gas cap – Damaged, ill-fitting or missing gas caps cause gasoline to vaporize from your tank. About 17 per cent of vehicles on the road have gas caps that are damaged or loose, or have no gas caps at all.
- Replace your spark plugs regularly – A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Change your spark plugs according to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for your vehicle.
- Keep a clean air filter – A clogged air filter wastes gas and affects engine power. Replacing a choked air filter with a clean one, can save fuel. Check and replace your air filter as advised by your vehicle’s maintenance manual.
- Check your tires – Tires that are not properly inflated put extra drag on your vehicle. Before going on your trip, always check your tires, with a tire gauge, at the beginning of your trip. Inflate them to the pressure advised in your vehicle manual. This information is also usually found on a sticker inside the driver’s door jamb.
These driving tips can also lead to less frequent fill-ups:
- Lighten up on the gas pedal – Aggressive accelerating and braking lower fuel mileage. Leave some space in front of you, and anticipate the action ahead to reduce acceleration and braking. This is also a safer way to drive.
- Avoid too much idling – Idling wastes gas, and is bad for the environment. One or two minutes are generally all that’s needed to warm up a vehicle in cold weather. If you’re going to be stopped for awhile, consider turning off your engine.
- Don’t speed – Driving more than 100 km/h lowers gas mileage. For best efficiency, use cruise control on the highway when it’s safe to do so.
With gas prices high, who doesn’t want to save money?