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Saving Money on Fuel is as Easy as 1, 2, 3...
Saving money at the pump is not as difficult as you think. In fact, it's as easy as counting with one hand behind your back. The following five fuel tips are guaranteed to keep money in your wallet. But, you have to be consistent - as with anything - for it to work.
1) Make 1/4 tank your new "empty": Fuel going below a quarter tank is not healthy for the fuel pump. The fuel pump needs to keep cool and does so by the fuel circulating around the module. Furthermore, there is a threshold below 1/4 tank on all vehicle that, electronically, sends the on-board computers into a (lack of a better term) diagnostic mode. This mode decreases fuel economy, significantly. (And, lets face it, any decrease in fuel economy is significant, isn't it?) Keep your fuel pump happy, your vehicle's fuel economy happy and your bank account happy by keeping fuel in your vehicle.
Not including the price of a new fuel pump module (ranging between $400 to $1100), if you keep your vehicle below 1/4 tank, you run the risk of turning a troublesome situation into an emergency. For example: Your child sprained their ankle. You need to get to the doctor or emergency room -- now -- and your fuel gauge is on fumes. Will you make it to your destination? Why risk it? Keep your fuel tank above 1/4 tank.
2) Use your cruise control: It is natural for an individual to flex -- even slightly -- their ankle while it rests on the accelerator. With today's vehicles, the onboard sensors and actuators -- measuring in increments of hundredths of a volt -- will notice this increase-decrease demand on the pedal and the demand for fuel, as well. Your cruise control keeps this at a steady level, therefore increasing fuel economy. You can use your cruise while driving through your neighborhood, on expressways, etc.
3) Use "top-tier fuel": Six automotive manufacturers (GM, Toyota, BMW, Honda, Audi and VW) requested a specific fuel blend so their vehicles operated at peak MPG efficiency with least amount of emission. Several complied. This list is regional, so ask your ASE Blue Seal shop for your local fuel facilities. It's not the octane grade, but it is based on the formula of the fuel that makes your vehicle run its best. Using "top-tier" fuel will help maximize your fuel MPG. Even if it's a 3 MPG improvement (fuel tank of 15 gallons), based on the savings, you will get a FREE tank of gas 5-6 tank fills (on paper, that is). What could you do with an extra $60 to $75?
4) Tire pressure a must: This is not only key to your fuel economy, but for steering and braking, as well. Tire pressure that is below the vehicle recommended level (Each vehicle has their specific tire pressure on the inside, driver's door jamb -- DO NOT go off of the maximum tire pressure on the side of the tire! This maximum tire pressure designation is stamped on the sidewall because the tire will fit many different makes and models, with many different tire pressure designations.) Just a 3 to 4 psi drop will significantly decrease your fuel economy.
5) Clean the crap out of your car: Clean out your car's cab and trunk of books, newspapers, golf clubs, bowling balls, etc. It may not seem like a lot of weight to you, but your car knows different. All those items add up to more weight that the car is hauling around town. More weight equals more fuel consumed. Plus, it increases your mechanical wear-and-tear, too. Again, the more weight you haul around, the more stress on the vehicles steering, suspension, braking system, etc -- that not only equals lower fuel economy, but more repair bills.
Remember, you too can be a savvy car care consumer by following my suggestions.