How Proper And Regular Maintenance Can Increase Your Gas Mileage

By: Gregg Hall

One of the areas that many people neglect and do not consider when it comes to better fuel economy is maintenance. Something as simple as a fouled spark plug can cause the engine to run poorly and result in greatly reduced fuel economy. This is another reason why regular tune-ups as recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle are so crucial, it can make as much as a twenty percent difference in your fuel economy.

Tire pressure is another issue that is important to getting the best fuel economy so it is important to keep them inflated at the correct pressure. Even the type of tires can make a difference with radial tires being proven to increase gas mileage. Snow tires can hurt your gas mileage as well as any tires with a deeper tread. Improper front end alignment will not only ruin your tires but because of the resistance poor alignment adds to the tires it also hurts fuel economy.

The use of the proper motor oil weight is crucial to good gas mileage too so be sure to use the oil recommended for your vehicle. The new energy conserving grades of engine oil are also good for increasing fuel economy. These types of oil will have a designation of "EC" stamped on the container.

Don't make the mistake of assuming that a higher octane fuel will be better for your engine, one fifth of the gas marketed in the United States is premium, high octane fuel but only a little better than 5% of automobiles should use this type of fuel. Contrary to popular opinion a higher octane does not equate to better gas mileage.

Some vehicles will benefit from the higher octane as they will advance the ignition timing and result in better fuel economy. To make sure, run an experiment with you vehicle by filling the tank with regular and keeping track of your gas mileage then doing the same with premium after you have run the tank down as empty as possible.

Check your oxygen sensor as needed; these should be replaced every 30,000-50,000 miles depending upon your car. If the sensor isn't working as it should this can cause the vehicle to use too much gas.

Another simple maintenance item that is often neglected is the air filter. Clogged air filters can reduce fuel economy by as much as ten percent and they can also be harmful to your engine. According to studies nearly a third of all vehicles on the road need a filter change.

Mileage and Fuel
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