Thanks to modern automotive technology, cars are more efficient and cleaner than ever. Powerful four-cylinder engines and turbocharged options have allowed automakers to produce plenty of power, without excessive fuel consumption. But even with these advances in fuel-sipping powertrains, there are still some important ways you can maximize your vehicle's fuel efficiency. The DCH Toyota of Oxnard team has put together a list of helpful tips to cut down your fuel costs.
Monitor your driving speed and style
Flooring it to quickly speed up and slamming the brakes to slow down uses more fuel than gentle driving. Easing onto the throttle and the brake pedal will improve the efficiency. Give yourself extra time so you don’t have to rush. Not only does it improve fuel economy, it also helps you avoid a speeding ticket.
If you drive a vehicle with a manual transmission or an automatic that allows you to change gears, shift the gears up sooner. Models will vary, but a general rule is to shift between 2500 and 3500 RPM (or revolutions per minute). This keeps your RPMs down, which decreases fuel consumption. When coming to a stop, take the car out of gear (in manual transmission vehicles) and coast to a stop.
When you’re stopped at a drive-through window or train crossing, turn the car off. The little stops add up. Some new models are equipped with Start/Stop technology that automatically does this for you so that even when you stop at an intersection for more than a few seconds, the engine turns off to help conserve gas.
Improve your aerodynamics
Dirt actually decreases your car’s ability to glide through the air. Keeping your car clean will improve its performance. Driving with the windows down can increase drag, and decrease fuel efficiency. Air conditioning also negatively impacts your miles-per-gallon. As a general rule of thumb, if you're driving around town, opt to roll the windows down. At higher speeds, like on the highway, the drag caused by having the windows down may increase fuel consumption more than the air conditioning system. Ensure your vehicle is free of extra weight by cleaning it out. Lighter means more efficient.
Many models are available with factory aerodynamic parts like rear spoilers and front bumpers that reduce drag and help your vehicle move through the air more efficiently. Ask the DCH Toyota of Oxnard Service Department about parts for your particular vehicle that can improve the performance.
Keep a regular maintenance schedule
Replace or clean your air filter every time you bring the car in for an oil change. By keeping your engine clean with a fresh filter and new motor oil, it can perform at its best.
Check your tire pressure, but don’t overinflate. While low tire pressure can negatively impact fuel economy, overinflating them doesn’t help, either. Overinflating your tires can potentially damage them. Maintain the pressure recommended by the car manufacturer.
If your check engine light comes on, don't ignore it. Even if there are no obvious symptoms, your check engine light is a great indicator that your vehicle isn't as efficient as it should be. If you notice you're using more gas than usual, it may be time to bring your vehicle in for service.
For more information on how you can improve your vehicle's fuel efficiency, or any questions regarding how you can make the most of every mile, schedule an appointment with our service department today.