With the economy in recession and prices of fuel increasing, vehicle owners are constantly looking for ways to save money. Are you concerned about the prices of gas? Need to minimize the impact of your car’s emissions to the environment? You may instantly think of purchasing a hybrid or subcompact economy-friendly vehicle, but there are plenty of other ways for you to save money on fuel efficiency. With proper maintenance, you can leverage 30% better mileage. To help you get more miles for your dollars, follow these tips below:
- Check Tire Pressure – Under-inflated tires mean increased contact area between the road and tires. If your tires are 8 pounds under inflated (not a rare scenario), rolling resistance increases by 5%. This increases the friction, resulting in higher fuel-consumption. Over-inflated tires slightly improve consumption, but at the cost of less grip on the road. Therefore, it is advised to keep your tires inflated at the manufacturer’s recommended levels.
Use Cruise Control –Whenever driving on open roads like motorways/highways, don’t hesitate on activating cruise control. This feature is now available in almost all modern rides and can help you improve your car fuel economy by 6%. More advanced vehicles feature adaptive cruise control, which also saves you lots of fuel by limiting accelerator input.
- Clean Battery Cables – One may never think that a simple thing as a battery cable could affect fuel economy, but in reality, it does. Corroded battery cables result in the alternator working harder to create electricity to power your car and charge the battery. This means, your car begins using more gas. Have the cables cleaned to improve fuel efficiency.
- Regular Engine Checkup – Once computer controlled fuel-injection systems was introduced, old-fashioned “tune-ups” are no longer required. However, you need to get your engine checked regularly to ensure the fuel, oil, and air filters are in good condition. In addition, have your spark plugs, cables, and oxygen sensor checked, each of which have a great impact on fuel economy.
- Inspect Chassis and Suspension – The suspension and chassis of your car play an important role in ensuring that your car is stable on the road and does not produce drag. Broken springs, worn out shocks, bent wheels, and misaligned axles can all contribute to drivetrain drag, along with increasing the risk of accidents. Have these parts repaired to increase safety and economy.
- Drive Calmly and Steadily Always – Constantly speeding up and slowing down results in unnecessary wastage of fuel. By avoiding heavy braking and applying light throttle, you can reduce fuel consumption significantly, while also reducing the wear and tear of vital mechanical components. Research suggests that fuel economy is directly affected by the driving techniques you use by up to 30%.
- Avoid “Revving” the Engine – Many drivers have this thing of revving the engine at traffic lights, after starting the car in the morning, or before switching the engine off. Revving your engine only wastes fuel unnecessarily. It also results in the oil washing down the walls of the cylinder. This can be bad for your next start up, as cylinder walls get dry, making it difficult for the engine to utilize the motor oil present.
- Don’t Rest Your Left Foot on the Brake – Many rookie drivers of KIA vehicles with automatic transmissions often use their left foot to press the brake pedal when driving. This is not the right way to drive an automatic, as even a slight pressure on the brakes when you are driving creates drag on the components, which causes premature wear and tear. To overcome the “dragging” produced by this action, the engine will also demand additional fuel usage.
- Avoid Taking Roads Filled with Dirt/Gravel – Try your best to avoid driving on rough roads whenever possible. Dirt and gravel can easily rob you of 30% on your gas mileage. Every time the wheels bounce up and down, forward motion energy tends to move away from the vehicle. Bumpy roads are also rather uncomfortable. Look for alternative routes for improving fuel-efficiency, while ensuring your car doesn’t suffer any damage.
- Drive in the Highest Gear Possible – A driving tip that has been used for generations. If you want to improve fuel-economy, make sure you use the highest possible gear when driving to reduce the strain on the engine. For instance, a vehicle driving at 60 mph will use 25% more fuel in the third gear rather than the fifth. Just make sure that the throttle input isn’t going overboard. If your car has an “instant fuel economy” setting, watch the gauge and keep the liters per kilometers/miles low.
- Lighten the Load Off your Vehicle – Take unnecessary bulky items out of your vehicle to remove excess weight. If you do not need something, do not pack it. The lighter the load, the lower the fuel consumptions and emissions. On the other hand, the more weight you put in your vehicle, the harder your engine will have to work. Carrying excess weight leads to rise in consumption.
- Don’t Let the Vehicle Stay Idle For Long – Idling consumes almost half-a-gallon to one gallon of gas per hour (one of the reasons why your car consumes more petrol in heavy traffic). It also results in increased CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Modern vehicles feature advanced technologies that shut off engine valves for saving petrol. However, if you have an older vehicle, avoid leaving the engine idle. Also, to warm your engine effectively, drive it, don’t rev it.
- Ultrasonic Cleaning for Fuel Injectors – If you really want to boost the fuel-efficiency of your vehicle, have your fuel injectors removed and given an ultrasonic bath. Clean injectors will give a better and more even fuel-to-air mixture, which results in a more predictable burn in the cylinder, contributing to improved gas mileage. If your injectors have never been cleaned, it’s advised to get the job done from a professional.
So, if you want to improve your KIA’s fuel-efficiency, make sure to follow the above mentioned tips.