Home Service Oil Company
Home Service Oil Company

10 Tips For Improving Gas Mileage in the Fall

October 28, 2021

In this economy, everyone’s looking to save money where they can. So many of us use cars in our day-to-day life that thinking about how much you’re spending on gas is a must. Without the proper knowledge, you could be wasting hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year on gas. Now that fall has rolled around, so has the infamous holiday season. With that comes more travel to see friends and family. Now, more than ever, you should be focused on how you can save money at the pump.

Keep Your Tires Inflated

Always inflate your tires to the recommended pressure shown either on the decal inside the driver’s side door or the driver’s side door pillar. Surveys have shown that about 60% of cars on the road have underinflated tires by 30%. That can cost you almost 7% of wasted gas. If your vehicle doesn’t have an electric pressure gauge installed, you can always buy a digital pressure gauge to check all four tires.

Replace Your Spark Plugs

It’s best to replace your spark plugs early. Spark plugs typically last about 100,000 miles, but misfires and incomplete combustion occur more frequently during the last 20,000 of the spark plugs’ lifespans. A faulty spark plug can cost you around $562.50 in wasted gas. You’ll have to replace them, anyway, so why not do it early and save the cash. Even if you have to replace them an extra time in your car’s lifetime, you’ll still come out ahead. Also, don’t assume that your car’s spark plugs will last 100,000 miles. Some four-cylinder cars’ spark plugs can only last anywhere between 30,000 and 60,000 miles.

Replace Your Air Filter

A dirty air filter on an older car, 1999 or older, can increase fuel usage by 10%. Newer cars tend to have a smart computer to detect the lower airflow and automatically cut back on fuel, which means your engine will lack power and pick-up. You should check your filter when you change your oil or replace it every year. If you drive in dusty or dirty conditions, you may have to change it more often. 

Keep Your Car Aligned

If your tires are not appropriately aligned is could cost you upwards of $187.50 every year in wasted gas. You see, according to familyhandyman, “if your tires are bowed out of alignment by just .017 inches, it’s the equivalent of dragging your tire sideways for 102 miles for every 20,000 you drive.” Use a tread depth gauge to measure the tread depth on both edges of all four tires. If you notice one side of the tire is more worn than the other, your car needs to be aligned.

Drive Slower

Keep your speed around 55 miles per hour.  By increasing your speed by 10 miles an hour, you increase your drag by 36%. If you drive on the highway frequently, you could be wasting around $510 a year just to shave off a few minutes.

Hard acceleration in stop-and-go driving can also cost you 20% in gas mileage. That’s wasting around $750 a year.  

Check Warning Lights

If your check engine light goes on, that means there could be an issue with your emissions. Typically, problems with the emissions occur when there is an incomplete burn, which means you’re not getting the most out of your money. The important that to take away from that is that if your check engine light has come on, it means you’re wasting gas.

Lose Excess Weight

It’s crazy to think, but as little as 100 pounds can reduce your fuel efficiency. Get rid of the junk (sports bags, blankets, etc.), and you’ll be surprised how much weight you can ditch from your car.

It would be best to avoid too many add-ons that increase wind resistance. We’re talking about things like roof racks, cargo boxes, and bike racks.

Limit Idling

Believe it or not, idling uses more fuel and causes more pollution than turning your car on and driving. Nowadays, most new vehicles will automatically turn off when the vehicle comes to a stop, and the engine will reignite once you release the brake.

You should also avoid warming your car up. It only takes 30 seconds for fluids to travel through the engine to lubricate components. You don’t need to turn your vehicle on for prolonged periods to “warm it up.” By running your engine like that, your car can consume up to a gallon of gas every hour!

Get Gas in the AM

Typically, the temperature is cooler in the morning than later in the day. That means that the gas sitting in the underground fuel tanks will be more condensed in the morning than in the afternoon. In the afternoon, the gas has gotten a chance to heat up and expand. So, while you’ll be paying the same amount of money in the morning and afternoon, you may be getting less bang for your buck in the afternoon than in the morning.

Create A Good Seal

Your car’s gas cap has a thick rubber ring on the outside that helps create a tight seal to prevent air from entering the fuel tank. Like most rubber products, this seal deteriorates with time and begins to fail. If your car is newer, a failed seal will trigger the check engine light or emissions light to come on. If your vehicle does not have a way of telling you the seal has failed, make sure to check it periodically.

Home Service Oil

At Home Service Oil, we care about all your fuel needs. We believe that everyone should have access to affordable fueling options. If you or anyone you know is interested in our bulk fueling options, please visit our website to request a service. We do more than offer fuel as well. For more information about our services, click here!