One of the few things we can count on in life is the ever-increasing cost of gas. Everyone wants to squeak out a few extra miles from every tank of gas whenever possible. You can count on your favorite tire shop to give you the tips and information you need to get the best gas mileage out of your vehicle, whether it's a brand-new Prius or a 20-year-old truck.
When the topic of gas mileage comes up, most people think of the engine. Keeping your engine in tune is important but the tires you choose and the way you maintain your tires goes a long way to improving your gas mileage. High quality tires reduce the rolling resistance as your car travels on the road. The less resistance your tires encounter, the less energy they use. In addition to choosing high quality tires from a full service tire shop, it's also important to make sure your tires are always at their optimal tire pressure. Tires with low pressure grip the road and increase resistance to motion.
In addition to making it more difficult to stay in control of your car, a worn-out suspension system can also hurt your gas mileage. When your car bounces up and down, and leans when you turn, it's using up kinetic energy that could be used for forward motion. That means your engine must work that much harder to keep you moving at the speed you desire. When you bring your car in to the tire shop for new tires, make sure to have your suspension checked as well.
Your driving habits have a big impact on your gas mileage. If you find yourself accelerating and braking hard, you aren't using your fuel optimally. Instead of mashing your foot on the pedals, focus on smooth acceleration, and remember to decelerate ahead of time to avoid braking as much as possible. Any time you slow down, take your time when resuming your previous speed. Your top speed affects mileage as well. Wind drag increases with higher speeds, which makes the engine work harder to travel the same distance.
Your air filter keeps the dust and dirt out of your engine and keeps it running clean and smooth. As your air filter does its job, it gets clogged with all the dust and dirt it picks up. When your air filter gets caked with debris and dust, it makes it more difficult for your engine to get the air it needs. To keep the engine from losing horsepower, your car's computer will increase the fuel-to-air ratio. Starving your engine of air uses extra gas. Air is free, and gasoline costs money, so it always pays to keep your air filters in perfect working order.
Your spark plugs are the real heroes of your car. Spark plugs are subjected to thousands of explosions as your engine delivers fuel, air and a spark into your cylinders to power your car. Once your spark plugs start fouling - getting carbon deposits and other gunk on them - they fire less efficiently. That wastes fuel. Auto shops and manufacturers recommend that you inspect your spark plugs every 30,000 miles. Keeping your spark plugs in peak condition is an inexpensive way to save money with every mile you drive.
The more your vehicle weighs, the more the engine must work to accelerate and decelerate. Race cars strip all unnecessary weight from their cars to make it easier to speed up and increase their top speed. You can use this philosophy to improve your gas mileage. While most people aren't going to remove their door panels to save a few pounds, you can still save money with every mile you drive by removing unnecessary items from your car. Something as simple as unloading your set of golf clubs from the trunk when you get home from the links lowers the weight of your car, and saves gasoline. Selecting the correct tires for your car helps, too. A tire shop can match your tire for the weight and weather conditions it's likely to encounter in use.
By applying the ideas in this list, you will be able to stretch the time between visits to the pump in a meaningful way. West Coast Tire is ready to help you with every suggestion on this list. If you're in the Losa Angeles area, come on down to our tire tire shop and we'll help you keep your car in perfect working order, and save you money with every mile you drive.