Gasoline is a necessary part of our lives, and can cost a lot of money. That is why it makes sense to keep your car in top operating condition. Bring your car to AAMCO Minnesota for a complete Vehicle Courtesy Check diagnostic to make sure your car is running smoothly and sipping gas, not gulping it. See our current specials and coupons.
Electric cars seem to be pretty popular recently, but their sales do not indicate a takeover of the automobile market any time soon, nor does there seem to be a major shift in consumer attitude away from traditional gas-powered vehicles.
Gasoline prices have seen some significant fluctuation over the past few years, and as of this writing are averaging $2.25 in Minnesota. No matter the price of gas, there are some simple things you can do to get the most mileage out of every tank of gas – and the most mileage out of your money.
Driving erratically or aggressively is never a good idea to begin with, but sometimes you have to be conscientious of your driving habits and current mood or attitude as you barrel down the road. Even if you’re in a good mood, you might be apt to go faster than normal or what is safe.
Obey the speed limit. Avoid speeding and fast, jackrabbit acceleration. Hard braking is rough on your car, too, and wastes gas. It takes a lot of energy to bring the mass of your car to a complete stop. Avoid stop and go driving. The constant acceleration, deceleration, and shifting of gears up and down uses a lot of fuel.
Aggressive driving wastes gas and can be bad for your health. Speeding increases your risk of accident, and the associated stress can be a hazard to your health, especially if you already suffer from hypertension or other conditions that are exacerbated by the potential hazards of driving.
Avoid Excessive Idling
If you’re going to be parked or if you find yourself in a situation where you have to wait in your car, turn off the engine. Of course, if it’s hot outside, it is tempting to keep the engine running so the air conditioning can run, too; but to save gas you should turn off the engine and roll down the windows. Enjoy the fresh air! Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner use. Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked. It only takes about 10 seconds worth of fuel to start the engine again.
Lighten the Load
Carrying excess weight in your car can seriously impact your gas mileage. Roof-top cargo boxes increase wind resistance and lower fuel economy. Extra weight in a vehicle’s trunk also reduces your miles per gallon significantly, especially in smaller cars, so don’t keep heavy, unnecessary items in your vehicle.
Hauling cargo on your roof increases aerodynamic drag, or wind resistance, and lowers fuel economy. A large, bulky roof-top cargo bin can reduce fuel economy by 2% to 8% in city driving, 6% to 17% on the highway, and 10% to 25% at interstate speeds (65 mph to 75 mph). If you use a rear-mount cargo bin, fuel economy will be reduced by much less – only 1% or 2% in city driving and 1% to 5% on the highway. If you need to use an external cargo container, remove it when it’s not in use to save fuel and money.
Use Cruise Control
Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas. Keep the windows up, and if you need to cool off, you’re better off running the AC than you are rolling down the windows.
Make sure your car is in top operating condition. Get regular tune-ups at your local Minnesota AAMCO, and get to know your mechanics. At AAMCO Minnesota we take pride in being part of our community – and we like to get to know our customers. The more we know about your car, the better we can service it and make sure you’re always on your way, safe and mechanically sound. Every time you pull into a gas station, you’ll be happy in the knowledge that your car is running at its best and the gas you’re buying will take you a long way.
Bring your car to AAMCO for a complete diagnostic to make sure it’s running safely and smoothly. If you have questions about your car’s scheduled maintenance or any other car care and repair topics, AAMCO Minnesota can help.