Everybody is looking to save money at the pump with gas prices nearing record levels in Atlanta. To help ease the pain of burning all of your hard-earned cash on fuel, here are a few more tips that'll help stretch your dollar a little further the next time you find yourself having to fill up.
Choose the right motor oil
When purchasing motor oil, it's important to make sure you're buying the correct grade. Using the wrong oil can cause your engine to work harder, leading to significantly less fuel economy.
Generally in the summer months, you want to purchase oil with higher viscosity, as this prevents thinning when the oil heats (10W-30 or 10W-40 is good for most vehicles). The second number in the previous series is the viscosity rating; the higher numbers indicate that the oil loses viscosity quickly at higher temperatures. As stated previously, this can cause your engine to overwork, and thereby cause you to burn more fuel.
In the winter months, you want to take the opposite approach, leaning towards oil with a lower viscosity rating, which resists thickening (5W-30 or so).
Keep in mind that these are just general tips; try to stick to the oil rating recommended in your owner's manual.
Change your air filter
While this doesn't greatly affect newer models as it once did, it can still help. Having a clean and functioning air filter maintains the proper fuel/air ratio in your car's engine, leading to greater fuel efficiency. While you don't need to change the air filter every time you change your oil, every third or fourth time you do so should be sufficient. Along with changing your oil and air filter, there are several other regular maintenance procedures that will help you maximize your fuel efficiency.
Keep your tires inflated
This may be less obvious than most other fuel-saving advice tips, but that doesn't preclude its effectiveness.
Of course, there are different pressure ratings for different tire brands and sizes, but as a rule of thumb, follow the guidelines posted on the inside of the driver's side door or those in your owner's manual when inflating your tires.
Carpool when possible
Carpooling can save you a lot of money on gas. So try to arrange carpools as often as you can. Besides the obvious work carpool, combining event trips is a big-time gas saver. Concerts, sporting events, lunches and other group activities can--and should--be done in as few vehicles as possible.
Use cruise control
On those long commutes, when traffic is relatively light or when you're headed a long way, don't be afraid to engage your car's cruise control function.
Cruise control prevents you from burning more gas because it keeps you from braking and speeding up unnecessarily.
Being able to get general tips on the Internet is great, but for expert, personalized advice, contacting your local auto service center is even better!