Donald Harris

Article Summary:

Four easy steps to improve your fuel efficiency.

Improve your Fuel Efficiency

The Gas Thief can be disguised in several ways and can strike your automobile in more than one way simultaneously. Some of the common "thieves" are under-inflated tires, dirty air cleaners, and forgetting tune-up intervals.

To improve your fuel efficiency and keep the Gas Thief from stealing from you, take these simple steps:

1. Check your owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure. If you have misplaced or lost the owner's manual, look at the manufacturer's stickers on the door, under the hood or in the trunk of the car. Usually the manufacturer's recommendations can be found in more than one place. Following the recommendations will help optimize your fuel economy and tire life. Under-inflated tires increase tire rolling resistance and reduces gas mileage.

2. The air filter is one of the most overlooked items in auto maintenance. We remember to change the oil, but if the auto shop forgets to remind us to check/change the air filter, it goes unnoticed. Dirty air cleaners will cause the engine to run "rich" (too much fuel) and increases pollution and decreases fuel efficiency.

3. A tune-up is often forgotten until your vehicle starts performing poorly, starts missing, or becomes hard to start. When these noticeable symptoms occur, your engine is well past the manufacturer's recommended tune-up time. Check your owner's manual! It will give recommended service intervals for all your vehicle's components. The recommendations are an educated recommendation based on "average" usage. Consult your mechanic so see how your own car is performing. He knows your vehicle and you. He will recommend service based on your vehicle's use and driving habits. Heed his advice.

4. The fuel system can rob you too. One of the easiest ways to maintain your fuel system is to add a fuel system cleaner to your gas tank when you have your oil changed. There are several good brands of fuel additives available. Follow the additive manufacturer's instructions as to the amount to add for your fuel tank's capacity. This will help keep deposits from building up in your carburetor/fuel injection system and keep your engine running happy.

Taking care of your car can keep the Gas Thief from stealing your money this winter. And just think of the extra car accessories you can get for that extra cash!

Donald Harris is a former mechanic and used car dealer. He continues to tinker under that ol' shade tree. His website has car repair tips and links to parts, manuals and classic cars, trucks and tractors. cars trucks and tractors.com.

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