If you’ve stopped at your local gas station for a fill up recently, you may have noticed that gas prices are on the rise. Most Minnesota drivers are being forced to adjust their gas budget or just pay more for gas and spend less on other luxuries. Did you know that there are some small changes you can make to ensure your car is more fuel efficient? These small changes will make your full gas tank last longer as you drive around town.

Check your tire pressure monthly

Your tires are important for safety, and a smooth ride.  Did you know that they also contribute to fuel efficiency?  Improperly inflated tires will decrease your fuel efficiency by 3%. While that may not sound like much, this can add up over time. We recommend checking your tire pressure monthly to ensure greater fuel efficiency.

Notice any alignment changes

It’s pothole season, so if you’ve run into one lately it may impact your front end alignment. If your car is out of alignment, it decreases your gas mileage by 10%. Some signs to look for are pulling when driving straight, shaking when driving at high speeds, or even a little extra bounce when going over bumps. If you notice any of these signs, be sure to get your car into your mechanic.

Clean out your trunk regularly

If you’re someone who stores a bunch of items in your trunk or back end, you’ll want to think again. The heavier your load on your car, the harder it has to work. For every 100 lbs in your trunk or back end, your fuel consumption goes up 1-2%. Make it a habit to clean out your trunk regularly for greater fuel efficiency.

Store your carriers in your garage

If you have any external carriers (like roof boxes or bike racks) on your car, you may want to store them in your garage when not in use. These items create wind resistance which can cause your car to work harder and decrease your fuel efficiency.

Drive the speed limit to improve fuel efficiency

Have you heard the saying that “faster is not always better”? It’s true for your driving speed. Driving 80 MPH can use up to 25% more fuel than driving 70 MPH. Consider slowing down, and enjoying the ride for greater fuel efficiency.

Skip the high octane fuel

If you’ve assumed that higher octane fuel increases fuel efficiency, you may want to think again. The best fuel for your car is the octane your manufacturer recommends. If your car requires 87 octane fuel, then filling up with 89 or 91 octane won’t make your car more efficient. It will simply cost more without any added benefit. So skip overpaying for higher octane to save more at the pump.

Keep your fuel tank ¼ full

When your tank gets below ¼ full, your fuel pump has to work harder to keep your car running – which will decrease your fuel efficiency. Stopping for a pit stop before your tank gets below ¼ full is always a good idea for a more fuel efficient vehicle.

Stop waiting with your car running

We know it’s tempting to let your car idle when you’re waiting for that friend, scrolling through social media, or waiting for your next appointment. But did you know that your car will consume ½ gallon of gas for every hour of idling? Plan on turning off your car, rolling down your windows, and enjoying some fresh air the next time you need to wait for something.

Schedule regular maintenance

Your car can burn up 30% more fuel if it’s not regularly maintained. A regular maintenance check with your mechanic will include checking some of these items for great efficiency like tire pressure, front end alignment, and any other issues that may decrease your efficiency.

Making these small changes to your everyday driving habits will go a long way in helping ensure your car is getting the biggest bang for your buck at the pump. When it comes to maintaining these items, we always recommend regular maintenance checks to ensure your car is running efficiently all year long. Simply give us a call to schedule your appointment so you can rest easy knowing your car is efficient and ready to go.