Maintain Your Car to Help Cut Fuel CostsMaintain Your Car to Help Cut Fuel Costs https://learningcentre.statefarm.ca/auto/repairs/maintain-your-car-to-help-cut-fuel-costs/ bb3 Nov 26, 2012
By Staff Writer
Taking good care of your car can save you money on gas and costly repairs. Follow these maintenance suggestions and driving tips to help extend the life of your vehicle while limiting fuel consumption.
Perform Regular Maintenance
According to Transport Canada, drivers could end up paying as much as 15 cents more per litre of fuel if their vehicle is poorly maintained. Have your vehicle aligned, spark plugs replaced, brakes inspected and the oil changed routinely. Also check the tire pressure at least once a month. Tire inflation can vary at different temperatures and properly inflated tires are safer and more fuel-efficient.
Frequent braking and hard acceleration create wear on your vehicle and consume more fuel than driving at a steady pace. Set your cruise control on highways to keep speeds consistent—between 50 and 80 kilometres per hour (km/h) is typically best for fuel efficiency. Defensive driving also can help prevent sudden braking and acceleration. Natural Resources Canada recommends taking five seconds to accelerate to 20 km/h from a stop.
Small measures can keep the engine from working too hard and reduce fuel usage. Use the overdrive gear and remove excessive weight and unused racks to make your car lighter and more aerodynamic. Also avoid idling longer than 60 seconds. In some Canadian cities, excessive idling is even against the law. During colder weather, use a block heater to warm up your vehicle rather than letting the car idle.
Limit Your Driving
Keep the car in the garage to curb fuel consumption and avoid putting unnecessary kilometres on the odometer. Before grabbing the keys, ask yourself if there’s another option, such as public transportation or walking. If you have to drive, maximize efficiency by combining many short errands into one longer errand. Driving less than five kilometres doesn’t allow your car to reach peak operating temperature, which causes it to burn more gas.