Basic Tips Help Save Money At The Pump

The littlest things often make the biggest difference, especially when we’re talking about getting the best fuel economy.

Regular oil changes, staying on top of basic maintenance and monitoring tire pressure are some simple ways to get the most out of your vehicle.

Inside the engine, choosing the right grade of oil helps lubricate the many moving parts, reducing friction and increasing gas savings. Additives and synthetic blends may also help reduce friction and increase gas savings.

Then there are the tires, the only safety feature of a vehicle that actually touches the road. Improper inflation greatly reduces fuel economy, according to researchers at a prominent laboratory.

“The less [energy] that goes to friction, the more that the gasoline goes to moving the car down the road,” said Dr. David Greene of the National Center for Transportation Research, a federal agency operating out of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “Check your tire inflation and change your oil. Make sure that they are correct.”

Greene offered the following vehicle maintenance tips to maximize fuel economy:

  • Tire pressure matters. Inflate tires to the recommended pressure for safety and savings. Refer to your owner’s manual for proper inflation amounts (also check for information on the driver’s side door panel).
  • Choose the motor oil grade recommended for your vehicle and climate. Warmer temperatures usually require a thicker oil to keep the vehicle running properly. Refer to your owner’s manual for recommended oil grades for warm weather driving.
  • Get a multipoint inspection. A comprehensive check is especially helpful if your vehicle is running rougher than usual. A multipoint inspection identifies problems.