Summer is the season for travel in West Michigan!! It’s the time for roads trips to the beach, lake or even just to explore the great outdoors. There’s no doubt about it, seeing more of our great state is what summer is all about! Whether you’re planning a trip to Lake Michigan or visiting any number of festivals or events around Grand Rapids this summer, one thing we know all of our customers enjoy doing and that’s saving money at the pump!! While some articles provide tips with outlandish advice suggesting things like keeping the windows up and A/C off or driving 45 mph one the highway, we’ve put together some very realistic, simple and easy tips you can actually do to improve your gas mileage this summer.
Check your tire pressure
Not only does tire pressure play heavily into your vehicle’s safety out on the road, it can also greatly determine whether or not you’re getting the best performance out of it as well. Under inflated tires take more energy to turn and consume more fuel in the process. Recent studies have shown that low tire pressure can reduce your car’s fuel efficiency up to 4%, which may not sound like much for one tank of gas but over time that 4% can really add up! Tire monitoring systems became standard in 2008 and can be found on vehicles of that year and newer. But these sensors only detect when air in a tire is 25% below the manufacturer’s recommended pressure while fuel efficiency can be affected by as little as a 20% reduction in pressure. We recommend checking your tires once a month to ensure you’re getting the most out of every tank of gas.
Watch your speed
You might have come across recommendations of driving at a maximum of 45mph on highways and byways, but is that really practical?! On roadways where the posted speed limit is 70 mph, driving only 45 mph can not only annoy other drivers but it can be hazardous to yourself and to others! Instead of posing a risk like that on the road, we suggest avoiding aggressive driving. That includes speeding, rapid acceleration and excessive braking, all of which can reduce your fuel efficiency by 5%! Driving smarter will help you save on gas but the added bonus is it should help you avoid an accident as well. Give yourself plenty of space between your vehicle and the one ahead of you to avoid tapping your brakes when it’s not necessary, and use your cruise control to maintain an ideal speed when at all possible.
Ditch the roof rack
They may save you cargo space inside your vehicle but those roof racks are no friend to your car’s fuel economy! Having one on top of your van or car increases its aerodynamic drag and results in larger fuel consumption to go the same distance. How much more? Well, it’s estimated that extra wind resistance can equate to a 2-8% loss in city driving and a whopping 6-17% on the highway. Yikes!! If you simply must have a cargo hold outside of the vehicle for a trip or reaching a destination, we recommend using instead a rear-mount cargo box or tray, which only reduces your fuel efficiency by 1-5%. You’ll also want to consider removing them when not in use to avoid any unnecessary fuel loss.
Get your vehicle in tip top shape
We all know a well tuned engine is a happy engine but how much happier can it make you at the pump? It’s been estimated that a poorly tuned engine can cost you a 4% decrease in fuel efficiency and that dirty oil and filters can reduce by as much as 6%. Add those two together and you have a lot of wasted energy and fuel. Keeping your motor running at its top performance means you are allowing it use the minimum amount of fuel in the process. In addition to your engine, you’ll want to revisit those tires to ensure they are properly aligned since having your alignment off can cost you another 10% in fuel efficiency. Besides saving at the pump, having a well maintained vehicle will prolong the life of your car, truck, or minivan and save you unneeded headaches in the future. Our advice is to stay on top of recommended maintenance and keep your gas mileage at its peak.
Lighten your load
Keeping your vehicle stocked with a bunch of useful items may sound good in theory but it can be costing you as well. Those extra items equate to extra weight and when they aren’t necessary for daily trips or long trips, that extra weight is costing you money. If you don’t need to have certain items (sports equipment, tools, etc.), we recommend removing them from your trunk or storage space to avoid the added fuel cost of transporting them.
If you’ve done everything you can to get the most out of your gas mileage but still feel you’re wallet is bleeding at the pump, we can help get you into a more fuel efficient vehicle. At Broadmoor Motors, we specialize in finding the right used car, minivan, truck, or SUV to fit your personal or business needs, all while giving you the best deal we can on both your purchase and trade in. Our family has been in the car business for over 60 years and continues to be family owned and operated in both our Caledonia and Hastings locations with financing available to those who qualify, we will find you the right vehicle to fit both your budget and your needs.
Let Broadmoor Motors save you time and money when buying your next quality, Pre-Owned Car or Work Truck and on your next Car Rental. Whether you need a short term car rental, long term car rental, a replacement while your vehicle is getting serviced or simply need to replace your car, minivan, truck or SUV with a great used vehicle, we can help you out. Broadmoor Motors is here for all your Car Rental, Car Sales, and Auto Service needs in the greater Grand Rapids and Barry County area. Give us a call at 616.698.9595 in Caledonia or 269.320.6304 in Hastings to see how we can get you back on the road!