Santos Automotive Center   
(504) 822-7658
Mon - Fri   8:30-6  
Saturday  8:30-12

Car Care Info

Car Care Info
How to Improve Your Car’s Gas Mileage
Here are some of the things you can do to ensure improved gas mileage for your car:

Driving Habits
  • Keep your car clean. Mud on the undercarriage can weigh a significant amount and slow you down.
  • Combining errands into one trip saves you time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Trip planning ensures that traveling is done when the engine is warmed-up and efficient, and it can reduce the distance you travel.  This will also save you the cost of restarting your engine, which uses a lot of gas.
  • Avoid air conditioning when possible. However, when driving at higher speeds, having your windows open also creates drag.
  • Don’t throttle the gas or brake pedal! Sudden starts or stops use more gas than gradual changes in speed. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.
  • Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner (AC) use. Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked if you anticipate a lengthy wait. Turning your engine on and off excessively, however, may increase starter wear.
  • Limit car warm-ups in winter.
  • Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent. Clear out the trunk. More weight equals more drag.
  • While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph.  Avoid high speeds. We know this is almost impossible to resist but you can improve your gas mileage by up to 15 percent driving at 55 mph rather than 65 mph.
  •  If your car is equipped with overdrive gearing use it as soon as your speed is high enough. When you use overdrive gearing, your car's engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear.
  • Use cruise control. Maintaining a constant speed is ideal for improving your gas mileage.
Servicing Your Vehicle
  • Relace the spark plugs in your engine regularly. This way, the air and fuel mixture will burn cleaner and more efficiently.
  • Improve the intake/output system. By allowing gas to get in and exhaust out of your vehicle you will improve the vehicle's overall performance and gas mileage.
  • Reduce friction. You can improve your gas mileage by 1–2 percent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by 1–2 percent. Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by 1–1.5 percent. Also, look for motor oil that says "Energy Conserving" on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.
  • Check your oil! Low oil makes your engine work harder.
  • Change your filters. Dirty filters can sometimes increase the amount of fuel your vehicle uses by as much as 10 percent.
  • You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.Check regularly to ensure your wheels are fully inflated and your alignment is good.                                                        The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver's side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner's manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire's sidewall.    
  • Get regular engine tune-ups and car maintenance checks. A lot can go wrong with a car. Damaged spark plugs or transmission problems can also contribute to poor gas mileage.
  • According to the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association, 90% of ALL transmission failures are caused by overheating. Most of these can be blamed on worn out fluid that should have been replaced. We offer transmission fluid flushes and services to ensure long life from your vehicles transmission.
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