The Ultimate Fuel Economy Improvement Guide - Chapter 3 - Maintenance

In Chapter 1 of The Ultimate Fuel Economy Improvement Guide, we looked at why fuel economy is so important.  In Chapter 2 we listed 8 ways that you could change your driving habits to help your get better fuel economy. In this post, we will give you 6 maintenance suggestions to further enhance your gas mileage.  We will discuss how keeping your vehicle properly tuned, replacing spark plugs and mass air flow sensors, keeping your tires properly inflated, using the correct grade of oil, and replacing your air filter can add up to improved gas mileage. Hansma Automotive is concerned about conserving fuel. For more information on how you can improve the fuel economy of your vehicle, contact us at Hansma Automotive today.


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1. Keep Your Vehicle Properly Tuned

On average, having a car properly tuned after it has failed an emissions test could improve its mileage by about 4%. This will depend on the type of repair that was needed and the quality of the work performed. For example, if a serious repair was needed, such as a faulty oxygen sensor replacement, then the improvement in mileage could be as much as 40%. It is recommended to replace oxygen sensors once a vehicle has traveled over 160,000 kilometres. Older vehicles should get a tune up from 16,000 to 20,000 kilometres; newer vehicles can go much longer between tune ups, from 40,000 to 160,000 kilometres. Check your manufacturer's recommended timeline.

2. Replace Old Spark Plugs

Spark plugs should be changed after about 50,000 kilometres. The spark plug's job is to ignite the mixture of air and fuel in your engine. In the process they get covered in carbon deposits.  New, clean spark plugs will help your engine to run more efficiently and in turn improve your gas mileage.

3. Replace A Dirty Mass Air Flow Sensor

The mass air flow sensor measures the air flow that enters your engine. It then takes the information and sends it to a computer that controls the ignition system, transmission shifting, and fuel injection. As it gets dirty, the information it collects becomes inaccurate. Replacing it can improve your fuel economy.

4. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated

Keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your mileage by about 0.6% on average to as much as 3%. If they are under-inflated, your gas mileage can drop by 02.% for every 1 psi drop in the average pressure of all of your tires.

You usually can find out the proper tire pressure for your vehicle on a sticker located on the driver's side door jamb, in the glove compartment or in your owner's manual. You shouldn't use the maximum pressure stamped on your tire's sidewall.

Not only does having properly inflated tires help save on your gas mileage, but they are also safer and your tires should last 2 times longer than under-inflated ones. Because your tires lose air naturally, it is a good idea to check their pressure monthly.

5. Use The Recommended Grade Of Oil

Using the manufacturer's recommended grade of oil in] your vehicle can help improve your mileage - from 1% - 2%. If you put 10W-30 oil in an engine that requires 5W-30, you could lower your gas mileage by as much as 1% - 2%. Similarly, putting 5W-30 into a vehicle which should have 10W-30 could lower the gas mileage by 1% - 1.5%. You could also buy "Energy conserving" oil. This type of oil contain friction-reducing additives. Also, engine oil thickens in colder temperatures and loses its viscosity thus making your engine work harder. Try purchasing oil that is designed for colder temperatures.

6. Replace Your Air Filter

If you own an older vehicle that has a carburetor, a clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by a few percent as well as improve your acceleration. On newer, fuel-injected gas vehicles or on diesel vehicles, a new air filter will just give you better acceleration. Depending on the driving conditions, air filters should be changed every 25,000 to 50,000 kilometres. If you don't drive your vehicle very often, you should change it after 3 years because your air filter will become brittle over time.

Why Choose Hansma Automotive

If you need assistance with any of the suggestions listed in this post, come and talk to one of the trained professionals who work at Hansma. We have been serving the Kitchener-Waterloo region with good old-fashioned customer service since 1987.  Read our post for tips on how you can improve your fuel economy, or for more information book an appointment with one of our knowledgeable staff.  Let us discuss with you how you can get the best mileage from your vehicle. We are conveniently located at 88 Shoemaker St. in Kitchener, Ontario.

Posted on March 12, 2017 .