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The team at Foreign Car Specialists provides several solutions that can help customers increase fuel efficiency. Alone, they may not save you a lot of money, but combined, you could save several dollars per each tank of gas.
Before we talk about how to increase your gas mileage, did you know you can get more gas for your money by filling up first thing in the morning- not last thing in the afternoon? Take advantage of the early morning cold by filling up your tank early in the day, while the ground temperature is still cold. The temperature of gasoline, diesel, ethanol, and other petroleum products plays an important role in getting the most for your money. Because the storage tanks are underground, the colder the ground the more dense the fuel. When it gets warmer it expands, so when buying in the afternoon or in the evening your gallon is not exactly a gallon. Station pumps don't measure actual volume or density, they assume volume based on flow-rate. The flow rate doesn't change with temperature but the density of the fuel does. So, if the pump is calibrated to deliver a gallon in 10 seconds based on full flow, if the fuel is colder, it will be denser and you'll get marginally more in that 10 seconds than if you fill up in the afternoon. How much more? If it's 60°F in the morning and 95°F in the afternoon, you could get about 2.5% more fuel in the morning for the same price.
Now, back to our original subject - Here are the top ten things you can do to get the most out of your gasoline budget:
1. Get your car tuned up - If you haven't gotten your BMW, Audi or Mini tuned up in the past 12 months, you're doing quite a disservice to your fuel efficiency. Tuning an engine helps it fire more efficiently and generally can eliminate emission problems. Just how much it will help depends on how poorly your car was tuned before servicing. On average, a simple tune-up should improve mileage by about 4%. In more severe cases, it is possible to see as much as a 40% improvement, that’s huge!
2. Have your mass air flow sensor cleaned up – From Porsche, Jaguar and Mercedes Benz to Acura, Lexus and Subaru - Today’s vehicles are more computerized than at any time before in history. However, just like with any computer, it can only process the information it’s given. The computer reads signals sent by other engine components. When those components are compromised, the computer will often become inaccurate. Take for example the mass air flow sensor, its job is to measure air flow into the engine and prompt the computer to regulate the ignition system, fuel injection and transmission shifting. When these sensors are dirty or damaged, the readings become inaccurate. This can affect the balance of the vehicle’s fuel economy, causing the engine to “work harder” than it really needs to. Cleaning up the mass air flow sensor will certainly improve engine efficiency.
3. Check the Oxygen Sensor. This isn’t very different from the mass air flow sensor issue except that the oxygen sensor is more difficult to get to in order to fix. The oxygen sensor monitors exhaust flow out of the engine, before (and after) the catalytic converter. If the exhaust flow of your Range Rover can’t be properly read, the engine and regulation of fuel injection will become affected. A faulty “O2” sensor will alter fuel economy because the engine computer is being misled by the dirty oxygen sensor. Most vehicle manufacturers recommended that sensors be replaced after 100,000 miles to help your vehicle operate at optimum performance.
4. Replace your spark plugs – These little guys have an important job. They take electric current from the ignition and spark the air/fuel mixture in the engine’s combustion chamber. Without spark plugs, your sporty little Fiat isn’t going very far. Have your spark plugs checked every 30,000 miles and swap them out when necessary, before they get to a point where they’re too worn down. New spark plugs can give your engine efficiency a noticeable boost.
5. Swap out the Engine Air Filter - Your air filter is what protects your engine from inhaling all the dust, dirt and various pollutants in the air. Its job is to clog up, just like a vacuum cleaner bag. Once it clogs up, your engine has a real tough time sucking air through it. The air flow that goes in and out of your engine has a substantial effect on how well your vehicle performs. Engine management systems will compensate for reduced airflow by using more fuel to keep running smoothly. Replace your air filter once a year and you'll be guaranteed better gas mileage.
6. Check your tires and alignment - Tires that are worn, out of alignment or under-inflated create additional resistance and will reduce fuel economy. For optimum gas mileage and handling check your tire pressure monthly.
7. Get Rid of the Roof Rack - You go biking or skiing on the weekends. Awesome. When you're commuting to work, that empty roof rack is adding aerodynamic drag to your car. More drag means more power to overcome it, which means worse MPG.
8. Clean those fuel injectors! Over time, carbon deposits accumulate on fuel injectors and intake valves. Clean injectors give a more even fuel-air mix which results in a more predictable burn in the cylinder, thereby contributing to improved gas mileage. If your injectors have never been done, or you've got more than 60,000 miles on them you should consider a Fuel Induction Service, a chemical processing which will clean up those nasty carbon deposits, enabling fuel injectors to work as efficiently as intended. It also cleans up carbon deposits that develop on the backs of the valves and the intake systems of the new gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines, which are notoriously known to develop carbon related emission and performance problems.
9. Whether you’re driving a Toyota, a Jeep or a Ford F-150, one commonly overlooked place that gets very dirty and gets little attention is the throttle body. The throttle body is the part that receives filtered air and supplies it to the intake manifold of a fuel injected vehicle. Similar to a carburetor, this part can get very gummed up with carbon residue. Therefore, at about 50-60,000 miles, it is necessary to clean it. The previously mentioned Fuel Induction Service will also clean the carbon buildup in your throttle body, restoring the fuel efficiency and performance that the engine has lost over time.
10. Try synthetic Motor oil – If you haven't already, upgrade to synthetic motor oil, which boosts engine efficiency, and change your oil on a regular basis.
Sometimes even simple maintenance-related fixes can have a major effect on your vehicle. When it comes to gas mileage, making sure your vehicle is taken care of can actually save you money in the long run. But, if you haven’t brought your vehicle in for routine maintenance lately, your fuel efficiency could be suffering.
Call Foreign Car Specialists today at 845-452-5005 or message us at to schedule an appointment to bring your vehicle in.
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