Making Your Fuel Last Longer

As fuel prices keep rising, getting better fuel economy is a simple way to keep more money in your pocket. Here are some tips on saving money by going longer between fill-ups.

  • Plan trips in advance. Make a list of things you need and get more done in each trip. This won’t really increase your car’s fuel mileage, but it will cut down on the amount of trips you make (and the amount of gas you use).
  • Get a lighter car or remove weight from the one you have. Weight is a big impact on a car’s kinetic energy; if you’re not in the market for a car, take all “extras” out of the car you’re driving. Every 100 pounds in your car raises fuel use by one to two percent.
  • At the pump, fill your fuel tank halfway and keep it above ¼ full. If your gauge gets lower than that, you could burn up your fuel pump.
  • Take it easy. The quicker you go, the more your engine must work. Exceeding the speed limit can decrease fuel mileage by one-third. Below 60 mph, other factors decrease fuel economy.
  • Use your cruise control. With most driving situations, using this function reduces fuel use by keeping your speed constant.
  • Keep acceleration smooth and throttle use moderate. Modern engines work at peak efficiency when air flow is moderately high.
  • Carefully plan driving routes. Try to take the one with the least traffic and fewest turns/stops. When possible, take highways instead of city streets.
  • Keep your foot off the brake as much as you can. Braking uses energy from already-burned fuel, and accelerating afterward uses more gas than if you were moving at a steady speed. When in town, look ahead and try to coast whenever you’re coming up on a stop sign or red light.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated. This can reduce your fuel use by 3%. Tires lose about one PSI a month. When it’s cold out, they will lose even more. Keeping your tires full of air will help you avoid lopsided tread wear, as well. Check your tire pressure at least once per month.
  • Get a tune up. An engine that’s correctly tuned will run at maximum power and with peak fuel efficiency. Keep in mind, though, that if your BMW service center is tuning your engine for power, they will likely disable any efficiency measures.
  • Change your air filter regularly. Dirty filters lower fuel economy and can even cause the car to stall at idle.

You don’t have to let high fuel prices make a dent in your bank account. Follow the tips above, and you can drive without worrying about the pain at the pump.

This post was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of Main Dealer Discount who can help you lower the cost of servicing your car. Photo : iotae

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