SAN DIEGO — Gas prices in San Diego have been soaring over the last few weeks with prices averaging over $4 a gallon and some stations are nearly $5 a gallon! This has people scrambling to find tips and tricks to get the most out of the gas they have purchased.
Auto Expert Brian Bowersock from West Automotive talked with Morning Extra about some common misconceptions about gas saving and what you can do to get the absolute most out of your fuel.
A common misconception about gas is that the shortest way home is always the best for fuel economy. If your route home has a lot of hills you may think about finding a route that is flat. The penalty for going uphill can’t be overcome by the times you go downhill. The flat route can be up to 20% better for fuel economy, even if it is a little longer.
When you are thinking about the route you take home, also take into consideration the amount of traffic you hit. Congestion kills fuel economy by up to 40%! An hour of idling uses almost a half-gallon of fuel. It is recommended that you turn the engine off if you’re going to sit for more than a minute. Another misconception is that it takes a large amount of fuel to restart an engine. This simply is not true. It takes the equivalent amount of fuel as idling for a few seconds.
Brian also gave a few simple tips to get the most out of your fuel economy.
- Engine Performance: Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4%.
- Tire Pressure: Keep tires properly inflated to improve gas mileage by up to 3.3%. Many vehicles lose 3 -4 miles to a gallon because of low tire pressure.
- Motor Oil: Improve gas mileage by up to 2% percent by using the grade of motor oil recommended by the manufacturer.
- Air Filters: Replacing clogged air filters on older vehicles can improve fuel economy and will improve performance and acceleration on all vehicles.
- Gas Cap: Damaged, lose or missing gas caps allow gas to vaporize into the air.
- Check the weight you have in your car: Adding just 100 pounds of “junk in your trunk” candrag your fuel economy down by 2%.
- Drive slower: In a V6-equipped 2007 Honda Accord, fuel economy peaks at 31.6 mpg at 61 mph, but it drops to 21.2 mpg at 90 mph. That’s a 33 percent difference. Use cruise control at highway speed, and make a seven percent improvement.
- Road hogs: Aggressive driving has a 31% mileage penalty compared to moderate driving
- Fix It: Addressing a serious maintenance problem, like a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve mileage by as much as 40%, according to www.fueleconomy.gov.