This is one subject on which we all agree. We detest having to spend sizable chunks of our paycheques on fuel for our vehicles. Gas prices suck. Astonishingly, they’re up to $1.14 a litre in parts of Canada these days and all we can do about it is shake our heads in dismay and complain.
Experts, however, agree there are certain measures we can take that will at least help us improve gas mileage and combat the oil barons.
Here are some of their tips:
>> Make sure your vehicle is in good mechanical shape. Even spark plugs in poor condition can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 25 per cent.
>> Ask your mechanic to add a fuel-injector cleaner to your gas tank. Cleaner fuel injectors ultimately lead to better fuel efficiency.
>> Change your vehicle’s air and oil filters every three months or so.
>> Keep your tires properly inflated. Not only are underinflated tires dangerous, they devour fuel economy by as much as 25 per cent.
>> Reduce drag. Half your fuel is guzzled by accelerating, but the other half is expended when overcoming air resistance. Reduce your vehicle’s workload by removing anything that might cause drag, such as luggage racks, bike racks and ski racks.
>> Shut your windows on highways. Driving at 100 kilometres per hour or higher with your windows down reduces fuel efficiency. Your air-conditioning system uses less fuel than driving with open windows at highway speeds.
>> Lighten your load. Empty your trunk and back seat if possible.
>> Find the best gas prices. Of course. But then, don’t waste too much gas by hunting around too excessively.
>> Alter your commute time. If possible, schedule trips and errands for times when traffic is lighter.
>> Consolidate trips. Combine multiple visits with one excursion.
>> Don’t overfill. Trust the pump’s auto shutoff. Overfilling leads to wasted gas.
>> Make sure your gas cap is tight. Experts say improperly sealed gas caps allow millions of litres in fuel to simply vapourize every year.
>> Drive less. Walk. Ride a bike. Take public transit. Carpool.