Fuel Efficiency for Boulder Drivers – Save Money With These Tips

April 7th, 2011 by

Every summer, the Rocky Mountains beckon Boulder drivers to visit. With gas prices consistently increasing, it’s in your best interest to pay more attention to the ways you can maximize fuel mileage than to the soaring prices at the pump.

If you’re lucky enough to drive a vehicle with good fuel efficiency such as the Honda Fit, you’re one step ahead of the pack. But no matter what you drive, there are a few tricks that can be used to get the most bang for your buck.  Here are 8 simple ways to maximize your gas mileage while enjoying a beautiful Colorado summer:

1. Pack light – Clean out the junk from your trunk.  Every 100 pounds of added weight in the back of your car can reduce fuel economy by as much as 2%.

2. Keep up with maintenance – Make sure to follow your car’s recommended maintenance schedule.  An engine in need of a tune-up can operate about 4% less efficiently.  Don’t just follow what your car says; even if your vehicle doesn’t show the phrase “service required” or “check engine”, it doesn’t mean that your car doesn’t need a tune up.   If you’re not sure whether your car needs service or not, call a trusted service center, like the one at Fisher Honda in Boulder.

3. Drive responsibly- The government estimates that the most fuel efficient driving speed is between 40 and 60 miles per hour for most vehicles. Driving the speed limit can dramatically improve fuel economy. Speeding and rapid acceleration and braking can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 33% at highway speeds and about 5% at slower, local speed limits.

4. Check your tires – Under or over-inflated tires change the way the car handles, adding drag and speeding wear, and can reduce fuel efficiency by about 3%. Make sure to look on the driver’s side door panel or owner’s manual for information on proper inflation levels.

5. Use the right motor oil – Check the driver’s manual for the proper-grade oil.  Using the wrong oil can lower fuel efficiency by 1% to 2%.

6. Create a fuel-efficient route – Plot out errands for the shortest route possible.  One longer trips, try to factor in weather, construction, and traffic to avoid periods when the car is idling. Many GPS units offer alternative route plotting. Google Maps also shows traffic conditions

7.  Skip premium fuel – Aside from high-end sports cars that list premium fuel as a requirement in their owner’s manuals, most cars will do fine on regular unleaded.

8. Swap vehicles – If you have more than one vehicle, you should drive the more fuel-efficient one whenever possible.  The difference in miles-per-gallon is more than ever obvious on long trips.  If you’re not sure which of your vehicles has the best fuel efficiency, use this handy fuel cost calculator.

Posted in Fisher Honda News