Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


Improve The Fuel Economy of Your Car - Vol.84

Bottom line is that vehicles cost a lot of money. They cost money to buy and money to maintain and their value starts depreciating the moment you drive it off the lot.

Whether you are driving a super-sized SUV or an efficient two-seat hybrid, it's likely that there are a few minor changes you can make to make your car run a little more efficient. Saving money on gas is a good thing if you can do it!

Of course downsizing is the most obvious way to save money but if you've got six kids to taxi around, you really don't have a lot of choice in the matter. What you can do though is look for ways to help your vehicle run more efficiently. These are a few pointers to help make your vehicle do just that.

Change Oil/Check Filter
This one is a given if you want your car to run efficiently. An air filter allows your engine to breathe. If it's dirty, the air flow will be restricted and your engine will not run so well. Kind of like trying to breathe with a sock in your mouth. Pretty tough because there isn't much air getting through!

Filters are pretty simple to change. Just take it out and have a look at it. If you can't see light through it, then you need a new one. Consider buying a 'permanent' filter that only needs cleaning because it allows a much better air flow than a paper one.

Check Tires
Did you know that under inflated tires is the most popular reason for crappy gas mileage? With a 'soft' tire your vehicle needs to exert more energy to turn it, than it would if properly inflated. Hence your vehicle isn't running as efficiently as it should. Check the owner's manual for proper pressure

Lay Off The Pedal
You're not in a race car driver! With an automatic, accelerate gently so the transmission can do the shifting properly. With a standard, make sure you shift fairly quickly, ensuring you're not revving the crap out of your vehicle. If you want to accelerate, simply downshift.

Easy On The Air
The air conditioner uses energy and this takes away from the efficiency of your car. At lower speeds you're better off rolling down your windows and enjoying the elements nature throws your way. At higher speeds however, the resistance from open windows and your sunroof may use more energy than having your air on low. Bottom line, if you really don't need to use your air conditioning, then don't.

The Trucks Are Doing It Right
Have you ever noticed that the trucks seem to avoid shifting and braking if possible? They just cruise along at a constant speed. Well this does good things for their fuel economy because shifting, speeding up and slowing down constantly is not going to help your vehicle run more efficiently. Chill alongside the truckers and your gas mileage will only get better.

Easy On The Show Pieces
Nice big shiny wheels may look snazzy and handle well but when it comes to fuel efficiency, it's just not going to happen. Keeping the proper size of tire on your car is going to help you become more efficient.

Relax and Consider Driving the Speed Limit
It goes without saying that the faster you drive, the less efficient your vehicle runs. In other words simply lowering your speed, will help you get better fuel efficiency.

If you habitually cruise at 15 over on the highway, try driving the speed limit for a few weeks and see just how much more efficient your car is. You'd be surprised that speeding really doesn't save you that much time but it does cost you more money. Not to mention the fact that if you happen to get a ticket, you're 'efficiency' goes straight out the window.

These adjustments may not seem like a lot but if you add them all up, they really do make a difference with the efficiency of your vehicle. Every little bit counts and it's up to you to decide whether saving money is important to you or not.