Carson, CA – May 26, 2010 – As the summer driving season approaches and summer gas prices projected to average $3 a gallon, AutoMD.com (www.automd.com), the most comprehensive and unbiased free online auto repair resource, has released its Top Fives for Fuel-Efficient Summer Drives, a series of 'Top Five' things that any car owner can do to make his/her summer driving more fuel efficient. The tips include Top Five Easiest Mechanical Fixes and Top Five Driving Habit Changes, as well as some tips for dedicated DIYers and those who are willing to go the extra mile to make their engine sip rather than guzzle.
"With gas prices at $3 this summer, and the oil spill in the gulf creating more uncertainty just as the summer driving season starts, AutoMD.com has released its Top Fives for Fuel-efficient Summer Drives to help every car owner save money at the gas pump - while also reducing emissions," said AutoMD.com President Shane Evangelist. "Converting your engine to a plug-in or driving on vegetable oil is not for everyone - and, whether it is tightening the gas cap, easing up on that lead foot or removing a ski rack, our team of mechanics has provided a series of simple, tried and true tips to help anyone start driving more cost-efficiently!"
AutoMD.com's Top Fives for Summer Drives
Top Five Easiest Mechanical Fixes for a Fuel Efficient Summer Drive
- Replace/Tighten Your Gas Cap - Fuel evaporates through gas caps with broken or weak seals, potentially reducing your efficiency by 2 percent, polluting the air and allowing contaminants and dirt into your fuel. Click here for Guide on How to Replace a Fuel Tank Cap.
- Inflate/Change Your Tires - Tires that are not properly inflated have a higher rolling resistance, which reduces efficiency. By keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure, you can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent. By replacing your tires with efficient 'low rolling resistance' tires, individual vehicles could save up to 6 percent of gasoline use. Click here for Guide on How to Check Tire Pressure.
- Change Your Oil - By using only energy conserving or synthetic motor oil, you can reduce engine friction, improving efficiency by 1 - 2 percent. Click here for Guide on How to Change your Oil.
- Replace Spark Plugs - Misfiring spark plugs can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent, or $.75/gallon. Replacing them improves combustion and reduces emissions. Click here for Guide on How to Replace Spark Plugs.
- Replace the Engine Air Filter - Replacing a clogged air filter on an older car with a carbureted engine may improve fuel economy 2 to 6 percent under normal replacement conditions, or up to 14 percent if the filter is so clogged that it significantly affects drivability. Click here for Guide on How to Replace an Air Filter.
Top Five Habits-to-Change for a Fuel Efficient Summer Drive
- Cruise Don't Speed - Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas. Take advantage of cruise control to smooth out your throttling and keep your speed steady and fuel-efficient (but only on flat terrain, if you are driving hills, skip the cruise control, and keep the speed down).
- Lighten the Lead Foot - Rapid acceleration and braking can increase fuel burn by as much as 40 percent and makes toxic emissions five times higher - remember that a significant percentage of the energy needed to power your vehicle is burned up in acceleration. Slowly increasing your speed and leaving more room to slow down while braking will reduce your fuel burn and improve your gas mileage.
- Avoid Idling - Turn off your engine if you are stopped for more than 30 seconds. When you idle your engine, you are getting no MPG, adding to pollution and wasting money. Two minutes of idling uses up one mile of gasoline, and ten seconds of idling uses more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting it.
- Remove Excess Weight - Your car is not a storage unit! An extra 100 pounds can reduce fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent.
- Turn on the Ventilator/Turn off the AC/Roll up the Windows - The most efficient air is the air that comes in through your flow-through ventilator. Air conditioning or open windows (because of the drag) make your vehicle less fuel-efficient. But, for hot summer drives, turn off your A/C and roll down your windows when driving around the neighborhood or in city traffic, and do exactly the opposite on the highway - driving fast with the windows open can burn more fuel than AC.
For the Serious DIYer
For the serious DIYer, or the car owner willing to spend a little more to go the extra mile, consider the following: Engine Tune-up to make sure your engine is running efficiently (Click here for Guide on How to Perform a Basic Engine Tune-Up); Replace Oxygen Sensor as a faulty oxygen sensor can wreak havoc with your gas mileage (Click here for Guide on How to Replace an Oxygen Sensor); Upgrade Air Intake System with a cold air intake kit increasing the amount of oxygen for combustion; and Improve Aerodynamics by removing roof and bike racks and (for trucks) installing a Tonneau cover to reduce drag.