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Gas pump on Long Island, NY.

Five Tips to Help You Save Money on Fuel

Posted at Fri, Jun 24, 2022 9:00 AM

Prices at the fuel pump are nearly 50 percent higher than what they were last year, and many Long Island drivers are starting to feel the pinch. A return to lower fuel prices may not be happening any time soon, and that is why many people are looking to find ways to save money on fuel. To help you out in that regard, our Westbury Toyota staff have come up with a few useful tips to follow that can help you save some money the next time you go to fuel up your vehicle.

Keep Up With Recommended Maintenance

If your vehicle is kept in proper working order with all recommended maintenance being performed routinely, you may be looking at an average fuel mileage increase of up to 4 percent, says Mike Winters of CNBC. Certain problems, such as malfunctioning oxygen sensors, can take a serious toll on your fuel mileage, so it is always a good idea to adhere to the mileage-based tune ups as recommended in your vehicle’s manual. For vehicles that are newer, it is typically recommended that an inspection be performed every 20,000 to 30,000 miles.

Go Easy When Accelerating and Braking

People who speed quite often are using more fuel than people who obey the speed limit, and this is because gas mileage will decrease quickly once you are traveling over 50 miles per hour. The more the engine has to work to maintain a high speed, the more fuel it will use. Frequent abrupt braking can also waste fuel, and that is why it is better to coast when going down a hill or approaching an intersection or a red light.

Remove Unnecessary Weight From Your Vehicle

A lot of drivers carry a bunch of things around in their back seats, trunks, and truck beds as a way to be prepared for potential issues such as snow storms or bad road conditions. However, a lot of extra weight can have a negative impact on your fuel mileage, so go ahead and remove any bags of salt and sand you might be carrying. An extra 100 pounds can reduce your miles per gallon mileage by 1 percent (relative to the vehicle’s weight), and while it seems like a small amount, every little bit counts.

Avoid Idling

Allowing your vehicle to idle can cost you extra money when it comes to fuel – depending on the size of the engine and the use of the air conditioner, idling can consume nearly half a gallon of fuel per hour. This is more of a concern in older vehicles, as most new vehicles have engines that will automatically shut off when the engine idles. Leaving your car running in the driveway while you get ready to go or leaving it in the parking lot while you run into a store are all wasting gas, so only start your vehicle when you are ready to depart to avoid wasting gas.

Avoid On-Vehicle Storage

While cargo containers and bike racks are convenient, they can also increase the wind resistance and when that happens, your vehicle will have to work harder in order to maintain speed. Fuel consumption can increase by as much as 20 percent due to aerodynamic drag, so you want to eliminate anything that contributes to that. Roof-top cargo boxes are among the worst for this, and a rear-mounted cargo box is a more fuel efficient option.

Every Bit Helps

Fuel prices are so high that it is affecting many people’s summer plans as they cannot afford fuel for road trips or camping excursions. It has become necessary for many people to take whatever steps possible to maximize fuel mileage, and following the tips listed above will help with that. Ridding your vehicle of excess weight wherever possible, being aware of heavy acceleration and braking habits, and keeping up with recommended maintenance can all go a long way toward improving your fuel mileage.

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