With the cost of fuel at record highs and still on an upward spiral, it has never been so important to apply some simple rules to increase the fuel economy of your vehicle.
Wheel alignment or otherwise known as tracking can be summarised as having all four wheels running in the correct direction. There are many reasons for your tracking to go out of line, the most common to be hitting a kerb or a pothole or driving over a speed ramp.
Typical symptoms of a car that is out of alignment are uneven or rapid tyre wear, pulling or drifting away from a straight line, wandering on a straight level road or the spokes of the steering wheel being off to one side while driving in a straight line.
Proper aligned wheels mean the cars rolling resistance is minimised resulting in the vehicle significantly improving its fuel consumption. It also insures your tyres will wear evenly and avoid scrubbing the side treads away, giving your tyres maximum life.
Tyre pressures need to be checked and topped up regularly as they naturally leak and deflate by a minimum of one pound of pressure per month. When at their optimum pressure, tyres roll most easily and hence require less energy from the vehicles engine, so it burns less fuel. Worth noting also is that the recommended tyre pressures for all vehicles are for cold tyres and the air in your tyre expands when hot. So if you have driven more that two miles to a garage to pump them you will need to add four pounds to the recommended pressure to adjust for the expansion.
All tyres on the same axle should be from the same manufacturer and have the same tread pattern to insure safe handling and reduce rolling resistance. Leading tyre manufacturers balance the quality of their tyres between giving the best grip whilst having the least rolling resistance and road noise. Tyres are not simply black and round and as the only part of your car that is touching the road whilst carrying the load of the vehicle, it is worth noting that there is a vast difference between a “Quality” and a “Budget” tyre.
There are many fuel additives on the market today. Some will increase your power and some will clean your fuel system but there are also products that will increase your cars fuel mileage such as Dipetane, which is produced in Ireland. By simply adding Dipetane to your fuel it will improve your fuel economy by as much as 10%.
Oil breaks down and loses its effectiveness whilst cooling and lubricating your cars engine and therefore it is important to replace it regularly. A poorly lubricated engine increases heat and the friction of parts and will do irreversible damage. This then results in your engine needing to work harder and so will forever burn more fuel.
To avoid the cost of servicing your vehicle is a false economy. Clogged filters simply lead to burning more fuel along with the fact that preventative maintenance is by far the cheaper route. Having your car running in pristine condition needs regular attention and will return the cost savings consistently.