For car owners, expert tips on how to save on fuel

By Monico D. Mekaniko

Every car owner aspires to be fuel efficient especially in the days when pump prices continue to increase. There are a number of ways to increase fuel efficiency and one of these is by caring for your car’s tires.

While tires serve to provide traction on the road some factors also make the wheels contribute to overall efficiency. Tire manufacturer Michelin shares these simple yet practical tips on how to save on fuel.

Check if tires are inflated properly – Lack of inflation causes higher rolling resistance, which is the force needed by a tire while moving at a constant speed. The higher the rolling resistance, the more fuel is wasted. Always regularly check your tire pressure. When taking measurements, let the tires cool down to decrease pressure and to prevent getting false readings.

Avoid sudden acceleration and braking – Accelerating too fast or braking suddenly actually consumes more gas as the engine continues to rev. When slowing down, such as when approaching a red light, keep a slow speed and distance from the car in front instead of braking at the last moment.  Slowing down keeps your car’s inertia that can be used to rev again when there’s a need to accelerate.

Lessen baggage – Just like carrying something heavy with you, a car also consumes more fuel just to move when it is fully loaded. Most cars have a recommended capacity since they are also looking at maximizing fuel consumption of their vehicles. Carry only what the vehicle can store instead of forcing to bring more items just to save on trips. It’s more efficient in the long run.

Control air conditioning – One rule of thumb when driving at low speeds is to turn off the air conditioning unit and roll down the windows to save on fuel. This is because a car’s drag is not a factor at low speeds. Surprisingly, the opposite also happens when driving at high speeds; with the windows down, drag actually increases fuel consumption. When driving at constant high speeds such as in major highways, raise your windows and just turn on the air conditioning unit.

Choose good tires – Of course, another important consideration when trying to increase fuel efficiency is to know what tires work best for a vehicle. Certain cars need specific tires for better braking and handling. Always know what is recommended for your car.

Till next time, this is Monico D. Mekaniko, Va-va-vroom!

(Photo courtesy of Michelin Philippines)

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