There are many aspects of a car that can have an impact on how much fuel it consumes. For example, the lubricant level and condition of the tires are very important when it comes to minimizing fuel consumption. Other components such as the filters or coolant can also have a significant impact on how often you have to refill the tank.
Where all of these points are concerned, bear in mind that by correctly taking care of your car, you can keep your fuel consumption under control. In fact, by having your car serviced according to the standards and timeline indicated by the manufacturer, you can even reduce your consumption. This is the best way to ensure that the engine operates properly, i.e. efficiently, and that consumption levels remain within the norm. A poorly maintained car will always consume more fuel.
Here are some tips on how to correctly look after your car:
- Get your car serviced as indicated by the manufacturer. If you bring your car to the garage at the set mileage intervals, you can help control your fuel consumption.
- Change the oil when recommended. Increasing the time between oil changes will cause it to degrade faster and will increase the level of dirt. This leads to a loss in cleanliness and reduces the protection of the engine, meaning that the engine ages faster and starts to consume more fuel.
- Read the maintenance manual. This is where you will find all the information about the quality of the oil required, which may be based on the SAE, ACEA or API grade system or the manufacturer’s own standards. By using the correct grade of oil, you can be sure that the product you are using will provide the maximum protection for your engine, that your fuel consumption will be within the norm and that your engine will stay “younger” for longer.
- Use synthetic oils. If they are recommended in the maintenance manual, use them. Remember that 5W-30 and 0W-30 oils reduce fuel consumption by around 3%, compared to 10W-40 and 5W-40 oils. If in doubt, ask the mechanic at a reputable garage if you can use these products for your vehicle.
- Change the air filter. Do this as often as necessary, as a dirty filter will diminish the power and efficiency of the engine.
- Don’t forget the oil filters. If the oil filters are dirty, they will affect the combustion process and increase fuel consumption. That’s why it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions.
- Make sure the tires are correctly aligned and inflated. If you drive with your tires at the right pressure, you will save on gas and increase their useful life. In fact, by driving with tires at a lower pressure than that recommended by the manufacturer, you will increase your consumption by roughly 0.25 liters over a distance of 100 kilometers. As for wearing out your tires, if you drive with them below the recommended pressure, you will more than likely have to replace them before having covered 80,000 kilometers.
- Keep an eye on the coolant. It has to be changed periodically according to the manufacturer’s instructions, as it deteriorates over time. Its purpose is to maintain the engine within an adequate temperature range to avoid wear problems caused by overheating. If this temperature range is not maintained, fuel consumption will increase.
- Remember the brakes. Changing the brake fluid according to the manufacturer’s instructions and having them checked periodically will allow your brake pads and shoes to last longer. It’s a question of safety above all.
While getting your car serviced might seem expensive, it actually winds up far more expensive if you neglect to maintain it. If you drive your car in the best condition, you will reduce the likelihood of having problems relating to faults, increase its useful life and optimize the engine. You will also optimize your fuel consumption. Don’t forget that to achieve this, it is very important to use a high-quality engine oil each time your car is serviced.