Pull into any gas station in the last few months, and you’ll discover one common theme. Gas prices are rising higher than we could have imagined. The one place most Minnesota drivers are feeling the pinch is at the pump. If your budget has been taking a hit when you fill up for gas, then you’re not alone. While we can’t control today’s gas prices, we can increase our vehicle’s fuel efficiency. If you’ve been looking for quick ways to save at the pump or make each fill up last longer, we’ve got you covered with some quick tips to make your car more fuel efficient.

Check your tire pressure

Your tires are not only important for safety or a smoother ride, they can also affect your fuel efficiency. When your tires are not properly inflated, they can decrease your fuel efficiency by 3%. While not a huge impact, it can add up with other factors leading to more pit stops to fill up. We recommend checking your tire pressure at least once a month, and if you find a consistent leak make sure you stop in and get your tires checked by your mechanic.

Lighten your load

If you’ve been driving around with heavy bags of salt or sand for winter, or other heavy items for that matter, they could be impacting your fuel efficiency. The fact is that the heavier your car is, the harder it will need to work. Did you know that for every 100 lbs you have in your car, your car’s fuel consumption goes up by 1-2%? Consider cleaning out your trunk and storing any heavy items in your garage for a more efficient ride.

Use proper fueling practices

We know you may be tempted to invest in that higher octane gas to get more bang for your buck. But, higher octane doesn’t always mean more efficiency. If your car requires 87 octane fuel, and you put 89 or 91 octane into your gas tank, it won’t necessarily make your car more fuel efficient. Investing in higher octane than you need will simply cost more without any added benefit. Stick to your owner’s manual and choose the octane that’s right for your car.

Dial down your AC

While we love using our AC in the dog days of summer, using your AC on more pleasant days can weigh on your engine causing your car to be less fuel efficient. When it’s still fairly nice out, consider turning off the AC and rolling down those windows to make last fill up last longer.

Stop any idling

It can be convenient to keep your car on while you’re waiting for that friend to hop in, scrolling social media, or listening to the song on the radio before your next appointment. Idling, however, is not great on your car. Idling can consume ½ gallon of gas per hour – so consider turning off the car while waiting instead.

Schedule maintenance checks

A maintained car is a car that runs efficiently. Your vehicle can burn up to 30% more fuel if it is not properly maintained. Your mechanic can check your front end alignment which can decrease your gas mileage by 10% if not in alignment, check your tire pressure, change out your air filters which can decrease fuel efficiency if dirty, and inspect for any other issues affecting your fuel efficiency.

Nobody likes to pay more for gas, but following these tips can help you save more and extend your time between fill ups. In the meantime, if you’re ready to schedule your spring maintenance check, we’re ready to help. Simply give us a call and we’ll get your car checked and ready to drive efficiently all spring and summer long.