It’s that time again. Yes, the time where millions of Americans will watch the ball drop and then scramble to write down New Year’s resolutions that will surely be broken by February. In fact, 80% of all New Year’s resolutions will be broken by February (Business Insider). We’re good at making some plans to be a better person, but we aren’t good at following through. Maybe we just need a better incentive to stick to our New Year’s plans! You know what seems to motivate many people? Money. So, we would like to suggest some New Year’s resolutions that put some money back in your pocket instead of in your gas tank!
Car maintenance can help you save money on gas, and that’s something we can all get behind. Fuel prices seem to rise steadily, and no matter how much money you make, you could always find something better to do with it than buy gas. So, we want to give you 4 car maintenance resolutions that can save you gas money – but only if you follow through! (You knew there was a catch, right?)
• Resolution #1: Keep an eye on your tires!
Tires make an obvious difference in the way your car rides and how easy it is to drive, but they also have a not-so-obvious impact on your vehicle’s fuel economy. Believe it or not, a tire that is underinflated by 20% can impact a car’s fuel mileage by 10%, which is a huge difference (Traction). So, one of the easiest ways to spend less at the pump is to keep an eye on your tire pressures. All vehicles built after 2008 have a built-in tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that alerts you to a low tire(s) on your dash. If your vehicle doesn’t have a TPMS system, check the pressure once a month or at every oil change to see where you stand.
• Resolution #2: Get your oxygen sensor checked.
The oxygen (O2) sensor on your car is used to monitor the engine’s air/fuel mixture so the powertrain control module can make adjustments to optimize fuel economy, emissions and performance. Sensors deteriorate with age, can become contaminated, and both can cause the O2 sensor to slow down when responding to changes in that air/fuel mixture. On older cars, it was recommended that you change the sensors in your car every 50-100k miles. On today’s modern vehicle, the number is a little more of a moving target, but you have a sensor that will let you know when it’s time for a change. Don’t ignore it!
• Resolution #3: Get some fresh air.
A clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by up to 10% and up to 15 cents per gallon in fuel savings (Cars Direct). That is a huge amount over the course of a year! Your manual will probably tell you to change your engine air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, and that’s a pretty good gauge. If you notice lower fuel economy or ignition problems, head to your neighborhood car care professional and get it checked out!
• Resolution #4: Put a plug in it.
Spark plugs might be tiny, but they make a huge difference in your car’s fuel performance. How much of a difference? Bad spark plugs can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 30% (Investopedia). As the name suggests, the spark plugs spark combustion in your engine, so if they misfire or are working poorly, it can impact your gas mileage negatively. When is it time for a change? That depends on the type of spark plugs your car requires, but it’s usually around 30,000 to 100,000 miles.
The $99.95 Winter Maintenance Special at Rad Air will make sure that you are getting the most out of your car’s fuel economy potential! Don’t wait for the New Year to improve your car’s gas mileage and save money. Book your appointment today, and ring in the New Year instead of ringing up the money at the gas pump!