While we hear the same tips about improving gas mileage all the time, we never hear theme rank ordered from the best to the least helpful. Number 1 is non-agressvie driving. Got that! But is tire inflation really that helpful? How to resolve the conflict bewtween the tire*s molded PSI pressure of 42 max PSI and the Toyota Corolla door frame lable which recommends 32 or 34 psi. Can you help resolve this?
YES! Tire inflation is critical -- not only for better gas mileage
but for safety! Underinflated tires use more of the vehicle's energy to
roll, a concept known as rolling resistance. A properly inflated tire
rolls easier and needs less energy to work. In addition, underinflation
causes tires to wear unevenly, which can reduce tire life.
Underinflation can also damage tires and lead to tire failure.
for the second part of your question, the inflation pressure molded
into the sidewall of the tire is a maximum pressure. Over 42 psi, the
tire is overinflated. I suggest setting inflation to the manufacturers recommended setting which can be found on the driver's door frame on most vehicles.
〉 Answered on May 24th, 2007 by Mary Aichlmayr, Managing Editor at Tire Review Magazine
Good question. Our expert has some great answers for you.
Here is a great article about tips for saving (including tire pressure):
12 Steps to Getting Better Gas
by Amy Mattinat for Ask
Patty, Author of "How To Buy A Great Used Car," available at www.usedcarexperts.com
There are a
number of things you can do to ease the money coming out of your wallet to pay
for gasoline to power your car. The easiest and most effective way to save
money on gas is to park it. Hide the keys from yourself and walk or ride a bike.
If you need to go a greater distance try carpooling. This will cut your fuel
costs in half and you don’t have the expense of maintaining a car. If you live
in a larger city, public transportation can replace your car plus it eliminates
the hassle of finding a parking spot.
But let’s get real. For most of us
owning and driving an automobile is a necessity. For others, it’s our freedom to
come and go as we please and we have no intention of giving that
Before you can start
getting better mileage, you need to find out what kind of gas mileage your car
is getting. Put a pen and small notebook in the glove box of your car. The next
time you fill up the tank, record the odometer reading and reset your trip gauge
to zero. From then on, every time you fill the tank subtract the new mileage
from the old mileage. Take this number (the miles you traveled between
filling-up) and divide by the quantity of gas you bought. This is your car’s
miles per gallon or mpg.
Example: You traveled 300 miles and put in 10
gallons of gas. 300 divided by 10 = 30 mpg. If you don’t like what you’re
getting or just want to do even better, take some of these fuel saving
1. Slow Down! According to the Car Care Council,
there is an aerodynamic drag on your car that at 70 mph is double the drag then
at 50 mph. slowing down can increase your mileage. Each mph driven over 60 will
result in an additional 10 cents per gallon down the fuel
2. Drive kindly! Don’t be a tailgater or an
impatient person that passes everyone. All that rapid acceleration and hard
braking not only wastes gas, but is annoying and can be dangerous. This
can lower your gas mileage by 33% on the highway and 5% in the city driving,
which can result in 7 to 49 cents per gallon.
excessive idling! You get zero miles per gallon when the car it just sitting
there idling away, and it also burns more gas than restarting the engine, puts
wear and tear on the engine and adds to toxic
4. Minimize air conditioning! In city driving
using the air conditioner in hot weather can increase your fuel consumption more
than 20%. An efficient way to utilize the A/C is to use it to cool off the car,
then turn it off and use the air vents to circulate the air. You can do this
repeatedly if it gets stuffy and hot in the car. Sunroofs and tinted glass also
help to keep the car cool.
5. Travel Smart. Using a roof rack or a carrier gives you additional cargo
space with smaller cars, however a loaded rack decreases fue l efficiency by
5%. If objects will fit in the trunk this will reduce wind resistance and
increase fuel efficiency. But, make sure you empty out the trunk afterwards
because carrying around unnecessary items that weigh over 100 pounds also
reduces an automobile’s fuel efficiency by 1 to 2%.
6.Remember to check your tires for
proper inflation! If your tires are under inflated then it can cost a mile or
two per gallon. By keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure, they will
wear longer and can improve your gas mileage by about 3.3%. You should check
your tire inflation pressure (including the spare) at least once a month and
definitely before every long trip.
7.Are you in alignment? When your
car’s wheel are aligned this will reduce tire wear, give you better gas mileage,
and improve the handling.
8.One-stop shopping! Plan your shopping so you can
do all your errands in one day. Park the car in a central location and walk
between destinations. Several short stop and go errands can use twice as much
fuel than a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance.
out your gas cap. According to the Car Care Council, about 17% of the vehicles
on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing
altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every
10.Is your air filter
dirty? The air filter is easily accessible and simple to change. Replacing a
dirty, clogged filter can improve your gas mileage by as much as 10%, which is a
savings of about 15 cents per gallon.
11.Give your car a day at the “car
spa” approximately every 30,000 miles (depending on the model). Vehicles have 4,
6 or 8 sparkplugs that every 1,000 miles fire as many as 3 million times. This
creates a lot of heat, electrical and chemical erosion. The worn out and dirty
plugs need to be replaced on a regular basis. A well maintained, tuned-up car
may improve gas mileage by about 4 %, which saves you fuel, and money and
reduces long-term maintenance costs. There are also many sensors that help keep
the engine running smoothly and efficiently. Replacing a failed oxygen sensor
could improve your gas mileage as much as 40%.
12.Know how to handle the gas
pumps. When the gas pump turns off, stop the pump! Don’t try to add a couple
more splashes to even up the dollar amount. A lot of newer cars don’t have room
for any more gas and anything else those extra splashes will end up on the
ground. plus In the warmer weather those extra splashes can expand and cause an
These are simple things you can do that will make a big
difference to the overall cost of keeping your automobile’s insatiable hunger
filled. Following these steps you can add miles to every gallon with your coupe, sedan,
wagon, SUV, minivan and pickup truck!
Amy is one of Ask Patty's Automotive Expert