Fuel Miser? Be Wiser!

Tips on choosing the right octane for your vehicle duty.

The cost of gasoline is on the rise again. Why you ask? We won’t go into that, but what we will go into is fuel octane versus vehicle duty. With the rising cost of fuel many consumer are switching back to lower octane fuel to help offset the price. This is a more economical way to get you from point A to point B but can lead to costly repairs in some cases.

Higher octane fuels have more additives in them for cleaning and providing your engine with the potential to make more power. A more even and controllable flame front in your engines combustion chamber is what enables it to produce power well beyond the limits of standard unleaded fuel.

Before you fill you gas tank with low grade fuel the vehicle and the conditions under which it will be driven should be considered. Heavy duty towing vehicles should always use a higher grade fuel, without it costly internal engine damage can occur when the engine is under load. Light duty trucks and passenger cars should use a higher grade fuel whenever they are used under load conditions. Extra weight in the vehicle and steeper road grades can put a tremendous power demand on the engine, which makes it vulnerable to internal damage.

Here are some driving tips to help with your fuel economy:

[Actual fuel mileage is best determined by calculating the fuel consumed and mileage driven over three tanks of fuel or more.]

  • Fill your tank fully each time, get your fuel at the same station each time (if possible) and use your normal driving habits.
  • Cold weather and the use of oxygenated fuel will increase your vehicleƕs fuel consumption on a seasonal basis.
  • Taking short trips of three miles or less will decrease your fuel mileage.
  • Prolonged engine warm up periods and excessive engine idling will increase fuel use.
  • Stop & go city driving will decrease fuel mileage appx. 17% below freeway driving.
  • Freeway driving over the posted speed limit will decrease average fuel consumption by appx. 2.4 MPG for every 10 MPH increased above 40 MPH.
  • Loading down your vehicle with extra passengers or weight will decrease fuel mileage, especially if you are driving on hilly terrain.
  • Increasing the frontal area of your vehicle with even a light load will increase wind resistance, which will decrease fuel mileage accordingly.
  • Installing bug deflectors and other add-on items increases wind resistance and decreases fuel mileage by approximately 1 to 2 MPG. Faster speeds have a greater effect on mileage when these components are installed.
  • Driving your vehicle with the Check Engine Light in the instrument panel illuminated will cause poor fuel mileage and driveability issues.
  • Driving with your left foot resting on the brake pedal even lightly will cause decreased fuel mileage and premature brake lining wear.
  • Under-inflated tires will increase rolling resistance and cause a loss of up to one mile per gallon.
  • Tires should always be inflated to manufacturer’s specifications.

Remember, with the high price of fuel even a small change for the positive in your driving habits could make a significant difference in your fuel bill each month.