hand holding fuel pump to a car at a gas station

Basic maintenance tips for a more fuel efficient car

For most drivers these days, fuel efficiency is a must in order to maximize your money at the gas pump. Oil changes, tune-ups and filling your tires are all great ways to improve your car’s fuel efficiency, but there are a few lesser-known basic maintenance tips that are often overlooked that offer additional savings when it’s time to fill up. 

While it may seem obvious, it’s important to use the right oil for your vehicle. Whether you’re taking it in for an oil change or doing it yourself, be sure that your vehicle gets the correct grade of motor oil recommended in your owner’s manual. Using the wrong type of oil can negatively affect your vehicle’s gas mileage, lowering it by one to two percent. Certain motor oils feature additives that reduce friction may be chosen as a way to further your car’s fuel efficiency. To tell these types of oil from the rest, simply look for the American Petroleum Institute “Energy Conserving” symbol on the bottle. 

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How clean air filters improve car efficiency 

When it comes to older car models, maintaining or replacing clogged air filters is a necessity. A recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy found that a clogged air filter can reduce an older car’s gas mileage by as much as 14 percent. Simply maintaining the filter of your older vehicle can save you a lot of grief at the gas pump. While replacing the air filters of newer models doesn’t have as large an impact on your MPG, it can make an improvement in your car’s acceleration time. 

Isolated illustration of a dripping gas pump nozzle

Replacing old engine parts for better gas mileage 

Your car’s engine is the brain of the operation and keeping it in top condition is important if you want to get the most out of your car. When it comes to your engine, each component makes a big difference. For example, worn out or inferior spark plugs can cause inconsistent firing, reducing your vehicle’s performance and fuel efficiency. Replacing old or inferior parts with new, improved versions can create a smoother ride and better MPG. For the best results, choose the parts designed specifically for your vehicles’ engine which are manufacturer-approved. 

These simple maintenance tricks are easy ways, when added to your usual tune-ups and oil changes, to optimize your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. See our inventory for a selection of fuel-efficient models.