Simple Solutions To Help You Save Money At The Pump This Fall

With gas prices still too high and no relief in sight Casa Latina is always on the lookout for information, tips and solutions that will help your familia where it counts these days; in your cartera aka wallet! The Holidays are fast approaching and that means increased road trips to fiestas and celebraciones. Our amigos at CarMD offer maintenance tips and “check engine” problems that have significant impact on fuel economy.

There are many small things we can do to save money and reduce the impact of rising gas prices on our carteras aka wallet:. 

Avoid Idling

Attention carpool mamás, papás and older hermanos. Idling for over 10 seconds uses more gas and causes more pollution than restarting your engine. While it’s not recommended to turn off your vehicle at a stoplight or while moving through a pickup line at the local fast food drive-through or school, it is a good idea to pull into an approved parking spot and turn off the engine whenever you expect your wait to be more than a couple minutes.

Heed Warning Signs

CarMD research shows that at least 10 percent of motorists have a “check engine” light on right now, and half have ignored the light for over three months. Dashboard warning lights alert drivers to problems that affect their car’s emissions output, reduce fuel economy, and ultimately cause mechanical damage. While it may seem like your vehicle is driving just fine, it’s often guzzling extra gasoline. For example, the no. 1 most common cause for “check engine” repairs is a faulty oxygen sensor. The O2 sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust and tells a car’s computer when there is either too much, or not enough fuel compared with oxygen for ideal operation. It costs less than $250 to fix, but can lead to as much as a 40 percent reduction in gas mileage if ignored – that’s more than $900 extra per year in fuel costs.

An Ounce of Prevention

Many drivers admit to stretching their dollars by extending time between schedule maintenance appointments.  In this case a penny saved may result in many hundreds of dollars spent in extra fuel costs and repairs. Air filters are a good example of how an ounce of prevention can save you money. You can inspect the filter yourself, shake out the dirt or vacuum it and re-use it, or opt to spend the $25 or so for a new one. Ignore a dirty air filter for too long and it can result in the need to replace a mass air flow sensor (MAF).  The no. 5 most common car repair, according to the CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™, a MAF can cause a 10 to 20% reduction in fuel economy, costing an extra $250 to $450 at the pump each year, and eventually resulting in the need to replace a much more expensive catalytic converter.

Make Friends

Whether your commute is 15 miles or 50 miles, carpooling saves on vehicle wear and tear, time and money.  It’s also a great way to meet co-workers, neighbors and friends. At today’s gas prices, most drivers are spending over $40 per week filling their tank.  Split these costs and you can put an extra $1,000 in your wallet each year, not including the money you’ll save on car maintenance and tires.

Lose Weight

Are you driving around with extra “junk in your trunk” or truck bed? By removing an extra 100 pounds of clutter from your vehicle, you can improve your gas mileage by several percentage points. A bucket of baseballs weighs about 25 lbs, snow chains weigh at least 10 lbs, and a set of golf clubs can weigh anywhere from 20 to 50 lbs.

 Keep Your Tires Maintained

Ensuring proper tire maintenance, tread and inflation can increase gas mileage by about 10 percent.  Changes in season or major temperature swings are a good time to double check your tire pressure, even if you have a tire pressure monitoring system on your vehicle.  It’s best to set them first thing in the morning to the high end of the manufacturer’s specifications (usually found on the inside of the driver’s door).

Thank you CarMD for offering easy to implement solutions that will help us save a some money and help reduce our carbon imprint along the way!!

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