4 Fuel-Saving Tips for the Summer

Rising Temperatures

(image from Robert Couse-Baker under CC BY 2.0)

For us Southern California residents, the summer heat is no surprise, and with temperatures rising into the triple digits throughout Los Angeles County, running the air conditioner in your car is critical. Unfortunately, running the A/C can take a toll on your fuel economy, especially if your car hasn't been properly maintained. You might be wasting money on gas without even knowing it. While gas prices may have dropped ever so slightly in recent weeks, you shouldn't celebrate just yet. For LA, summer may be coming to an end, but with end-of-summer traveling, gas prices may sky rocket at any moment. At Sierra Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, we want to me make sure you are always prepared for a fuel price increase with regular vehicle maintenance and service. Read below to see how a few simple maintenance and driving tips can improve your fuel economy, even if you're running the A/C this summer.

Properly inflate your tires

Believe it or not, but the very part of your car that's always in contact with the pavement is one of the biggest factors that contribute to fuel economy. Proper tire inflation, which is around 32 PSI for most vehicles, is very important in maintaining your fuel economy. A low tire pressure will decrease your MPG, while increasing the tire pressure to above 32 PSI can actually give you a boost in fuel economy. When there's less air in the tire, there's more friction with the ground, thus less MPG. Although you'll see more fuel savings with higher tire pressures, you won't see any performance gains, either. In fact, you'll have less control over your car with over-inflated tires, so finding the perfect tire pressure for a good balance between fuel economy and performance is key to safe and efficient driving.

Replace your air filter

Your car's air filter is relatively inexpensive and very simple to replace. Getting rid of the dirty, old air filter can greatly improve your fuel economy by allowing the engine to breathe in clean air as you cruise around Los Angeles with the A/C on full blast. Your air conditioner puts a greater strain on the engine when the air filter is clogged up with dirt and dust, so replacing your air filter will help save you money at the pump.

Fuel Gauge Running on Empty

(image from Sean MacEntee under CC BY 2.0)

Drive more efficiently

Poor driving habits lead to poor fuel economy. If you've got a lead foot, this one's for you. Hard acceleration and hard braking are inefficient and unsafe driving habits. Accelerating from red light to red light isn't getting you anywhere quicker. Instead, it's negatively impacting your fuel economy. Gentle acceleration and braking goes a long way in saving you money. Improve your fuel economy by simply adjusting your driving habits to be more efficient.

Avoid rush hour traffic

The excessive idling and stop-and-go traffic that you experience during rush hour traffic can take a huge toll on your fuel economy. When you're sitting in stopped traffic, your car's engine is burning fuel, but you're not going anywhere. Put simply, you're wasting fuel. When you're in stop-and-go traffic, you only accelerate a short distance before having to apply the brakes, which wastes the energy produced by the engine. Avoiding rush hour traffic is a simple driving habit that can seriously improve your MPG. Plus, you'll be a little happier not having to sit for hours on the congested freeway.

At Sierra Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, we know how the summer heat wave and high gas prices in Los Angeles feel. That's why we're here to help. Having a properly running air conditioning system and well-maintained vehicle will help you make the most out of your everyday commute. Bring your vehicle to our Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram Service Center located in Monrovia, CA and let our experts get your car, truck, or SUV tuned up and running properly. Visit our dealership for service, or if you're interested in upgrading to a newer, more fuel-efficient vehicle today!