Gasoline prices are soaring all across the country, and Canadians are once again feeling the pinch at the pumps. According to fuel price aggregator GasBuddy, gas prices are expected to hit a four-year high in 2018 off the back of rising international demand, an appreciating dollar and a weaker than average loonie.
With fuel prices forecasted to rise by an extra 5 cents per gallon over the remainder of the year, car owners will have to take matters into their own hands if they’re going to soften the impact on their wallets. Thankfully, there are a slew of strategies available that will allow you to increase your vehicle’s fuel economy and make the most out of the gas you’ve got.
At 123Quanto, our automotive experts have compiled this handy list of tips to help you with your fuel efficiency.
An average tire will lose about 1 PSI of pressure every month, with even greater losses expected in the winter due to the thermal contraction of air inside the tires. So if you’re wondering why you’re always ending up with flat tires despite the absence of any obvious punctures or tears, then a lack of regular pressure tests is likely to be blamed.
Even without the threat of an impending flat tire, a less than optimal inflation will cause increased rolling resistance and drag on your vehicle, which inevitably translates to higher fuel usage. To keep these factors in check, you should habitually check your tire’s PSI against the recommended inflation level provided in your car manual.
Tires that are under-inflated by just 10 PSI can cost you over 8 KmPG, that’s real money you could be putting back in your pocket with a simple routine of weekly check-ups.
If your car doubles up as a storage container for all your excess baggage then you might be adding a few extra digits to your annual fuelling expenses as well. Not only does extra weight cause your engine to work harder to move the vehicle, it can also cause subtle imbalances to develop in your vehicle due to added weight on the rear axle.
To minimize these concerns, carry out a thorough spring cleaning of your car interior to remove any unnecessary supplies and accessories. At the same time, do make sure to keep any objects you do require on a regular basis, to save yourself a few wasted trips back home.
An unchecked idle engine can consume up to half a gallon of fuel every hour, so if you’re stuck in traffic for any longer than half a minute you’re far better off turning off the engine altogether. Don’t worry about warming the engine either, as long as you’re driving a well-maintained modern vehicle, the car should be ready to go within 20 seconds of turning the ignition.
If you’re in the market for a new car and you’re looking for fuel efficiency, try to find a vehicle with automatic stop-start technology. This handy feature can save you up to 5% in fuel consumption every year.
Chances are you don’t pay much attention to the gas cap on your car, but if you do, you’d notice that there’s a rubber sealing on the part that’s responsible for creating an airtight barrier over your gas tank. The purpose of this barrier is to prevent oxygen from leaking into your fuel, because the more air that enters into your gas tank, the more gas your engine burns.
Most modern cars will have sensors which will notify you if this seal is broken, but even if your car doesn’t have this handy feature on-board you should keep a close eye on your fuel cap. While a new fuel cap may cost you $20-$30, an oxygen-rich gas mixture could reduce your fuel efficiency by up to 20% over the course of the year.
Taking your car into the shop at recommended intervals can do wonders for its fuel efficiency.
· A clean air filter can increase fuel efficiency by up to 14%
· Old motor oil will create more and more friction on your engine over time, replacing this lubricant with a recommended synthetic oil will decrease this load drastically, and increase fuel efficiency by up to 4%
· A bad spark plug can decrease fuel efficiency by up to 30%, a well-versed mechanic will pick up on the need for replacement right away and save you money in the process.
Map out your daily activities in advance and combine errands into a single trip where possible to lighten the burden. If you need to leave 30 minutes earlier or later to avoid rush hour traffic on your commute, then incorporate these adjustments into your schedule. By the same token, if you’re able to find alternative routes with less traffic and fewer stoplights, then make use of these roads instead.
Families come in different shapes and sizes, but regardless of the number of people in your household, one thing’s for sure: you need a safe, reliable set of wheels to handle their transport on a daily basis. From SUVs to sedans, fuel-efficient compacts to minivans - gone are the days when the erstwhile station wagon was the only choice available for moms and dads.
No matter how much money you have sitting in the bank, your vehicle represents a serious investment, and like any significant purchase, buying a new car requires careful thought and consideration. Whether you use your car heavily or not, it will begin to lose value almost immediately from the day of purchase.
With vehicle sales topping 2 million for the first time ever, 2017 was another year of rapid growth in Canada’s auto industry. So, if you’re looking to upgrade your wheels or enter the car market for the first time, then 2018 seems as good a time as any to make your big-ticket purchase.