Car Care And Safety Tips For Improving Fuel Mileage

With today's high fuel prices and a strong focus on the depletion of our natural resources, it's worth taking a few minutes out of your day to make some minor modifications on your vehicle that will improve your fuel mileage. Honest-1 is providing you with the following Vehicle and Driving Tips that will affect the fuel efficiency of your vehicle.

Vehicle Tips

  • Keep your tires properly inflated and check them frequently.
  • Keep your front suspension and steering in proper alignment.
  • Use the thinnest viscosity oil that your vehicle's manufacturer recommends.
  • Keep your vehicle's engine in proper mechanical condition.
  • Keep your vehicle's engine in tune and make sure the air and fuel filters are clean.
  • Make sure your brakes are not dragging.
  • Repair body damage, crunched body panels add aerodynamic drag.
  • Do not use premium fuel if your vehicle does not require it.

Driving Tips

  • Avoid excessive warm-up time; modern engines do not require it.
  • Do not idle your engine for long periods; turn off your engine when you leave the car of have to wait a long time.
  • Avoid jackrabbit starts, or "dumping" the clutch; try to accelerate from a stop smoothly.
  • For newer vehicles with aerodynamic designs, close the windows and turn on the air conditioning while driving at high speeds.
  • For older vehicles with inefficient air conditioning compressors, use the ventilation system and close the windows, temperature permitting.
  • Anticipate merging traffic and stoplights; decelerate and accelerate smoothly.
  • Plan your trips wisely. If you need to go several places, plan a route that allows you to run most or all of your errands in one outing.
  • Unload unnecessary cargo. Extra weight effects fuel mileage.
  • Car pool whenever possible or practical.
  • Always drive in the highest gear possible.
  • Try to keep your speed constant by using cruise control when on long stretches of road.

Preventive Maintenance

Always check your owner's manual for specific recommendations for your vehicle. Honest-1 can provide you with a printout of recommended maintenance for your vehicle.

Preparing Your Vehicle For Summer

We are going to be a lot of driving this summer. How can I prepare my car for the trips ahead?

There definitely are some basic steps you can take to better prepare your car for the summer driving season. Here are five that will keep you and your car ready for travel!

  1. Check tires regularly for proper pressure and excessive wear

    Hot weather combined with underinflated tires or worn out tread can lead to disaster. Keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure not only improves fuel economy, but it also ensures that your car will handle optimally in an emergency and will help prevent blow-outs. Tire pressure specifications listed in your manual or inside driver door are for a cold tire therefore check pressures before you head out on the road.

    Look at your tires for any damage or excessive wear. An easy way to determine whether a tire has sufficient tread is to do a ?penny test?. Insert a penny into the tread with Lincoln?s head pointed down. If the tread does not cover Lincoln?s head, take your car to Honest-1 for a professional opinion as to your best options.

  2. Check cooling systems

    A significant cause of breakdowns is still related to coolant problems and engines overheating. The cooling system is what keeps your vehicle?s engine running at the proper and safe temperature. Making sure your cooling system is flushed and filled properly with the ideal mixture of coolant and water is an important part of summer car maintenance.

    Check your manufacturer?s recommendations for your vehicle?s maintenance schedule and if a flush is needed or even getting close make an appointment.

    If your temperature gauge does move to the red, turn on your car?s heat immediately. Doing this pulls the strain away from the engine. Then pull over and let your engine cool down. Do not drive a hot engine.

  3. A/C Service Lately?

    If your car does not blow cool air or the air coming from the vents is not as cold as it used to be, the system could be low on refrigerant or have a slow leak. Getting it checked out before it becomes a problem will not only save you time and hassle but will prevent you from costly repairs later. There is nothing worse than being on the road during an Arizona summer without a fully functioning air conditioning system!

  4. Change oil on schedule and keep full

    Engine oil must be replaced at recommended intervals using the weight/viscosity of oil required by your vehicle's owner manual. If your daily driving falls into the "severe service" category follow all maintenance intervals and recommendations.

    Honest-1 customer service advisors can help you choose the best oil for your car as well as give you options to help your car run the most efficiently.It is a good idea to check oil levels monthly. If you notice a drop in oil level or any small leaks, bring it in and let us check it out.

  5. Check the battery

    Unfortunately a battery gives little warning before it goes dead and can happen when you least expect it. If your battery is between 3-5 years old and you are setting off on a long trip, consider bringing it in to get it checked out before you leave. In addition, check for corrosion on posts and connections. Those corroded posts can also lead to light malfunctions or other electrical problems. Finally, have a pair of jumper cables in the trunk just in case. It is always better to be prepared for the unexpected.

    No one wants an emergency to happen, but unfortunately they do. Being prepared by maintaining your car and keeping a keen eye out for any problems will definitely save you time, money and hassle.

    Drive carefully and have a safe summer season!

Extending The Life Of Your Car

  1. The best thing that you can do to extend the life of your car and potentially save yourself a bundle of money is to have your car serviced on a routine basis. All car manufacturers have a schedule of recommended service for each vehicle they sell. Follow this schedule. Be sure to follow your schedule for fluid flushes.

  2. Check the level and color of all fluids at every gas refill. If you don't know how to check your fluids or know what color your fluid should be then ask your reputable technician to teach you. Any reputable automotive shop will be happy to teach you for free. Nothing lasts forever. Your vehicle's oils and fluids do break down and require replacement in order to properly lubricate. These fluids not only provide lubrication, they need to conduct heat; they need to protect from rust and corrosion; they perform hydraulic functions.

    The detergents and anti-foaming agents need to be maintained. Waiting for the engine to make noise or to burn oil or for the transmission to start slipping is too late. Waiting for the anti-freeze to turn brown and become contaminated would also be too late. The protective properties of these fluids change over time and their effectiveness diminishes. This can save you thousands of dollars in repairs to your vehicle and keep it operating safely.

  3. Change your oil and oil filter regularly to protect your engine and improve your gas mileage. Dirty oil or incorrect grades can increase engine friction, thereby reducing fuel efficiency. (Consider using synthetic oil which provide better protection and last longer than regular oil).

  4. Change the air filter to protect the engine by keeping impurities from entering the engine and improve your gas mileage. When your engines air filter becomes clogged it starves the engine for air. The onboard computers adjust for this by increasing the amount of fuel to maintain consistent firing in the cylinders. This can cause up to 10% in decreased fuel efficiency.

  5. Monitor your brake pad thickness and do not let them damage the metal parts such as brake rotors and calipers.

  6. Wash your car regularly so that it will not damage the body or undercarriage of your car. Pollutants in the air, bugs, tar, salt in air/road, dirt, sludge, and more all damage your car.

  7. Make sure that you keep your car aligned because it will increase the life of the tire and increase your safety due to improve handling.

  8. Keep your tires properly inflated. Having low tire pressure causes more drag between your tires and the road, thereby making your engine work even harder. Improper tire pressure can reduce the lifespan of your tires and gas mileage by up to 30% or more. Check your tire pressure when the tires are cold for accurate readings. Honest-1 recommends you perform a tire pressure check every time you fill your fuel tank. Another option is to have your tires filled with Nitrogen which is a more stable gas. Some of the benefits of Nitrogen in tires are less fluctuation in tire pressure, reduced tire pressure leak down under increased temperatures and longer lasting tire life.

  9. Rotate your tires at every other oil change (every 6,000 miles). Rotating your tires equalizes tread wear and maximizes the life of your tires.

  10. Start off slowly after you initially start your vehicle. Which means to slowly accelerate until your vehicle is up to operating temperature. Accelerating slowly saves gas and it reduces the stress on your engine since your oil is cold and thicker when cold.