Higher Urbana fuel prices aren't going away any time soon. That's not good news for our wallets. A lot of Urbana drivers are trying to find ways to cut down on fuel consumption and hang on to some of their hard-earned money.
North Americans drive billions of miles less during months of high fuel prices. That's right, billions. Of course Illinois vehicle owners can't stop driving altogether, so we still need to find other ways to cut fuel bills.
Preventive maintenance at PDR in Urbana and good vehicle care can actually pay for themselves by lowering our fuel consumption. Here's a real-life example of how that can work.
A family planned a four-day camping trip. Before leaving, they took their SUV into PDR for an oil change. They flushed the cooling system, serviced all three differentials and cleaned the fuel system. They replaced the PCV valve and breather element. Then they checked the tires to ensure they had enough air.
This was several hundred dollars in maintenance and repair. You may be thinking how the family could possibly recoup the cost in gas and save money. First of all, the repairs all needed to be done anyway. Even if the costs aren't recouped, many of them will pay for themselves by preventing even more costly repairs later. Also, the family had planned and budgeted for the routine maintenance, so it didn't cut into their trip allowance.
The SUV pulled a one-ton trailer and hauled everything the family needed on their camping trip. At the end of the trip, the owner was surprised to learn the SUV had actually gotten better gas mileage than it ever had before—even with that heavy load. The repairs and maintenance at PDR had improved the gas mileage by 25%! The family saved $48.00 in gas on their four-day trip. And they are continuing to reap rewards from the improved mileage.
So what can you do to save fuel? First, stay caught up on routine maintenance at PDR. Almost every maintenance item listed in your owner's manual will maintain or improve your fuel economy. Second, take your vehicle into PDR for scheduled tune-ups. And third, take care of needed repairs. You may be surprised at how much you save at the pump and probably with the improved vehicle performance as well.
If your Check Engine light is on, find out why and take care of it. Some of the problems that set off that warning light can seriously reduce fuel efficiency.
As you schedule preventive maintenance, don't forget your tires. Proper tire pressure and wheel alignment are both essential to good fuel economy.
Here's some more auto advice about some simple things you can do to improve fuel economy, beyond maintenance and repairs:
Dump the junk. More weight in your car equals more fuel. You'd be surprised how much stuff people carry around in their cars. That adds up to a lot of extra fuel. One hundred pounds of extra stuff in your vehicle can add up to the loss of one mile per gallon of fuel.
Get the lead out. No, don't speed up, slow down. Get the lead out of your right foot. The single biggest drain for most Urbana vehicles is speeding or sudden accelerations. Slow down and go easy on turns and lane changes, and don't treat every stoplight and stop sign like a green flag. These small changes can add up to quite a bit of change in your pockets.
We haven't mentioned the pills you can drop in your gas tank or special devices you can hook on your fuel line in order to increase fuel efficiency. There's a simple reason for that: they don't exist. There may be some truth behind some of these claims, but most of them are full-out scams. And if any of these things do actually help, it's not nearly as much as the things we've listed here.
Be smart. Your vehicle and your wallet will thank you for it.
1008 N. Cunningham Avenue
Urbana, Illinois 61802