Servicing Tips - Fuel System
The Oil Changers Guide to Saving Fuel: Get Rid of Dirty Oil
A lot of us are asking ourselves the same question lately: how can we save on fuel? We are all cutting back, if not in fuel consumption, then in other areas of our lives.
Preventive maintenance is an important way that you can save fuel by improving fuel economy. One of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is to keep the oil in our vehicle topped up and clean.
Oil lubricates your vehicle's engine and keeps it running smoothly. If you're running low, there is increased friction in your engine. Friction creates drag, which means it takes more fuel to keep the vehicle motor running. This all translates to lower fuel economy.
Check your oil to make sure the engine is getting all it needs. Your owner's manual and service advisor at Oil Changers will tell you the proper viscosity (or weight) and type of oil for your vehicle.
Responsible Car Care
Dirty oil leads to a buildup of dirt and sludge inside your engine, which also increases friction. So even if there's enough oil, you're still getting that extra drag that reduces your fuel economy. That's why your owner's manual recommends getting your oil changed regularly. It's good advice.
While you're checking your oil, you should take a quick look at your transmission fluid as well. Your transmission also needs clean, adequate fluid to work efficiently. An inefficient transmission also translates into lower fuel economy.
Your service advisor at Oil Changers will be able to check your oil and other fluids, top them off or change them if necessary.
Your owner's manual will have recommendations on how often you should check your oil and transmission fluid, but you can also consult with the team at your local Oil Changers. The types of roads you drive on, how you drive, the climate where you live and the air quality in your area can all affect how often you should change your oil.
And don't forget that this will improve our environment as well. Improved efficiency translates to fewer emissions. Changing your oil as scheduled doesn't just help your vehicle (and your wallet), it helps keep the air clean as well.
PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand, New Zealand 8441
Fuel Filter Service
There are a surprising number of small, inexpensive parts that can lead to expensive engine damage when they fail. It doesn't seem right.
Fortunately a lot of those things can be taken care of in routine maintenance. They may not be easy to remember because it is a long list, but your local Oil Changers team can help you know what's scheduled to be taken care of.
Some of us really don't look forward to going in for an oil change and then getting a list of the other things that the manufacturer recommends.
But automotive maintenance is all about prevention and addressing small problems before they get big. Let's take the fuel filter for example.
You may not know this but the median age for private vehicles on our roads is over nine years. As vehicles get older they can accumulate small amounts of dirt in their fuel tanks. If that dirt gets into the engine it can cause thousands of dollars of damage. So somewhere between that dirty gas tank and the price of a great vacation is the lowly fuel filter. Generally its an inexpensive part that doesn't cost too much to replace and your vehicle will run better too.
A clogged fuel filter can't let enough fuel through. You might notice at first that your vehicle is running fine around town but struggles or sputters on the open road or when you accelerate. Enough fuel can't get through to meet the demands of higher speed. If it gets bad enough, your engine might just shut off or not start at all, which could be dangerous.
Some fuel filters have a bypass. When they get clogged, they allow dirty fuel to move around the filter element so dirt ends up in the engine. We've already talked about how expensive that can be.
The fuel filter is even very important for newer vehicles. The fuel is still dirty even if there isn't rust in the tank. It's just that the fuel filter will need to be changed more frequently as the vehicle gets older.
How often should you change your fuel filter? Check your owner's manual. Your Oil Changers service technician may be able to tell you as well. It's usually around 50,000 kilometers or so but can vary greatly between vehicle's.
It's good to know that your service center has your back. When you're motivated to maintain your vehicle's performance and to reduce operating costs, you'll think of Oil Changers as your ally - and maybe even your memory.
PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand, New Zealand 8441
How Do You Save Fuel?
No one likes to spend a chunk of change at the petrol pumps. Rising fuel prices, however, have spurred drivers to focus on how to improve their fuel economy. Nationwide, drivers can travel hundreds of thousands of kilometres less each month during times of high fuel prices but we still need to drive (we are car-lovers after all!), so it makes sense to try and increase our fuel economy however we can.
Let's look at a real life example. This man has one of those really big SUVs. Lots of kids and horses to haul around, you know. His family was planning a four day camping trip. Here's what he did to cut his fuel costs:
First, he installed a new engine air filter. Then he had his service center change his oil, flush his cooling system and service his front and rear differentials along with the transfer case. He also had his fuel system cleaned, replaced his PCV valve and breather element and he made sure his tires were up to the recommended pressure.
Now this cost several hundred dollars. But keep in mind, it all needed to be done anyway – it was all scheduled, and some of the work was overdue.
So he headed out, loaded with nine people and pulling a trailer loaded up with everything needed for four days of camping. When the trip was over, he tallied his fuel costs. Turns out, he got the best fuel economy on that vehicle up to that point. It had improved 25 percent! He saved $48.00 on that trip alone and the savings keep on coming every day.
Here's a quick summary of what you can do to save fuel. First get caught up on your routine maintenance. Nearly every scheduled service item can boost your fuel economy . If it's time for a service then get it sorted at Oil Changers. That's one big item.
If your check engine light is on, have your service advisor at Oil Changers figure out why and fix it. Check engine problems can be real gas wasters.
Proper tyre pressure and wheel alignment can really help as well. Try not to carry around a bunch of stuff. An extra 50 kg or so can cost a kilometer per litre.
Now you may not want to hear this, but the single biggest fuel waster for most people is their right foot. Zooming away from stop lights can really waste fuel. Take it easy on our roads: don't speed and plan ahead.
Finally, you may have noticed that we haven't mentioned any magic pills or devices that will double your mileage. That's because there aren't any. Some may help a bit, but there are a lot of "miracle fuel saver" scams out there. Don't shell out any to swindlers, you need it to buy gas!
Do some research and check with your friendly team at your local Oil Changers before spending your hard earned cash.
PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand 8441