Servicing Tips - Fuel System
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
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 service center at Oil Changers can help you know what's scheduled to be taken care of.
Some of us in New Zealand really don't look forward to going in for an oil change and then getting a list of the other things 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 New Zealand roads is over nine years. When cars get older, five years or so, they've accumulated a lot of dirt and rust in their gas tanks. If that dirt gets into the engine it can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. So somewhere between that dirty gas tank and the price of a great vacation – is the lowly fuel filter: a very inexpensive part that doesn't cost too much to replace. And your car'll just run better too.
A clogged fuel filter can't let enough fuel through. You might notice at first that your car is running fine around town, but struggles or sputters on the motorway 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 cars. 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 service advisor at Oil Changers can tell you as well. It's usually around 50 thousand kilometers or so. Ask if it's time for a full fuel system cleaning as well. They often go hand in hand.
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 8441