Save On Fuel: Think About Car Maintenance!
While the price of all fuels, including diesel, has passed the symbolic 2 euro mark on average in France, tips for saving fuel are more relevant than ever. Perhaps you have decided to use your car less or to adopt the good habits of eco-driving. But have you thought about car maintenance? We explain why pampering your car can help you use less fuel.
Vehicle maintenance also counts
When you want to lower your bill at the pump, you usually decide to take your car less and replace it with public transportation, biking or walking for short daily trips.
In addition, certain driving tips, grouped under the term eco-driving, also help to reduce the consumption of one's vehicle (see our article on the subject opposite).
We don't always think about it, but the third lever for saving fuel concerns auto maintenance. In fact, a poorly maintained vehicle can show overconsumption of fuel of up to 25%.
Watch the air filter
If you want to ensure proper engine maintenance to save fuel, the first mechanical component to watch is the air filter.
A dirty air filter alone will cause you to use 3% more fuel. When dirty, this filter limits the amount of air that enters the engine. As a result, your engine will use more gasoline or diesel fuel to get the same combustion.
To avoid this problem and excess fuel consumption, it is recommended that you replace the air filter every 12,000 to 20,000 km.
Remember to change the candles
The candles are another important part of the engine since they are what produce the spark in each cylinder that allows the air-fuel mixture to burn.
If you forget to change them every 30,000 to 60,000 km according to the manufacturer's recommendations, the spark plugs, too, can cause the vehicle to over-consume and over-pollute.
Dirty spark plugs increase deposits in the engine and release harmful particles into the exhaust.
As you can see, in order to avoid pollution and save fuel, it is important to take care of your car's maintenance in general and spark plugs in particular.
Check tire inflation
Another important area to check for fuel savings is tire inflation.
This is because under-inflated tires are dangerous and fuel-intensive. Not only do they pose a risk of blowout at high speeds, but they also increase your vehicle's fuel consumption.
This overconsumption is estimated at 3% more fuel for every 0.5 bar of missing pressure. So it's in your best interest to measure your tire pressure 'cold' every month. This means you must have driven less than 5 km before performing this measurement.
To reduce your car's fuel consumption, you should rectify any under-inflation and you can even add 0.3 bar to the recommended pressure.
Lighten your vehicle
You probably already know that the overall weight of a vehicle has an influence on its fuel consumption. That's the reason why high-end manufacturers lighten the weight of their models with carbon fiber or Kevlar...
Even if your vehicle is more ordinary, you too can lighten its weight in two ways:
- by regularly emptying the trunk of unnecessary items that accumulate there
- by removing all exterior accessories, such as a roof box, bike hitch on the tailgate, or roof rack, immediately after use.
These accessories are great for vacationing, but they have one major drawback: they alter your vehicle's airflow coefficient, resulting in 10 to 20% more fuel consumption.
Therefore, to save fuel, you should remove all accessories that attach to your body and weigh down your vehicle as soon as possible.