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Improving Fuel Economy

Updated on August 15, 2014

Easy Car Maintence

  • Check and clean air filter
  • Change spark plugs
  • Check and adjust Tire Pressure

Regular Vehicle Maintenance

One of the best ways to ensure your car is running efficiently is to take of of your car! Just like people that go to their doctor for yearly physicals to check their health, cars need to be checked. Cars or trucks need to have regular scheduled check ups to keep them in proper running condition. Regular scheduled maintenance will help keep your car or truck running efficiently allowing for better miles per gallon (MPGs), which in turn can save you money at the pump!

With regular scheduled maintenance and average repairs cars and/or trucks can see up to 10% increase in fuel efficiency!1,2

1. Estimates for fuel savings from vehicle maintenance, keeping tires properly inflated, and using the recommended grade of motor oil based on Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc., Owner Related Fuel Economy Improvements, Arlington, Virginia, 2001.

2. Keeping Your Vehicle in Shape.


1 - Air filter

A dirty or clogged air filter will cause your car or truck to lose performance capabilities by causing less air flow to the engine. It is important to check your air filter regularly to see if it needs cleaned or changed. Although keeping a quality functioning air filter will not directly improve fuel economy, it will help keep your engine running efficiently.

Air filters

There are many air filters out there, some cheap and some can get more expensive. More expensive ones tend to be air filters that are reusable filters that when dirty only need to be cleaned and then can be reused.

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2 - Spark Plugs

Changing your spark plugs is a cheap and easy way to keep your car or truck running efficiently and is easy and cheap to do. If you are looking for Do it Yourself (DIY) options for car maintenance and increasing fuel economy then chaining your spark plugs is a good place to start because it is easy, cheap, and requires few tools.

Types of spark plugs:




Misfiring spark plugs can cause a decrease in fuel economy by as much as 30%, which could cost you $0.94/per gallon potentially at the gas pump.

DIY Car Maintence


Tire Pressure

Tire pressure may be one of the most important and probably one of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve fuel efficiency! All that is needed is a tire pressure gauge and air. Many gas stations have air pumps that are free. Having tires that are not properly inflated can reduce fuel economy as well as cause severe safety factors. Tires that are under-inflated or over-inflated can cause failure of the tire which could potentially cause damage to the car or truck or to the people in your car or other drivers if you cause an accident.

Keeping your tires properly inflated can increase fuel economy by close to 4%! To find out the proper tire pressure for your car look for a sticker on the driver side door jamb, in the glove box, or look in your owners manual. DO NOT go by the recommendation or maximum PSI on the sidewall of the tire!


Using Correct Gas and Oil

Using the wrong type of oil for your car or truck can reduce the fuel economy of your car or truck by 1-2%. Check your car or truck user manual to make sure you are using the correct gas and oil.

Ex: Using 5w-30 in a car that species that you use 10w-30 can cause a reduction in the fuel economy of your vehicle by 1-2%

Monthly Check List

  • Tire Pressure
  • Fluid levels
  • Air Filter
  • Spark Plugs
  • Oil check/change

About Fuel Additives

The EPA has done studies that have shown that fuel additives do not add any benefit to your fuel efficiency in your car or truck. But you will have some people that will swear by certain fuel additive products and their benefit to improving gas milage. With the EPAs research showing no real increase in fuel economy it could be a waste of money to buy these products if it costs more to purchase the product than the product saves you in gas prices.


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