By Jimmy Jones, Contributor, US Daily Review.
Do you ever feel like we are being coerced into thinking the world is going to end? Or that we are the cat and say, gas prices are the proverbial mouse? It struck me recently that in the past we had similar headlines that would quietly pop up on the news radar about how gas prices were going to surge up to $5 a gallon in some places. Which they did. Then we had to sit through a year’s worth of people saying that they couldn’t afford to live any longer because going to Sam’s was too expensive, and we were all lead to believe that the Chevrolet Volt, Prius plug in and Ford CMax were to save our lives? And well, they haven’t.
Current gas prices seem a bit more “fair” to us at an average of $3.54 a gallon after the $4 way lay. Yet suddenly, the $7 a gallon fuel prediction has us stonewalling again. It just amazes me that there seems to be this fear that some grand wizard is fiddling with that tugs the string of the mouse and the masses start chasing it. We have to, right? Partly because we still have to get to work, church and school. Not to mention the need to eat, which if you don’t live on a farm, or do your own gardening, requires a grocery store. We are in the cycle, we have become the cycle.
Bottom line? If we are going to allow ourselves to get scared about fuel prices, lets cover a few things we can do that will aid in getting the most out of a gallon of fuel. You can apply these where you drive a 50 mpg diesel Jetta or 13mpg Navigator.
One thing I have always found helpful is Synthetic motor oil. It lasts longer (oil change intervals) and it lubricates more efficiently than conventional oil. So you save money with fewer oil changes and money at the pump with a smidge better MPG average.
Keeping the right air pressure is a must; the least resistance to the road the more efficient the car is.
Experiment around with different manufactures of gasoline/fuel. Sometimes you can gain a mpg or so just by burning a better made fuel. In some cases I have seen a car like cheaper priced fuels. It’s worth a shot.
Fuel filter/ Air filter
If your car has a fuel filter it never hurts to change it for a new one. Think of a water hose with a slight kink in it. That noise you hear at the kink is wasted energy. You want the pump in the tank to pump as freely as possible to the fuel delivery system for optimum performance. Same goes for air filters, make for certain your air filter is clean, perhaps even new. This is often an overlooked item and can drastically reduce the vehicle’s ability to mix air and fuel properly.
Spark Plugs (for gasoline engines)
If you are driving a gasoline-powered car and haven’t thought about spark plugs in the last 50-60k miles it is probably a good idea to get those replaced. The cleaner the spark, the more efficient the burn of gasoline, the better MPG you get out of a tank.
Cars are great machines and yes, we need them. As a car guy, I aim every day to get the most out of each of my vehicles – to keep them on the road and keep them running like new for years to come so that when the next spike in fuel prices arises I won’t be scared. Not enough to drive electric. Not yet anyway.
Disclaimer: USDailyReview.com, its staff or Jimmy Jones are not responsible for your vehicle in any way. As always, consult your owners manual and trusted mechanic or dealership for any specific maintenance on your vehicle.