Gas is not cheap, but it’s a necessity that your car requires to get you to and from everywhere you go. Aside from using gas apps like Gas Buddy, Waze, and Gas Guru to find the lowest price near you, performing regular, on-time maintenance can save you hundreds per year in fuel costs.
By keeping your tires properly inflated, you can save up to $900 per year on gas. Aside from saving money on gas, low tire pressure causes premature wear and tear to your tires, costing you even more.
You can buy a digital air pressure gauge for around $10 at any auto parts store or a standard tire gauge for just a few bucks. Your tire pressure should match the recommended pressure, which is normally found on a decal inside the driver’s door of the vehicle. Keeping your tires properly inflated only takes a moment of your time on a regular basis and will save you hundreds each year.
Your spark plugs should be changed every 100,000 miles. Misfires and missed combustion can cost you over $500 per year in wasted fuel. Most failures happen during the last 20,000 miles of the 100,000-mile life of the plugs, so consider replacing them at about 80,000 miles to save on fuel.
If your vehicle has a four-cylinder engine, the spark plugs may need to be replaced even sooner. Either way, replace them earlier than they are due, and you’ll end up saving at the pump.
Engines consume about 14 million gallons of air each year through the air filter. Older vehicles can see an increase in fuel usage by about 10 percent due to dirty air filters. Check your filter each time you change your oil, and replace it as needed–no less than once per year.
If your tire tread is low by even just .017 in, you’ll spend a little over $180 extra per year in gas. This is another preventative maintenance check you can do yourself by purchasing a tread depth gauge for about $2.
The savings mentioned are based on a vehicle that drives around 20,000 miles per year and gets 20 miles per gallon. Each vehicle is different, of course, but if you do not perform these tasks on a regular basis, you’ll pay more at the pump. One last tip is to keep your speed down to around 55 miles per hour. Head on over to the slow lane on the freeway, and it will save you up to $600 per year!