Maintain Your Car
Under-inflation or over-inflation of tyres can:
Cause uneven tread wear
Weaken your tyres
Impact fuel consumption
Eventually, you could have an inconvenient flat tyre or even a dangerous blowout. Over-inflation means the weight of your car is not distributed evenly across the entire tread but is instead concentrated on a thin strip in the centre. Under-inflation means the tyre is soft and the outside edges work harder than the softer centre. The extra rolling resistance makes your car work harder to move and increases fuel consumption.
Be sure to check your tyre pressures regularly, and maintain the recommended pressure listed in your owner’s manual. Also, you can usually find this recommended pressure on a sticker posted on the door pillar or in the glovebox.
Each of your tyres will wear differently due to its position and the type of car you own.
So tyres wear evenly, remember to balance and rotate your tyres according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Check tread wear, using a depth gauge or seek professional advice.
Improve your fuel consumption
1. Choose the right octane
If you are using an octane grade that is too low for your car, something other than the spark plug can ignite the fuel in the engine. If your car detects abnormal ignitions, its on-board computers will slow down the car’s timing so severe damage does not occur. This slowing down means you are no longer getting optimum engine performance or miles per gallon.
Check your owner’s manual to learn about the correct octane for your car. Don’t upgrade to more expensive octane ratings unless your manufacturer recommends it.
2. Keep tyres inflated to correct levels
Under-inflation means the tyre is soft and the outside edges work harder than the softer centre. The extra rolling resistance makes your car work harder to move and it reduces fuel efficiency.
Be sure to check your tyre pressures regularly, and maintain the recommended pressure listed in your owner’s manual. Also, you can sometimes find this recommended pressure on a sticker posted in the car, on the door pillar or in the glovebox.
3. Don’t drive at high speeds
Driving at 65 mph as opposed to 55mph increases fuel consumption by up to 20%.
4. Change your air filter
This is important because air is just as crucial as fuel in the combustion process that powers the engine. Air is drawn through the air filter, then the air intake manifold and into the cylinders. There, it mixes with fuel to create the small explosions that power your car.
A dirty air filter prevents the cylinders from drawing in enough air, and affects the air/fuel mixture. This can result in poor fuel economy.
5. Have your fuel system professionally cleaned
Dirt, sand and other impurities can clog your fuel filter and starve your fuel injectors. Starved or clogged fuel injectors can impede engine performance and reduce fuel efficiency.
When to change your oil
To keep your oil clean and your engine healthy, a good rule of thumb is to change your oil and filter every 6 months or 6,000 miles.
Also check your oil level with the dipstick every month. Check the condition of the oil as well. Brand new oil is light amber and relatively clear. After a few minutes of use, however, it becomes much darker.
If the oil looks extremely dark or grimy, it may be time for a change.