Import cars are quite popular among North Carolina drivers. Models made by Toyota and Lexus tend to be especially reliable and efficient. Subaru is another highly recommended imported brand. If you’re looking to maximize the fuel economy of your import car, take a look at these simple tactics.
1. Get Regular Tune-Ups
In order for an import car to deliver an efficient performance, it needs to be serviced at the recommended intervals. If your vehicle has started to run poorly, this is a tell-tale sign that a tune-up is needed. The most important aspect of a modern tune-up involves replacing the spark plugs and ignition wires.
When a vehicle’s spark plugs become worn, gas mileage tends to take a noticeable hit. Because your engine will have trouble maintaining the proper air-fuel ratio, you’ll be spending a lot more money at the pump.
2. Slow Down
Do you have a lead foot? If so, this could be ruining your import car’s fuel economy. Research shows that speeding can increase fuel consumption by up to 30 percent. When traveling on the highway, try to keep your speed under 60 mph.
It’s also important to avoid aggressive acceleration. As you’re leaving a traffic stop, gradually apply pressure to the gas pedal as opposed to stomping on it. Take a peek at your vehicle’s tachometer, which is the gauge that shows engine rpm. When accelerating, you should avoid allowing the tachometer to exceed the 3,000-rpm mark.
3. Stop Idling So Much
Unnecessary idling wastes a great deal of fuel. It also contributes to environmental pollution. This is why some states have enacted laws that ban excessive idling. Some of today’s newer import cars actually feature an automatic engine-stop feature, which helps save fuel in stop-and-go traffic.
Even on extremely cold days, don’t allow your car to idle for a long time. Not only is this an extremely wasteful habit, but it also actually puts greater stress on the engine. After running the engine for about one minute to get the oil flowing, gently drive your vehicle until it reaches normal operating temperature.
4. Check Your Tire Pressure
Don’t forget to check your import car’s tire pressure at least once a month. Aside from compromising your safety, low pressure creates more friction on the road. A bigger load will then be placed on the engine, which translates to lower fuel economy.
For less than 10 dollars, you can buy a digital tire pressure gauge. It’s inexpensive and easy to use. To be on the safe side, keep this tool in your trunk at all times.
5. Take Advantage of Cruise Control
If your import car is equipped with cruise control, you can utilize this feature to save a lot of gas. It helps eliminate inefficient driving habits like using too much throttle. While activated on long highway stretches, cruise control can improve your fuel economy by up to 15 percent.
However, remember to only turn on cruise control when traveling on flat roads. Using the system in hilly areas will negate your fuel savings.
6. Use the Correct Motor Oil
Your import car probably comes equipped with a dual-overhead-cam engine. This type of engine typically uses lightweight motor oil. Using a heavier grade is bound to decrease performance and fuel efficiency. To find out your vehicle’s recommended oil type, simply look in the owner’s manual.
7. Choose the Right Gasoline
You always need to fill the tank with the recommended type of gasoline. If your engine is tuned to burn regular unleaded, don’t waste money by choosing high octane. This is simply a waste of money.
Typically, only high-performance import cars require the use of premium gasoline. In the event that regular gas is used in these vehicles, damage to the engine could result. Sluggish acceleration is yet another likely consequence.