All About Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is the relationship between distance traveled and amount of gas used. When studying fuel economy, different methods are used to evaluate the actual performance of the vehicle. Our vehicles fluctuate in fuel economy because of make/model design and personal driving habits. There are many design implications that impact a vehicle's fuel economy, such as size, shape, engine, & purpose.

We at Saddleback Automotive want to help you get more bang for your buck and have provided tips on how to improve your vehicle's fuel economy below.

How to Improve Your Fuel Economy

  • Avoid excessive acceleration or braking.
  • Drive calmly. Sudden jerky stops negatively affect your fuel economy.
  • Four wheel drive vehicles should only be put in 4WD when necessary. Engaging all four wheels increases the amount of power (fuel) needed to power your vehicle. If you are driving your 4WD on flat surfaces, try to leave your vehicle in 2WD mode for improved fuel economy.
  • Try to avoid “traffic time” if possible. Driving during high congestion periods is one of the most common ways to burn your fuel.
  • Slow down; your vehicle's fuel efficiency decreases dramatically at higher speeds.
  • Maintain your vehicle! Expert, vehicle maintenance helps to ensure your vehicle is running at its optimum performance level. This means changing the oil and air filter at regular intervals.
  • Check tire pressure; incorrect tire pressure reduces your vehicle's fuel efficiency and the life of the tires considerably.
  • Watch what you're hauling. The heavier the vehicle is, the more fuel it requires to power itself.

How Vehicle Manufacturers Help

Start-Stop Vehicles

Start-stop systems (“smart-stop”) are able to save gas by automatically turning off the engine when your vehicle comes to a stop. More and more common today, they also have the capability to automatically restart the engine when you step on the accelerator. Start-stop systems can improve fuel economy and provide a huge benefit when you find yourself in conditions where the engine would otherwise be idling, such as on our congested highways.

Improved Aerodynamics

Vehicle's with reduced wind resistance have improved fuel economy, especially at higher speeds. Many car manufacturers are improving aerodynamics by perfecting vehicle shapes and by installing moving parts that close off the grill, which allows air to flow unhindered around the vehicle instead of into the engine, where it creates resistance and drag.

Lighter Vehicles

Reducing vehicle weight improves fuel economy, so manufacturers have begun to redesign their vehicles to weigh less while maintaining performance and safety. For example, some manufacturers have begun replacing redundant steel components with aluminum, which is considerably lighter.

Orange County Automotive Services

At Saddleback Automotive, we strive to provide you with an alternative to dealerships by providing you with excellent service and the best possible repairs. We are continually updating and upgrading all of our diagnostic equipment in order to serve our clients confidently, knowing that despite all the changes in technology, we are prepared for any automotive challenges that come our way.