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IMPROVING GAS MILEAGE – Facts and Fictions Number Two

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In this month’s messages we are sharing some driving tips to improve gas mileage and also help dispel some things we may have heard about gas mileage that are not so true.  With Houston gas prices nearing $4.00 per gallon, getting more miles from every gallon of gas is more important than ever.   This is especially true at this time of year when we face family car trips and vacations. 

Aerodynamics Is a Factor

                Modern automobiles – and even most pick-ups – have been designed to be aerodynamically efficient.  That means that any change you make in the way air flows over and around your vehicle will impact its fuel efficiency.  Family vacations frequently mean extra baggage and that may mean roof carriers, bike racks and even trailers; all of which will seriously reduce your miles per gallon.  The recent Consumer Reports study found that even at a steady 55 mph roof-top luggage racks and bikes in bike racks reduced fuel efficiency by 5 to 15 mpg.  So if it is absolutely necessary to carry things on the outside of your vehicle, be conscious of the effect those items will have on the wind resistance and “aerodynamics” of your travel.

The Air Conditioner Doesn’t Hurt Much

                Running the car A/C most days has little effect on gas mileage.  However, on those days when the temperature is in the 80’s or above (as we frequently see here in Houston), A/C use can have a real impact on fuel economy.  The Consumer Reports study found that A/C use on days with those higher temperatures fuel efficiency suffered by as much as 4 mpg.

Vehicle Maintenance Tips

                Although sometimes obvious, attention to a few vehicle maintenance items can be helpful to improve the number of miles we get per gallon:

·         Maintain tire pressure at the recommended level.  Soft tires may feel better but they use more fuel.

·         Smooth engine performance is more fuel efficient.  Often simply cleaning plugs and air filters will make a positive difference in both your ride and in miles per gallon.

 Norton Automotive Group Options

                We have a number of vehicles available should you need a new ride to better suit your vacation plans.  New or pre-owned, we have vehicles with EPA fuel efficiency ratings of up to 34 combined miles per gallon.  If another vehicle is in your plans, come see us.

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