By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Automotive | Issue: November 2008
David Nicholson, manager of the accessory department at Jim Glover Chevrolet, offers drivers tips on improving their gas mileage.
It is no secret that gas prices are through the roof these days. But it doesn’t have to be a hopeless situation. According to David Nicholson, accessory department manager at Jim Glover Chevrolet, there are several things drivers can do to soften the blow on their wallets while at the gas pump.
The easiest, cheapest and most important thing you can do to improve your gas mileage is to adjust your driving habits. “You can save up to 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in town by not driving aggressively,” says Nicholson. “Aggressive driving means rapid acceleration as well as rapid braking. Many people don’t know that braking is just as bad as accelerating.”
Aggressive driving also means driving above the speed limit. “Gas mileage decreases rapidly when you’re driving above 60 miles an hour. In terms of dollars and cents, a good rule of thumb is that for every five miles per hour you drive over 60, you’re paying an additional $0.26 per gallon,” says Nicholson. “You can have significant, instant savings just by driving five miles per hour slower than usual.” A good way to manage your speed is by using the cruise control feature on your vehicle; it helps you maintain a constant speed and avoid revving the engine up.
Excessive idling is another driving habit that really drains your fuel. “You can have huge savings, up to 19 percent, by turning your car off if you’re going to be stopped for more than one minute. That’s why traffic jams are so bad for gas mileage – you’re just sitting there idling for long periods of time,” says Nicholson.
In addition to driving habits, vehicle maintenance is critical. “Replacing your air filter, which is recommended every 15,000 miles, can improve your gas mileage up to 10 percent,” says Nicholson. “Keeping your tires properly inflated will save you around three percent on gas and is key for safety and longer-lasting tires. Nitrogen is best for tires because it helps keep the tire pressure constant. We offer nitrogen at Jim Glover when customers come in for an air change.” Using the recommended grade of motor oil can also improve your gas mileage, by around two percent. Perhaps the most vital vehicle maintenance action you can take is to have serous problems repaired. “Fixing faulty oxygen sensors, EGR sensors and mass airflow sensors can improve your mileage up to 40 percent,” says Nicholson.
If you’re still interested in improving your mileage even after you’ve adjusted your driving habits and maintained your vehicle, a few aftermarket products are available that can help. “A tonneau cover on your pickup truck will increase the aerodynamics of your vehicle so there is not as much resistance,” explains Nicholson. “Aftermarket exhaust systems for pickups and aftermarket air filters can increase fuel mileage as well.”
Combining non-aggressive driving techniques, vehicle maintenance and gas-saving products will really add up to significant savings. The friendly staff at Jim Glover Chevrolet is glad to help drivers improve their gas mileage, offering products and maintenance services for all makes and models of vehicles. Call (918) 660-7530 or stop by today.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.