Summer is here which means more traveling for you and your whole family. Fuel efficiency is on our minds more when we are driving more. Most of us can't just dash out and buy a new, more economical car. Also, for many of us, a smaller economy car just does not meet the needs of our family or business.
In reality, replacing a good reliable car just to gain a few miles per gallon may not be the most economical or environmentally friendly move anyway.
Today I thought I would offer some tips that can help you get the most out of every gallon of gas for the vehicle you drive now.
Let's start with the basics like tire pressure, since low tires can rob you of several miles per gallon. For every 1-pound drop in pressure on all four tires, you increase your rolling resistance by 1.4 percent. Based on that, you can see how being down several pounds on air pressure can increase rolling resistance by quite a bit. Look on the door sticker of your vehicle for
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Q. I have a 1994 Dodge Spirit and for years I got 20 to 22 miles per gallon. I retired in June last year, and since then the mileage keeps going down.
I know no longer driving 28 miles a day to work will drop the fuel mileage a little, but it is now down to 17 mpg.
I have taken my car to my place of service many times, for checkups, oil changes, etc. Each time they check everything they can think of.
Do you have any ideas? I know she is old, and maybe should be retired herself. But I have had no major problems with her in 18 years, and I'd like to keep her around for a while.
A. It seems you have done all you can maintenance-wise to get the best mileage, but some simple things can make a big difference, such as the condition of your tires and proper air pressure. You should also make sure the car is in proper alignment; all these items can work together to negatively impact your fuel economy.
You will also want to be sure that the proper o
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I recently received a follow-up question from the driver of a Pontiac Montana minivan whose fuel gauge was malfunctioning, always reading full. I had recommended he use a scan tool to measure the signal coming from the fuel sending unit on the fuel pump.
Q. I finally got around to looking into your advice on the weird behavior of our Montana. I unplugged the connector coming from the fuel tank and put an ohm meter between the purple wire (upper end of the sending unit) and the black/white wire (lower end of the sending unit) going to the PCM (protection circuit module). I read an open (…very strange). But when I rocked the van, the resistance was changing as the gas was sloshing around. After several seconds the ohm meter once again read open.
Unfortunately I only had access to a digital meter that doesn't give as precise a reading as an analog meter would. I guess when the van sits still for several moments (open sending unit reading), the PCM must interp
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