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CARFAX: Save Gas & Money Through Maintenance

Key Service Can Help Drivers Stretch Each Gallon

CENTREVILLE, Va. (July 19, 2022) – Gas prices are averaging nearly $5 a gallon and that means every drop counts. Drivers can stretch those gallons further, possibly saving hundreds of dollars a year. And it’s not just their driving habits – there are maintenance items that can have a big impact on a vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

CARFAX has compiled tips to maximize mileage, but how much can drivers really save? Let’s say you drive 12,000 miles per year, your car averages 25 mpg, and gas is $5 per gallon; if you follow these maintenance and driving tips, you could save up to $600 a year. If your car has several issues, or you’re usually an aggressive driver, your peak gas savings could be even higher.

How can you save? Start with maintenance. Here are seven tips:

  1. Properly inflate your tires. Make sure your tires have enough air to help optimize your car’s fuel economy. If your car’s tires are under-inflated, it can lower gas mileage. You can find your proper tire pressure in your car’s owner’s manual.
  2. Keep up with oil changes. Regular oil changes are key. If you want optimal fuel economy, your best bet is choosing the grade of motor oil recommended by your car’s manufacturer.
  3. Use the right gas. As with oil, use the gas recommended by your car’s manufacturer to achieve optimal fuel economy.
  4. Get tune-ups when needed. Common tune-up items such as replacing dirty fuel filters, checking hoses for leaks, and making sure the fuel injection system is operating efficiently will payoff at the pump.

According to the EPA, fixing an out of tune engine can improve your gas mileage up to 40%. You may think you’re saving money in the short term by waiting to get the work done, but in fact, you’re just burning cash.

  • Get low rolling resistance tires. “Rolling resistance” measures the amount of effort required to keep a tire rolling down the road. Fuel-efficient tires can reduce rolling resistance by well over 10% compared to conventional tires.
  • Drop extra weight. According to the EPA, an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle diminishes gas mileage by about 1%. As the weight grows, so does the mileage reduction. And the impact is greater on smaller vehicles. If you keep your trunk cluttered, clear it out.
  • Improve your car’s aerodynamics. Roof-mounted cargo can reduce your fuel economy by as much as 25%, according to the EPA. If you use a cargo box, remove it when not in use.

If you’re unsure of your vehicle’s maintenance history, check out CARFAX Car Care to better understand how the car was previously maintained. CARFAX Car Care is a free tool to track your service history and future needs, with timely service reminders. Finally, take the long view – CARFAX data shows that a well-maintained car is worth an extra $2,000 in resale value over one that hasn’t gotten its TLC.

When trying to save gas, behavior also matters. Lay off any aggressive driving tactics – speeding, sudden braking, or quick acceleration; these all hurt your fuel economy. Cruise control is a great tool, especially with highway driving, to maximize mileage. It also helps when you watch your speed – gas mileage falls fast at speeds over 50 mph. According to the EPA, each 5 mph over 50 mph is the equivalent of paying an extra 34 cents per gallon of gas.

For more information on how to save gas with good maintenance and driving habits:


Editor’s note: Interviews with a used car expert from Carfax are available anytime. Please contact Emilie Voss at EmilieVoss@carfax.com or call 703-934-2664 ext. 4462.


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