Week 22: Let’s Drive On
Since driving is a huge part of every budget right now this week we concentrate on a few more ways to save when driving.
Vehicle gas caps. About 17 percent of the vehicles on the road have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether, causing 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate every year.
Underinflated tires. When tires aren’t inflated properly, it’s like driving with the parking brake on and can decrease fuel efficiency by a mile or two per gallon. Under inflation also causes increased wear on tires. Tires are very expensive ranging from $100 for the cheap ones that last a year or two and $1,000 which can last 50,000 miles.
Worn spark plugs. A vehicle can have either four, six, eight, or ten spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,000 miles, resulting in a lot of heat, electrical and chemical erosion. A dirty spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
Dirty air filters - An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust or bugs chokes off the air and creates a "rich" mixture, too much gas being burned relative to the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.