Basic car maintenance helps save petrol

By now most of us are adopting fuel-saving strategies such as driving more efficiently, choosing a more economical vehicle, combining trips, carpooling, ditching unnecessary weight in the car, etc. Keeping your car properly maintained can also improve fuel economy by 4%; and fixing a serious issue, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve mileage by up to 40%.

Fixing a car that has a noticeable problem can improve fuel consumption, however results vary depending on the type of problem. For example, fixing a faulty oxygen sensor would result in a significant improvement in fuel economy. Repairing any alignment or brake problems would also improve petrol consumption.

  • Properly inflate tyres, and check tyre pressure at least once a month. The correct tyre pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker on the inside of the driver’s door. When tyres are inflated correctly, your car’s weight is distributed evenly, improving fuel economy as well as increasing the life of your tyre. When your tyres are under inflated, they are softer and therefore have a greater ‘footprint’ on the road. This creates more friction between the road and the tyre, and the vehicle needs to use more energy to keep moving.
  • Use the correct motor oil for your vehicle. Use your car manufacturer’s recommended grade of oil for your vehicle. Also, look for oil that specifically says it is energy conserving.
  • Replace clogged air filters. A dirty or damaged air filter limits the amount of air flowing into your car’s engine, making it work harder and therefore, using more fuel.
  • Make sure the petrol cap is properly secured. Damaged or missing petrol caps allow petrol to escape and vaporise.

Usually, any car maintenance will save you money in the long run, whether it’s regularly checking engine fluids or keeping your tyres at the correct pressure. To see a real difference in your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, it’s a good idea to combine different strategies, from improving your driving to committing to regular car maintenance.

The key to good engine performance is car servicing and maintenance as per the manufacturer’s instructions, or when it’s clear something is not quite right with the engine. As well as saving money on petrol, you save money in the long run by avoiding more serious problems that might arise if you neglect basic car care.

There are two ways to keep up to date with your car’s service requirements: either pay per service or pay a fixed monthly fee towards a Service Plan to cover the cost of services. One of the major benefits of a Service Plan is that it’s inflation proof. Throughout the year you might watch fuel prices and the general cost of living increasing, but you can trust that your Service Plan payments will not change during that year. (Click here to find out more about a Service Plan through MotorHappy.)

A Maintenance Plan is one level up from a Service Plan. It includes all services, as well as wear and tear parts specified by the car’s manufacturer. These could include the gearbox, clutch, suspension, brake pads and discs. (Click here to find out more about a Maintenance Plan through MotorHappy.)

  • Provides peace of mind knowing that your car servicing and maintenance is taken care of
  • Fixed, affordable monthly cost for car servicing and vehicle maintenance
  • Qualified technicians
  • Genuine parts
  • Good car care helps to maximise the resale value of your car

Taking care of basic car maintenance prolongs the life of your car and improves sales value, but maintaining your vehicle also has hidden rewards that become more noticeable when you’re tracking fuel consumption.

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