The condition of your car and your
driving habits are the two most
important things that affect the fuel
mileage you get.
Always maintain your car according
to the maintenance schedule. This
will keep it in top operating condition.
An important part of that mainte-
nance is the Owner Maintenance
Checks (see page 179 ). For
example, an unerinflated tire
causes more "rolling resistance,"
which uses fuel. It also wears out
faster, so check the tire pressure at
In winter, the build-up of snow on
your vehicle's underside adds weight
and rolling resistance. Frequent
cleaning helps your fuel mileage and
reduces the chance of corrosion.
You can improve fuel economy by
driving moderately. Rapid acceler-
ation, abrupt cornering, and hard
braking use more fuel.
Always drive in the highest gear that
allows the engine to run and acceler-
Depending on traffic conditions, try
to maintain a constant speed. Every
time you slow down and speed up,
your car uses extra fuel. Use the
cruise control, when appropriate, to
increase fuel economy.
A cold engine uses more fuel than a
warm engine. It is not necessary to
"warm-up" a cold engine by letting it
idle for a long time. You can drive
away in about a minute, no matter
how cold it is outside. The engine
will warm up faster, and you get
better fuel economy. To cut down on
the number of "cold starts," try to
combine several short trips into one.
The air conditioning puts an extra
load on the engine which makes it
use more fuel. Turn off the A/C or
set the climate control to a higher
temperature to cut down on air
conditioning use. Use the flow-
through ventilation when the outside
air temperature is moderate.