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Autoland Blog

Thursday, August 25, 2016

How to Boost Your Fuel Economy

While New Jersey has relatively lower gas prices than its neighbors, improving your fuel economy can help you save more money, while reducing your carbon footprint. Here are some simple ways to boost your car's fuel efficiency and get more miles to the gallon.

Change Your Driving Habits

Speeding, stomping on the brakes, and accelerating too quickly all waste fuel. Break away from these habits to improve your vehicle's fuel efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, these bad habits can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town. Stick to the speed limit and stay aware of your surroundings so you can coast to a stop. Not only will these best practices help you save money, but also they'll increase your safety.  To avoid speeding on long trips, use cruise control. By maintaining a constant speed, cruise control can help you conserve gas when driving on the highway. 

Another habit to avoid is idling. Depending on your engine size and air conditioner, idling can waste a quarter to half a gallon of fuel per hour. Always turn your vehicle off when it's parked.

Know When to Roll the Window Up

On slow city streets, turning off the AC and rolling the windows down can help conserve fuel. However, when driving on the highway at faster speeds, roll your windows up. The aerodynamic drag caused by driving with the windows down at fast speeds lowers the fuel efficiency more than the AC.

Properly Maintain Your Vehicle 
Regular vehicle maintenance is key to healthy car. For a fuel-efficient vehicle that operates at peak performance, you need to follow the maintenance schedule provided in your owner's manual. Old engine oil, worn spark plugs, and dirty air filters can impede fuel economy, so get them changed as required.  

Also make sure your tires are properly inflated. Under-inflated tires can reduce your mileage by 0.2% for every 1 PSI drop in the average pressure of all tires. Low tire pressure can also cause premature wear and poor handling. Refer to your owner's manual for the appropriate tire pressure. Check your tires at least once a month and re-inflate as needed.  Keep in mind that the tire pressure decreases more rapidly in cold weather. 

Lighten Your Load 

Don’t drive around with dead weight, such as an empty roof rack or that pile of junk in your trunk. The heavier your load is, the harder your engine has to work, and the worse your fuel economy is. Remove things from your car that you don't use frequently. Your passengers, engine, and wallet will thank you. 

Buy the Right Fuel

Make sure you are purchasing the right octane gasoline for your vehicle. The correct fuel can be found in your owner's manual. If your vehicle takes regular fuel, premium-grade gas won't improve your fuel economy. It'll only put a bigger hole in your pocket. 

Choose a Fuel-Efficient Vehicle

When it's time to buy a new car, choose the most fuel-efficient option that suits your needs. The Department of Energy reports drivers can save up to $1,400 in fuel costs each year by simply choosing the right vehicle. A motorist who drives 15,000 miles a year at $2.15 a gallon will save nearly $2,700 with a vehicle that gets 30 MPG instead of 20 MPG.  For a fuel-efficient vehicle that meets your needs, check out our New Jersey auto sales at Autoland in Springfield.

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Monday, August 1, 2016

6 Bad Driving Habits to Avoid

We all make mistakes from time to time, but when it comes to driving a motor vehicle, a mistake can endanger yourself and others on the road. Operator error and inattention are top factors in auto accidents. Many auto accidents could have been avoided if drivers avoided these bad but common driving habits.  


Think about all the accidents that could have been prevented if the driver wasn’t speeding. While everyone is familiar with the dangers of speeding, some drivers tend to speed when they're running late, or just because they think it is fun. There is never an excused for speeding. Speed limits are set for a reason and are determined based on the road condition and surrounding area. Speeding can make it harder for motorists to react fast enough to avoid an accident, as well as increase the intensity of a crash. For the safety of yourself and others, always adhere to the speed limit. In inclement weather, drive slower and more cautiously. 

Distracted Driving 

Distracted driving is another leading cause of accidents. While distracted driving is commonly associated with texting and driving, it comes in many forms. Distracted driving also includes eating, applying makeup, adjusting the radio, talking to passengers, and reaching for an object while driving. Any behavior that involves taking your eyes or off the road, hands off the steering wheel, or mind off of driving is considered a distraction. 

It's important to stay alert and attentive while driving. Minimize distractions by turning off your phone or putting it on silent before you get on the road. Avoid eating, applying makeup, and other distracting tasks while driving. Also limit the number of passengers in your car to avoid distractions. 

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol isn't just bad— it's illegal. Drugs and alcohol impair your ability to drive and to react quickly. If you're going to be drinking, leave your car keys at home; ALWAYS call a cab or have a designated driver. Also avoid driving under the influence of prescription medications that may cause drowsiness or impair driving abilities. While medical and recreational use of marijuana is now legal in some states, it is illegal and unsafe to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of the drug.

Driving Tired 

Getting behind the wheel when you're tired is very dangerous.  When you are tired, you are less focused and attentive and have a slower reaction time. Even worse, you could fall asleep at the wheel. Whether you’re taking a road trip or heading home from the office late at night, never drive when you're tired. If you feel tired, have someone else drive if possible, or pull off the road and get some sleep in a safe place, such as a hotel, before getting back on the road. 

Not Wearing a Seat Belt

Wearing a seat belt is the best way to avoid injuries and save lives in the event of an auto accident. Statistics show seat belts have saved almost 300,000 lives in the United States since 1975. Nowadays, most cars have a seat belt warning, with some disabling the radio unless your seat belt is on. If your car does not have a seat belt warning feature, then post a note on your steering wheel reminding you to buckle up. Also make sure everyone in the car has a seat belt on before leaving the driveway. 

Driving on Empty 

Do you wait until your gas tank is on "E" before you think about filling up? This is not a good habit for a number of reasons. First, driving on a low gas tank can cause your fuel pump to wear out prematurely. The gas acts like a coolant for the vehicle's fuel pump motor. When the gas is low, the pump can suck in air, which brings in heat and wears it down. Second, dirt and sediment in the fuel tank can potentially block the fuel filter, also resulting in a costly repair. Additionally, you risk your car running out of gas, leaving you stranded on a highway or in an unfamiliar area. To stay clear of these issues, don’t rely on your car for how many miles you have left. Always keep your tank at least one-fourth of the way full. 

Are you guilty of any of these bad driving habits? Our Auto Mall in NJ recommends kicking these habits to remain attentive and safe on the roads. 

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