Saving on Gas Mileage

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Luke's Car Tips & Auto Maintenance Advice

Luke's posts regular blogs to offer you great information and advice about your car maintenance.  Check back often for new posts.  Search for a specific topic!

Saving on Gas Mileage
By: Luke Shaff ~ 7/30/2020

With the hot weather right at our finger tips and being stuck in the house from COVID-19, there are a couple of things you should know about how to save on your gas mileage before you head on your next road trip!

  • Fill your gas tank when it is halfway. Driving your car on gas that is on the lower half of the tank can do more damage to more than one thing in your car. If you fill up the gas when it is on the halfway mark, then you will always have gas and it will last longer because you will get better mileage!
  • During the hot weather, running the air conditioning makes the engine work harder and therefore uses more gas to keep the car going. It is suggested that if you are going slow, to roll down the windows and turn off the air conditioning. If you are going fast (like on a freeway), roll up the windows and use the air conditioning. This is the same concept as if you are in stop and go traffic you use more fuel than driving on a freeway. 
  • Avoid stop and go traffic. This is harder on your engine and when you are idling, you are burning 1-2 ounces of fuel each minute. Some newer cars will turn off after a certain time of idling either in traffic or at a red light and this does help save some fuel. This bring us to our next tip
  • Plan your road trip before you go! Find the most direct route and the perfect times to go. Look for construction and for roadwork and look for the best alternative routes in case of obstructions. It might be best to take a longer route, instead of sitting through construction or roadwork!
  • When taking road trips, we want to pack as many things as we can so we would not have to buy things on the way, so we can save money on food and drink. However, filling those trunks and weighing your car actually does more damage to your reducing your fuel quicker. When you add weight to the car, it increases the amount of fuel that is consumed because the engine has to work harder to carry that weight and then the car has to work harder to move. Pack as lightly as you can, and as efficiently as you can. If you MUST pack a lot of things, distribute the weight throughout the car.

You are ready for your next road trip! Come back next week to see the Top 10 Road Trips in Washington to take this summer! Enjoy your trip, be safe, and do not forget your mask! 


Hot Weather and Your Car
By: Luke Shaff ~ 7/23/2020

Normally, when you are in the Seattle area you can always expect rain and clouds and cold weather. However, there are those waves of hot weather during the summer where it is almost 90 degrees all week (which is next week!) Many things can be damaged under the hood of the car (tubes break, things overheat, other things leak), but what about on the inside of the car? Here are some tips about the inside of your car when it is very hot.

  1. As we all know we should NEVER leave pets/children in cars on hot days. The temperature rises too quickly for dogs, and it is more difficult for them to regulate their body temperature and cool down. If you leave a dog inside a car on an 85-degree day for only 10 minutes…it is already 104 degrees for the dog in the car. That just increases with the length of time in the car as the temperature increases. Check out this link for more information about hot cars and pets!
  2. 52 kids just last year died from being left in a hot car. This number might not seem like a lot, but it is a scary number. This works the same way with pets in a car. Children do not know when too hot is too hot for them and their tiny bodies haven’t developed strong temperature regulation yet. A child’s body heats up 3-5 times faster an adult. For a child, heat stroke and death can happen when it is as low as 57 degrees outside. If you can’t take your child inside where you go, then please choose to not take them at all.
  3. Surprisingly, this next tip might surprise you as it does most people. Never leave water bottles in your car on a hot day. Why, you might ask? The heat reflects off the water bottle and if it gets hot enough, then it can potentially start a fire. With the water bottle, it is important to not leave cans of anything (soda, sunscreen…etc.) as well, in a hot car. The heat can expand in the can and then explode. It is so important to ensure that all liquids and water bottles are not left in hot spots in your car.
  4. As well as aerosol cans and water bottles, electronics, batteries, and lighters can all cause the same outcome: fires. Each of these things have flammable attributes in them and when left in a hot car, it can cause severe damage.
  5. According to the Food and Drug Administration food borne illness bacteria can double every 20 minutes when left out even at room temperature. Groceries and food should not be left in a car for more than a half an hour when there is very hot weather, or it can cause illnesses and make you sick.

Always with hot weather, comes responsibility. Stay responsible and keep things under blanks or in the trunk, where the things you need can stay cool and not cause damage. Have a fun and warm few days!!