According to Natural Resources Canada, the average age of the typical Canadian car is seven years, so to get the best fuel economy and life out of your vehicle, consider these top tips:
• Check your tire pressure:
The most overlooked factor is the effect an under-inflated tire has on fuel consumption and safety. Most tires lose about one psi per month naturally. A tire that’s under-inflated by just two psi increases fuel consumption by 1%. It may not seem like much, but according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association it adds up quickly. Around 4.5 billion litres of fuel are wasted each year in North America because of under-inflated tires.2
Visually, you cannot tell if a tire is underinflated by two psi. This is why it’s important to check the pressures on a regular basis.
• Choose the right fuel:
The enemy of engine efficiency is engine “gunk,” or harmful carbon deposits left behind on intake valves and fuel injectors. This gunk acts like a sponge, absorbing and trapping gasoline.
“By simply selecting a high-quality gasoline, you can cut down on the build-up of engine gunk,” agrees Jim Macias, a fuels technology manager at Shell. “Tests prove that Shell Nitrogen Enriched Gasolines can protect your engine from gunk and can even clean up gunk left behind by lower quality gasolines. And a clean engine performs better and will help to maximize the fuel efficiency of your engine.”
• Keep up with your maintenance schedule:
To prevent costly breakdowns, 94% of Canadian mechanics surveyed by Leger Marketing recommend that vehicle owners change their engine oil at regularly scheduled intervals outlined by the owner’s manual.
Graeme Fletcher is a licensed mechanic and automotive journalist working for Shell