Chevy Maintenance Tips

In our last post we wrote about Chevrolet and OnStar teaming up to conduct a study to demonstrate 10 common mistakes drivers make that hurt their fuel economy.   We had focused on the driving habits in that post… for this post we’re going to look at maintenance.

You may remember Ann Wenzlick and Beth Nunning drove identical Chevrolet Cruze LTs with an EPA estimated at 24 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, but Wenzlick averaged 37 miles per gallon using efficient driving habits in a properly maintained Cruze, while Nunning managed only 21 miles per gallon driving inefficiently and ignoring common maintenance.

So what common maintenance practices can save you money?

  • Tire pressure
    “All four tires on my car were five pounds under their recommended air pressure. That’s not enough to change how the Cruze drives, but it does make the engine work harder to turn the wheels. Check your tires at least once a month, as a tire that is 10 pounds under pressure can cut your fuel efficiency by more than 3 percent.” says Nunning
  • Use the recommended grade of motor oil
    Motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the performance symbol of the American Petroleum Institute contains friction-reducing additives that can improve fuel economy.
  • Use the most effective octane level for your car.
    Check your owner’s manual. For most cars, the recommended gasoline is regular octane. In most cases, using a higher-than-recommended octane gas offers no benefit – and costs more.
  • Ignoring the “check engine” light
    “I called OnStar to run a remote diagnostics check on my Cruze, because the check engine light was on. Turns out the light was on because the gas cap was loose. But more serious engine problems can cut your fuel economy by up to 40 percent.” says Nunning
  • Batteries can make or break you
    Check battery life, replace or charge your current battery and make sure battery cables are free of corrosion. Many breakdowns occur because batteries aren’t delivering full cranking power.
  • Engine tune-ups and car maintenance checks.
    According to the EPA, tune-ups improve performance as well as gas mileage. Check your owner’s manual for recommended maintenance schedules and follow them. This will avoid fuel economy problems due to worn spark plugs, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, or the transmission failing to go into high gear.

Chevrolet has 10 models that offer 30 mpg or better on the highway, and our Service Department is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 7:30AM – 6PM, and Wednesday from 7:30AM – 8PM.

JBA Chevrolet
7327 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD
443-763-5076

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Drive Smart, Save $100 a Month at the Pump

Chevrolet and OnStar teamed up to conduct a study to demonstrate 10 common mistakes drivers make that hurt their fuel economy.  General Motors fuel economy engineers Ann Wenzlick and Beth Nunning drove identical Chevrolet Cruze LTs with an EPA estimated at 24 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, on a typical workday commute. For the route, they drove both cars for 20 minutes, including city and highway driving as well as stopping for coffee.

The results show that sweating the small stuff could save drivers as much as $100 a month in fuel costs. Wenzlick averaged 37 miles per gallon using efficient driving habits in a properly maintained Cruze. Driving inefficiently and ignoring common maintenance, Nunning managed only 21 miles per gallon. The difference means Nunning would get 250 fewer miles per tank of gas, while Wenzlick would save $100 a month – or $1,200 a year – assuming 15,000 miles and $4 a gallon for gas.

“Ann and Beth’s results support data from OnStar that shows the fuel economy of drivers in identical cars can vary by 75 percent,” said Roger Clark, manager of the GM Energy Center. “With a well-maintained car, the best drivers get up to 25 percent more miles per gallon than average. When you combine a poorly maintained car with inefficient driving habits, the fuel economy of the worst drivers can be 50 percent below average.

So, what can you do to get better gas mileage?

  • Get out of the drive-through lane.
    “While Beth waited in the drive-thru with her car running, I shut off the engine and went inside for my morning coffee. Idling for 15 minutes burns through an average of a quarter of a gallon – adding another $1 to the cost of your latte.”
  • Take it easy
    “In the city, I accelerated smoothly while Beth demonstrated one of the most common mistakes we see on the road: Jumping on the gas at every light, only to hit the brakes as she caught up with the traffic ahead. Such aggressive driving isn’t going to get you home any faster, while driving smoothly can improve your mileage by 20 percent.”
  • Driving 70, not 80.
    “On the highway, I drove 70, compared to Beth’s 80. Again, a 10-mph difference likely won’t add much time to your daily commute, but it will save you up to four miles per gallon on the highway.”
  • Use cruise control
    “I tried to maintain a constant speed during our drive, while Beth’s fluctuated with traffic. Try using cruise control when possible, and maintaining a constant speed over time, which is much more efficient than speeding up and slowing down over and over again.” …read more tips and common mistakes here

JBA Chevrolet
7327 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD
443-763-5076

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