Oil Changes, Gas Prices, AC: Better Gas Mileage Answers

Monday, November 3, 2008 12:52

Today I decided to run a question and answer type of blog post, since I read this one over on Mercury News which answered some great questions as to why gas stations of the same brand sell gas at different prices. 

By the way, it’s because every gas station gets their gas from different suppliers or zones. Those and other factors can mean a gas station of the same brand a few miles apart can still have different gas prices.

Q. Does an Oil Change Help Fuel Economy?

A. Yes, it definitely can.  You will certainly get better gas mileage with clean oil than with dirty oil.  As with just about any other type of maintenance you can perform on your car, the less you service it the more work your car’s engine has to do.  Running oil clean is not only healthy for your engine, it also makes it run better and more smooth, which translates to better gas mileage for you.

Also consider using synthetic oil, rather than petroleum oil.  I’ve seen lab tests state that you can gain as much as a 5% to 7% increase in gas mileage with synthetic oil.  It can be a bit more expensive, but may be worth it in the long run. 

Now this doesn’t mean go changing your oil every thousand miles just to get better gas mileage; it’s not worth it if you spend a fortune in oil.  I would suggest an oil change every 5,000 miles for petroleum oil and every 10,000 for synthetic.  Modern autos can probably run fine for more miles than that without an oil change, but those are good guidelines to follow for better gas mileage.

Q.  Does Removing the AC in a Vehicle Help Gas Mileage?

A.  Technically, yes, but for the same reason not turning your AC on will help gas mileage.  Running your car’s AC puts an increased load on your car’s engine, which in turn uses more gas.  You will usually get less power and poor gas mileage out of a car with the AC running.  But that doesn’t mean you have to remove the entire AC system from the car.  Just don’t turn it on!

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One Response to “Oil Changes, Gas Prices, AC: Better Gas Mileage Answers”

  1. sarah@diy solar panels says:

    February 2nd, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    I live in Florida so there is no way that I could go without AC in my car, though I do tend to keep the windows down a lot instead, but some days are just too hot

    Q:if I just have the vents blowing air (AC off) does that affect my gas mileage?
    .-= sarah@diy solar panels´s last blog ..How To Make Your Own Solar Panels =-.