The other fuel-saving measures

Max Heine

You’ve heard over and over about the major ways to cut fuel consumption. Most involve driver practices: reducing top speeds, idling and out-of-route miles; maintaining proper tire pressure; and going easy on acceleration and braking. Some of these can save as much as 5 percent or 6 percent. Together they can save you thousands of dollars a year.

What about smaller steps? Many maintenance tasks and spec’ing decisions can prolong component life, stave off downtime and cut fuel use. Maybe not 6 percent, but at today’s prices, it still adds up to a lot of money.

COOLING SYSTEM. Keeping the radiator, charge-air cooler and air-conditioner condenser clean is critical. Recommendations from the Technology & Maintenance Council’s Fuel Economy Digest include: “Check thermostats, air conditioning and fan-clutch control systems.