How to Improve Your Fuel Economy

Gas nozzle spraying gasoline

 

Some weeks it feels like you have to fill up the gas tank every day. While many cars are made more efficient than ever these days, it’s possible that you can be doing more to improve your fuel economy. Follow these tips from Highview Motors to make the most of each gallon.

Check Your Tires

In order to perform optimally, tires need to be inflated to their recommended PSI. If they’re low on air, they’re probably using more gas than they need. Check your tire pressure regularly.

Quit Idling

When you idle, your car is getting zero mpg, which is pretty crummy fuel efficiency. If you’re going to be still for more than 30 seconds, turn off your car to save gas.

Drive Slower

The ideal speed for the best fuel economy is 55 mph. If you’re in no hurry, and the speed limit will accommodate it, force yourself to let off the gas a little and cruise at this speed. Use cruise control to keep yourself in check, and you’ll get the best gas mileage on the highway.

Go Easy on the AC

Air conditioning uses up a lot of gas, so if you can suffer through a warm drive, do it. However, if you simply must be cooled down, AC is actually more efficient on the highway compared to windows down, which creates too much drag and decreases a car’s aerodynamics.

Five Ways to Celebrate Spring

Spring officially begins on March 20th. The first day of spring is called the Vernal Equinox and happens when there is an even divide between daylight and dark hours. If you’re ready to say goodbye to winter and celebrate spring, here are five fun things to do.

  1. Visit D.C. Every spring, the cherry blossoms along the Potomac River bloom in glorious shades of pink and white. Due to a warm February, peak bloom is expected to arrive sometime between March 14th and 19th.
  2. Travel to Mexico. If you happen to visit Chichen Itza and the ancient Mayan pyramid, El Castillo on the Equinox, you can watch the Return of the Sun Serpent, which is a shadow that travels down the steps of the pyramid to form the shape of a snake.
  3. Learn about the Easter bunny. Read more about the origins of the Easter bunny and how one theory believes it stems from the pagan festival of Eostre.
  4. Have a reunion. In Japan, spring is a time for family reunions. Plan a get-together for your family and dye Easter eggs or head outside to enjoy the beautiful weather.
  5. Do some gardening. Nothing says spring quite like beautiful flowers blooming. Add some new flowers or trees to your surroundings.

Here at Highview Motors, we hope everyone has a happy and healthy Spring.

Image by Nicholas Raymond

Basic Car Maintenance Tips

car service - Altavista, VA
These tips are essential for keeping your car running smoothly.

Your car is one of your most important investments. It’s what gets you to work, to your friend’s house, and to your latest vacation destination.

However, if you fail to take care of it properly, it will fail you. These are some basic car maintenance tips to ensure that you car lasts as long as it should.

Check Your Fluids

This requires essentially no knowledge of cars. However, it does require you to keep a regular schedule. About once a month you should be checking your oil, windshield wiper fluid, and transmission fluid to make sure that you are good to go. Replace as necessary.

Keep Your Tires Inflated

While checking your fluids, you might as well check the air in your tires. Driving around on tires that aren’t properly inflated eventually leads to problems with both your car and your tires.

Wash Your Wipers

If you don’t wash your windshield wipers, they will start to leave streaks on your windshield. This makes it difficult to drive, especially at night. Keep them clean, and you’ll have fewer problems.

By following these simple maintenance tips, you ensure both the health of your car and your own safety. Once it becomes a habit, you’ll do it for the rest of your life.

New Year’s Driving Resolutions: Developing Good Habits

New Year’s driving resolutionsNew Year’s resolutions are an American tradition. That’s why we’ve put together a list of driving-related resolutions to keep in mind, addressing everything from texting to speeding. Becoming a safer driver should be a goal for any individual, whether you’ve been at or for years or if you’re a beginner. Read on to learn more about New Year’s driving resolutions.

According to Consumer Reports, the most important goal for every driver is to never drink and drive. Nearly 30 percent of all traffic fatalities are caused by an alcohol-related incident. Drinking can not only make you tired, but also limit brain activity and response time. Get a designated driver or have some other plan if you are drinking.

Next, avoid speeding. Speed limits are set to keep drivers safe on the road, and they can also help improve fuel economy. By speeding you are not only wasting gas, but you also significantly increase the risk involved should you get in an accident.

Finally, don’t text and driving. There are several systems available to help you stay connected behind the wheel, including voice recognition software, among other things. Otherwise, turn off your phone and put it in the glove compartment. In an emergency, you can still make a call by pulling over. These are just some New Year’s resolutions to keep in mind this year.

 

Should You Drive a Minivan or an SUV?

minivan or an SUV - Highview Motors GMC
The 2017 GMC Yukon Denali is one of the great SUV options on the market.

There are a lot of great cars on the market today, and they all fit different needs. A decision that many families have to make as they have more children is whether to purchase a minivan or an SUV. The following breakdown is designed to help you parse out your needs and preferences to make a decision about which one to purchase.

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When you have children, loading them and unloading them becomes quite the task after a long day. One benefit of having a minivan is that the sliding door makes it easier to get kids in and out of the vehicle. You also usually do not have to fold any seats down to get into the third row of seats.

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Probably the biggest drawback of a minivan for many people is the stereotype of driving a minivan. While SUVs generally win in the style category, automakers have been able to make minivans more sleek and stylish over the years.

All-Wheel Drive

Minivans generally do not come standard with all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, so many people find that SUVs work better for them in areas that see snow each year.

What you choose for your family comes down to personal preference. There is a reason why these are the two most popular types of vehicles for people with families. Come see us at Highview Motors GMC and we’ll help you find the perfect fit for your lifestyle!

Winter Car Prep

car during winter - Altavista, VA
Preparation is the key to safety on the road.

Fall has finally arrived, which means many drivers will soon be getting ready for winter. The harshest season of the year will be here before you know it, so now is the time to prepare! If you aren’t sure what to do, don’t worry! Here’s some must-do winter car prep from us here at Highview Motors!

  • Oil – Oil plays three major roles within the engine, but it can’t perform well if its thick. Old oil tends to thicken when cold weather hits, which can prevent your vehicle from operating at peak efficiency. An oil change is relatively inexpensive. New, fresh oil allows your engine to operate at peak efficiency and can even prevent your car from breaking down.
  • Wiper Blades – Drivers in harsh climates should invest in rubber-clad wiper blades to battle the ice that winter inevitably brings. Most other drivers should be good to go with normal wipers. Make sure you have an ice scraper handy and some windshield washer solvent certainly won’t hurt.
  • Lights – Visibility can be a problem in winter which makes your lights even more important. Take the time to replace burnt-out bulbs and clean the lenses as best you can. Cleaning your lights helps other driving see you as much as they help you see them.