Maintenance Money: Good Car Maintenance Saves on Gas Costs

“Take care of your car in the garage; it will take care of you on the road.” – Amit Kalantri

This quote is so true when it comes to saving on gas costs. You can do many things to maintain your car that will also maintain money in your pocket. Replacing spark plugs, using the manufacturer’s recommended motor oil, and getting an engine tune-up can all increase fuel efficiency. 

Two parts of your car that can make a huge impact on your gas mileage are your tires and air filters. Below are a couple of tire tips that will help conserve funds.

  1. Check Tire Pressure – Follow the guidelines in your vehicle owner’s manual, not what is stamped on the tire itself. Four underinflated tires by 10psi would reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy by 10% at an added cost of 31 cents per gallon (USDOE,
  2. Check the Alignment – Tires that are out of balance can cause uneven tire wear, which can result in lower gas mileage. Tires should be balanced and rotated according to the vehicle owner’s manual to improve tire performance and fuel economy. Improper alignment can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 10% - about 31 cents per gallon (USDOE,


If you’re keeping count, that’s 62 cents per gallon you could be losing just for not treating your tires right.

But don’t forget those filters!


  1. Change your Air Filter – Check the filter when you change your oil and replace it at least once a year or more if you drive in dirty, dusty conditions. Fresh oil increases your engine’s performance and helps it run more efficiently, so it doesn’t eat up as much gas (Reader’s Digest Canada).
  2. Change your Cabin Air Filter – A clogged cabin air filter can damage your car’s blower motor and cause your AC to run longer and harder in the summer. A clean air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10% (Reader’s Digest Canada).

Proper car maintenance, gas apps, and driving techniques can also save you money on gas. Next week’s blog will focus on the driving techniques that will keep money in your pocket.

In the meantime, reward yourself with a little fun by playing Financial Football online here. If you don’t play, you can’t win. See you next week!


Ellenor Simmons
Director of Financial Capability
United Way of Southeast Louisiana