CARSON, Calif., Aug. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- AutoPartsWarehouse.com today released its list of the Top Five Parts to Make Your Vehicle More Fuel Efficient. As Labor Day travel approaches, and national fuel prices hold strong at over $3.50 a gallon, finding ways to ensure fuel efficiency has become vital to protecting consumers' wallets.1 So the experts at AutoPartsWarehouse.com have developed a list of the top five auto parts that can make the biggest difference in a vehicle's fuel efficiency.
When consumers think about fuel efficiency, they often think about driving behaviors associated with fuel savings -- such as driving slower, or opening windows instead of running the air conditioning. And while driving behavior is critically important, APW reports that key vehicle parts can also have a significant impact.
Some of these parts involve simple DIY projects, while others are more suited for a DIYer with moderate experience, but all are possible with parts that are easily purchased online, leading to potential savings. According to a recent survey, consumers are not only racking up significant savings by doing their own DIY projects - 60% report saving over $500 annually – but they are also taking advantage of buying parts online to save money and compare prices.2
"We are trained to think that we can only reduce our fuel consumption by braving the hot summers without air conditioning, or driving at a slow and steady pace," said Shane Evangelist, CEO of AutoPartsWarehouse.com. "But ensuring that the parts actually contributing to fuel efficiency are functioning properly, is critical to saving extra money at the gas pump, while helping to ensure the vehicle runs well for the long term."
AutoPartsWarehouse.com Top Five Parts that Make Your Vehicle More Fuel Efficient
Before attempting any service or repair on your vehicle, always consult your owner's manual
1. Mass Airflow Sensor – This is one of the most important vehicle parts contributing to fuel efficiency, and one that many car owners may not be familiar with. The Mass Airflow Sensor measures the flow of air entering the engine, and is placed between the air cleaner and throttle plate, or inside the air cleaner assembly. The engine computer calculates a number of parameters based on the amount of air flowing past this sensor to properly regulate fuel injection, the ignition system and transmission shifting. While Mass Airflow Sensors don't fail often, they can get dirty and can be expensive to replace at the dealer or repair shop. The good news is that it is typically a simple replacement job that can be done at home, and a Mass Airflow Sensor can easily be purchased online – and often at a savings. If you suspect a faulty Mass Airflow Sensor, scanning the computer for trouble codes with a code reader is the first step. If the diagnostic trouble code directs you to the Mass Airflow Sensor, check the air inlet system for leaks and follow the test procedure in the appropriate service manual to verify the problem. Cleaning the Mass Airflow Sensor with electrical cleaner is another option. A word of warning – only replace or allow your repair shop to replace the Mass Airflow Sensor if absolutely necessary. A good Mass Airflow Sensor is often replaced because it is easy to do.
DIY Job Difficulty/Easiness Rating: Easy
Cost-savings Purchasing Part Online: 59%
2. Oxygen (O2) Sensor – A sluggish or faulty oxygen sensor can increase fuel consumption. When a vehicle has over 100,000 miles, a replacement should be considered. All vehicles manufactured after 1995 have an oxygen sensor mounted in the exhaust to monitor exhaust flow before and after the catalytic converter, referred to as sensor 1 and sensor 2 -- with some vehicles having as many as four. The engine computer adjusts the amount of fuel injected based on the O2 signal from sensor 1.
DIY Job Difficulty/Easiness Rating: Moderate3
Cost-savings Purchasing Part Online: 50%3
3. Spark Plugs – Spark plugs ignite the air/fuel mixture in the engine combustion chambers and are critical to powering your vehicle. With a fresh set of plugs, cars can run cleaner and burn fuel more efficiently. It is usually a big-ticket item at the dealership when combined with a 60,000 mile service, but it can be done at home with the right tools – and at a cost savings.4 Check the owner's manual and the suggested service interval for replacing spark plugs. Most manufacturers suggest replacing plugs at 60,000 miles or more.
DIY Job Difficulty/Easiness Rating: Moderate
Cost-savings Purchasing Part Online: 45%
4. Air Filter – A dirty air filter can reduce fuel economy, and is more problematic on older vehicles – and with the average age of vehicles on the road today at over 11 years4 this is something car owners should pay attention to. Replacing the air filter is probably one of the easiest DIY auto repairs, taking 15 minutes or less with simple hand tools – and it can save money!
DIY Job Difficulty/Easiness Rating: Easy3
Cost-savings Purchasing Part Online: 34%3
5. Tires – If tires are worn out, out of alignment, or under inflated, vehicle handling and fuel efficiency will suffer. Many tire manufacturers, such as Goodyear and BF Goodrich, offer tires with enhanced formulas that improve gas mileage and extend tire life. To make sure tires are properly inflated use an air pressure gauge and check pressure every month, preferably in the morning before the vehicle is used. The recommended tire pressures can usually be found in the vehicle owner's manual and on the driver-side door.
DIY Job Difficulty/Easiness Rating (checking tire pressure): Easy
In addition to maintaining these five key vehicle parts, consumers can increase vehicle fuel efficiency by avoiding quick acceleration and heavy braking, excessive idling, driving at higher speeds, cold weather and frequent trips, cargo racks on top of vehicle, towing a trailer or carrying excessive weight, running electrical accessories such as an air conditioner, driving on hilly or mountainous terrain, and using 4-wheel drive.5
For more information check out today's blog at:
(1) http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com- August 14, 2013
(2) AutoPartsWarehouse.com Consumer Survey March 2013 / AutoMD.com DIY Survey April 2013
(3) AutoPartsWarehouse.com survey conducted among online auto parts shoppers from November 2012 through January 2013, with 3,214 completed responses.
(5) U.S. Department of Energy http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/factors.shtml - August 14, 2013
Established in 1995, AutoPartsWarehouse.com is one of the nation's top online auto parts and accessories retailers and is dedicated to making it easy for consumers to save money by accessing auto parts online. AutoPartsWarehouse.com offers a comprehensive catalogue of over 2 million auto parts and accessories, to fit all domestic and foreign makes from top aftermarket manufacturers. AutoPartsWarehouse.com offers consumers free shipping on orders over $50 as well as flexible payment and extended warranty plans and options. The company has parts warehouses in markets throughout the U.S. enabling rapid shipping of parts.