Fleet Maintenance Improves Fuel Efficiency

Fleet Maintenance Improves Fuel Efficiency 

Fleet maintenance is very important.  It ensures that all vehicles within a fleet are performing as they should.  If any maintenance problem arises, the fleet operations manager or fleet management employee can arrange for those problems to be addressed before they become larger issues that may negatively impact the business’ performance.  But we need to note that it is also important to perform regular maintenance on the vehicles within a fleet to improve fuel efficiency.  Many wonder how this is possible, but there are a number of factors that can help determine fuel efficiency.  In the next few minutes, we will look at the various factors that can potentially impact your fleets fuel efficiency.

The air filter
When an air filter is clogged, it negatively impacts a vehicle’s fuel efficiency by 10%.  The air filter also prevents impurities from damaging the inside of the vehicle’s engine, so there are a couple of benefits to making sure a clogged air filter is replaced.

The actual savings that a business can experience by making sure the air filters in their vehicles are properly maintained is around $0.31 per gallon per vehicle.  If you have ten vehicles that need new air filters and each holds 25 gallons of gasoline, then that is a total gasoline savings of $77.50.  If trucks need to be filled twice a week, that is a weekly savings of $155 a week or $620 per month.  All of those savings really adds up.  A simple air filter translates into savings of around $7,500 per year, which is a significant amount of money that will impact a business’s revenue.

Improperly inflated tires can negatively impact gas mileage.  For every psi drop in pressure, gas mileage is lowered by 0.4 percent.  Properly inflated tires, on the other hand, can improve gas mileage by around 3.3%
The savings that a business can experience by making sure tires are properly inflated is around $0.09 per gallon per vehicle.  So once again, you have ten vehicles with underinflated tires and each holds 25 gallons of gasoline, then that is a total savings of $22.50 in gas.  Although the amount doesn’t seem high, keeping tires inflated can prevent premature replacement, which can save money. 

Motor oil
Using the recommended grade of motor oil for the vehicles in your fleet will improve gas mileage by 1 to 2% by using the grade that is recommended by the manufacturer.  That is the grade of oil the engine was made to take.  Using the wrong grade of oil can reduce the vehicle’s gas mileage by 1 to 2%.  Also, oils that are marked “energy conserving” are especially helpful .The savings a business can experience by using recommended grade of oil is $.03 to $.06 per gallon per vehicle.  If you have the same ten vehicles mentioned in the above sections that hold 25 gallons of gasoline and they are not using the right grade motor oil, but you change to the right grade of motor oil, the gas savings is a total of $7.50 to $15.00 per 3,000 miles on the truck, which translates to a yearly savings of anywhere between $85 and $200 per year in gas.

A few reminders
The above examples are simple ways that can improve gas mileage.  As a fleet manager, you may also want to consider how quickly the driver accelerates and how well the driver adheres to the speed limit.  While these things have nothing to do with fleet maintenance, they do have an enormous impact on how much fuel is used on the road, which therefore impacts how fuel costs impact the business. 

By keeping these things in mind, thousands of dollars in fuel costs can be saved.  Start saving your business time and money and apply for a fleet card.