Network Auto Body may specialize in auto body repairs, but we still care about the rest of your vehicle and your safety, too. Although gas prices did fall for a while during the COVID-19 pandemic, you still would not want to spend a mint on gas.

We wanted to let you know a few ways to improve your gas costs while improving fuel efficiency this winter. Let’s start with the basics.

You need to check your tires regularly for tread depth. You also need to check them for wear and tear. Do this before each road trip you take. Your tread depth determines the number of car lengths required for you to stop your vehicle quickly. Most new tires have a tread depth of 10/32nds or 12/32nds in centimeters. As tires age, they need more frequent checks. When tires reach a tread depth of about 6/32nds, you need to begin planning for replacement tires.

You will begin having problems on wet roads at this tread depth. At 2/32nds, your tires are legally bald. That is nothing like the movie Legally Blonde and means that your tires are very close to blowing out on the road.

Air your tires completely to the appropriate PSI. You can find this in your owner’s manual. You may notice a conflict between the PSI on the tires and the one in the manual. This is why it’s so important to purchase the recommended tires for your vehicle. You need to use tires that perform optimally with the make and model of your car. This helps you maintain the best fuel efficiency possible.

Lighten your load as much as possible—pack light. You do not need to take everything you own. The lighter the luggage load, the better your fuel efficiency. Do not skimp on your emergency kit, though.

Check all of your fluids regularly and keep them topped up. This helps your engine run its best. That causes it to use less fuel. The harder it has to work, the more gas it sucks. Also, pack a few pints of motor oil in your car trunk with the emergency kit. If you run low on oil while driving, you can pull over on the shoulder and add a pint to top things off. Your oil works with the gas to power the engine, so this maintains your fuel efficiency.

What if you hit something on the road, and it turns out you now leak oil? Pour in the oil you have to top up and drive directly to the first exit with a gas station or repair shop. You should do your best to get to the safest place possible to obtain repairs. If you can add oil and drive the car a few miles to a repair shop, you will remain safer because you will not be waiting on a tow truck on the shoulder of the road.

You can maintain excellent gas mileage this winter. Follow these tips to enjoy your ride.