6 Tips/Tricks for Getting Better Gas Mileage
Is your car turning into a gas guzzler? Are you looking for ways to improve your fuel economy? Who isn’t? Everyone wants to save a little more extra cash. Paying more at the pump means less money for the things you actually want to buy. There are a few easy ways to keep your tank and your wallet full.
- Check Your Speed: As you’re cruising down the highway, don’t let your foot get too heavy. When you go over 65 mph you start to burn extra fuel due to drag. It can be as much as a 15% increase of gas usage when you race over 65 mph. It’s not just your highway speed that can be wasting gas. When you speed from light to light, you’re burning extra gas. Instead, try and coast to a stop. It takes more gas to start from a dead stop rather than a slow roll.
- Tires: Check your tire pressure on a regular basis. As the temperatures start to drop, the air in the tires decreases. When the tire pressure is below the recommended amount, there is added resistance on the road. The more friction between the rubber and the road will cause your car to use more gas to reach the same speeds. You may want to consider buying rolling-resistance tires. Manufactures have developed treads that reduce the amount of energy needed to roll the tire down the road. It can potentially save you 5-15% at the tank.
- Lose the Weight: Is your trunk typically packed with random junk? It’s time to clean it out. Do you have a roof rack attached to the top with nothing on it? If you don’t use it regularly, then it’s sucking up more gas than you think. When you reduce the weight that the car has to carry, then it can move faster down the road. Even though it may seem insignificant, every little bit helps.
- Change Your Air Filter: The air filter sucks air into the engine while cleaning it from dust and dirt. Your engine works by igniting the gas into a flame, and you can’t have a flame without air. When the air filter get clogged from all of the dirt and grime it filters out, the air can’t flow as easily to the engine. To compensate, your engine will crank up the gas usage. On average, you want to change out your air filter once a year. It’s a cheap way to save money throughout the year.
- Octane Type: The higher the octane grade doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get more mileage. It’s more about how the engine operates. Most vehicles work perfectly fine with the lowest grade octane. If your car was built to run on a low octane fuel, then you won’t gain anything by putting a higher grade in the tank. Check your owner’s manual or gas cap to see which grade octane is recommended for your vehicle.
- Carpool: Simple enough! Save more money by not driving as much. Find a buddy from work who lives nearby and alternate driving days. With a little bit of planning and coordination, you both can save hundreds over the course of a year. Plus, it makes the morning commute a little bit more pleasant by having someone to talk to.
Don’t let little things rob your fuel efficiency. Keep up good car maintenance, and you should see a positive change in your average MPG. Plus, spending less money at the pump can leave you with more money to spend on Christmas gifts!