Steps to Help Improve Gas Mileage

With the price of gas in a constant state of flux, learning to use less of it is a good idea, especially when the price gets high. Here are some gas-saving options that require nothing more than minor modifications in your buying and driving habits.

Maintenance

  • Keep tires inflated to proper PSI levels. Under-inflation increases friction and friction lowers the mileage from your fuel tank.
  • Stick to regular service checks for your vehicle.

Buying Fuel

  • The best time of day to fill your fuel tank is during the coolest times of day– late evening or early morning. The reason is that gasoline is denser in cooler temperatures. Considering that fuel pumps measure by volume, you’ll obtain more fuel for your dollar.
  • Don’t overfill your tank.
  • The fuels or additives that claim to increase your gas mileage is just propaganda; you don’t need them. The only thing they increase is your spending.
  • Less fuel means your vehicle weighs less, improving your mileage. Consider only filling your tank half-full, if you don’t mind the added inconvenience.

Watch Your Driving

  • Stick to the speed limit. Faster driving decreases gas mileage.
  • When driving at higher speeds on warmer days, use air conditioning (AC). Open windows can cause wind drag which consumes more gas. On the other hand, limit the use of AC while driving in city traffic.
  • Warming your engine on winter mornings can be nice, but keep it to a minimum. Any engine left idling consumes fuel without adding to your vehicle’s mpg.
  • Utilize cruise control on long, flat stretches of highway, but disengage it on hills. Cruise control loses momentum on the climb and chugs gas on the descent.
  • Avoid fast, out-of-the-gate starts. The faster you accelerate, the more gas you consume.
  • Avoid riding the brakes. Greater gas consumption is caused fighting against the friction.
  • Reduce aerodynamic drag removing flags of sports teams and bike and ski racks when they are not in use.
  • Less weight means better gas mileage, avoid unnecessary items in the trunk.
  • Plan your driving route to avoid high traffic areas or known construction zones, if possible.

Increasing gas mileage doesn't have to be complicated. Taking a few extra steps can significantly improve your car's performance, and your wallet will thank you for it.