In a time of fluctuating gas prices, it can be difficult to find savings at the pump. Did you know you can save some cash before heading to the gas station? Here are six tips to help you get better gas mileage for your vehicle.
- 1. Keep your speed consistent
Driving habits play a role in gas usage. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to improving your gas mileage. Aggressive driving habits that include abruptly speeding up or stopping quickly use more fuel than a gradual acceleration or slowly rolling to a stop, wasting gas. Aggressive driving can lower your gas mileage by roughly 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic.
If you’re concerned about your gas mileage, try driving at a more steady pace versus frequent accelerations and declarations. Cruise control can also have a better control over your speed.
- 2. Maintain properly inflated tires
To achieve maximum fuel efficiency, keep your tire air pressure in line with the manufacturer’s recommendation. This information can often be found on the inside of your door or in your owner’s manual for your vehicle. Tires that are under–inflated or over-inflated can lead to increased resistance, causing the car to burn through more fuel on the road and decrease your miles per gallon.
- 3. Avoid vehicle idling when possible
Simply turning off your engine can help conserve gas. If you anticipate being stopped for more than a minute or two, shut off the car. Contrary to popular belief, restarting the car uses less fuel consumption than letting it idle for one minute or more.
- 4. Observe the speed limit
While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed, gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an extra $0.29 per gallon for gas.
- 5. Clean out your car
Gas mileage is affected by the overall weight of your vehicle. If you’re lugging around heavy boxes or items with extra weight, it could increase fuel consumption due to the extra power your car is using to drive. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your miles per gallon by about one percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- 6. Use air condition sparingly
As we approach the hot summer months, air conditioning allows a comfortable commute. However, blasting the A/C puts extra work on the engine and, in turn, uses more fuel. By parking in the shade when possible to keep your car cool from the get-go, or cracking your window when parked, you can keep the vehicle cooler than it would be baking in the sun.
U.S. Department of Energy
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Oak Ridge National Laboratory