In these challenging economic times, getting better gas mileage is more important than ever. Fuel prices are always fluctuating but it’s always an ongoing cost for families that depend on cars for transportation. Aside from the cost, most people find it a nuisance to make frequent stops to the gas station.
Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to improve your gas mileage. In order to accomplish this, you need to start paying closer attention to factors such as fuel consumption, your driving habits, comparative fuel costs at different locations, and more. Here are a few of the most important ways to save money on gas.
Understanding Gas Mileage Basics
Gas mileage in the United States refers to the average number of miles you can travel on a gallon of gas and is rated in miles per gallon (mpg). The average household in the U.S. spends $250 per month on gas, making it one of the largest expenses.
Mileage can differ significantly in the same vehicle. It depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- The kind of car you have, its weight, and the size of the engine. A small economy car gets higher mpg than a large SUV.
- Driving practices such as speed and smoothness of driving and braking
- How often you use air conditioning
- Condition of the vehicle and parts. Parts such as the air filter, spark plugs, quality of the motor oil, tire tread, and the engine itself all affect fuel mileage.
- Traffic conditions
- Road quality and elevation. Rougher roads or a steep incline will require more gas than a smooth, level road. City driving tends to be harder on your vehicle and give you lower mpg than highway driving.
- Quality of the gas in the car
These are some of the factors that affect gas mileage. Because the mpg you get depends on so many things, it’s important to pay attention to every aspect of your vehicle and driving behavior to get better gas mileage.
Why Fuel Efficiency Is Important
Fuel efficiency is an important consideration for several reasons. It:
- Helps you save money. Saving even a few dollars each month adds up over time.
- Means your cars are more efficient. When you practice fuel efficiency, you don’t need to make as many trips to the gas station.
- Is better for the environment. Using less gas saves fuel and resources.
- Makes you more conscious of your driving habits. This keeps you safer and prolongs the life of your vehicle.
Better fuel economy is important to save you money and help you plan more efficient trips. When you focus on getting better gas mileage mileage, you also tend to pay closer attention to keeping your vehicle in good condition.
How to Get Better Gas Mileage
Here are some of the most effective practices for getting better gas mileage
1. Avoid Traffic
Idling in traffic is a common way to waste gas.
- Research the best routes to work and other destinations to minimize traffic.
- Make trips to the grocery store at off-peak hours.
- Get an app to tell you the most efficient route.
The less time spent sitting in traffic, the more efficient your gas consumption will be.
2. Reduce Weight in Your Car
The more your vehicle weighs, the more gas it consumes. You can reduce its weight by removing unnecessary items. Aside from tools and parts needed for an emergency kit, don’t use your vehicle for storage. Don’t forget any excess weight you may be carrying in the trunk or on roof racks.
3. Combine Trips
A simple way to save fuel is to make fewer trips. There are a few ways to accomplish this.
- Combine errands when possible rather than making separate trips for everything. For example, go to the gym, go grocery shopping, and pick up your child from school in a single trip.
- Carpool as much as possible. If you work with people who live close by, take turns driving.
- If your family has more than one vehicle, arrange your schedule so that you travel together as often as possible rather than using a second car.
Lower your amount of travel, increase your efficiency.
4. Avoid Braking or Accelerating Too Fast
Did you know that the way you drive has an impact on your gas mileage? In particular, what is called harsh driving, in which you brake and accelerate quickly and more often than necessary, uses up more gas than smoother driving. Harsh braking not only wastes gas, but it can wear out your brakes more quickly.
Likewise, accelerating too fast is harder on your engine and a waste of fuel. Speeding not only increases the risk of getting a ticket but also uses more gas. Recent research has found that increasing speed from 55 to 65 miles per hour reduced fuel efficiency by up to 8%. The bottom line is that steady driving and staying within the speed limit are good for fuel economy and getting better gas mileage.
5. Maintain Your Car
Taking good care of your car and its major parts helps you improve fuel economy. Here are a few car maintenance tips to consider before setting off on any road trips.
- Change your oil regularly.
Follow your owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website for the frequency and type of motor oil. When you do this, inspect the fuel filter and air filter and replace them as needed. If you get this done at an oil change service center, they usually do these things automatically.
- Check your tires.
Make sure your tires are in good condition, in proper alignment, and have the right amount of tire pressure.
- Check your engine.
If the Check Engine light is on, find out why and get the problem fixed. Maintain all fluid levels such as brake, transmission, and coolant.
- Do regular inspections.
Inspect the exhaust and overall car regularly, and replace any worn parts.
- Get regular tune-ups.
This includes replacing spark plugs and checking parts such as the PCP valve, oxygen sensor, and spark plug wires. If you notice any problems or issues, have them looked at by a mechanic.
In addition to helping you enjoy better fuel economy, these practices will prolong the life of your vehicle and give you better performance. With modern technology, it’s quite easy for a good garage to diagnose any issues that could be affecting your mileage.
Gas Mileage Depends on Many Factors
If you want to improve gas mileage, you need to look at all aspects of your vehicle and driving behavior. Poor tire pressure, a dirty air filter, or a small crack in your gas tank could be causing you to waste fuel. If you’re not sure why you seem to be spending too much on gas, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with a trustworthy garage. Contact Geyers Towing today to speak with an expert about any gas mileage questions you might have.