Posted On: 2013-05-20
How Can I Get Better Gas Mileage | 10 Tips
We loathe the all to common fuel light. It was as if it were yesterday when we last filled up, or was it? The florescent glow, a persistant reminder to dump another wad of cash into the gas tank is unavoidable, but there are things you can do to keep it off longer. How can I get better gas mileage you ask? Well, here are 11 tips that can help you save fuel:
- Drive sensibly – I know it’s fun to romp on the engine, we’ve all done it to some extent. But speeding, jackrabbit starts, and rapid braking can lower gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds. Sensible driving around town can save up to 5% at the pump as well.
- Fill up in the morning – Gas is cooler and more dense in the morning. Since gas is measured in volumes and not density, filling up in the morning means you get more bang for your buck.
- Choose the efficient vehicle – This may seem obvious, but for those households that have more than one vehicle – do your daily commuting with the one that gets better mileage. Personally, I love my lifted Jeep, but the 45 minute commute wreaks havoc on my wallet, so I opt to carpool in in a Camry. Not nearly as glamorous, but my wallet and TJ thank me in the end.
- Lose some weight - Your mileage suffers around 2% for each additional 100 lbs your vehicle carries. So ditch the junk in the trunk if it’s unnecessary for your drive.
- Enjoy the view – Speeding not only puts you at risk for a ticket, but gas mileage typically decreases incrementally above 60 mph.
- Avoid idling – Avoid idling for no reason, it wastes more fuel more than you think. Also avoid using those auxiliary features like A/C – the more components your engine has to power the less mileage you’ll get. If you’re stopped in traffic then be sure to flip your transmission into neutral, this will lower your RPM’s and give your engine a break. You can also cruise downhill in neutral to stretch your mileage.
- Properly inflate your tires – Keeping your tires properly inflated is simple and significantly improves your gas mileage.
- Aerodynamics – Going back to speeding, the faster your vehicle travels the more force is necessary to push it through the air. To see this in action stick our hand out the window at 30mph and then at 60mph – your muscles have to work considerably harder to keep your hand upright at 60mph. That’s why you should keep your windows rolled up at highway speeds. Also, take off that roof rack if you don’t plan on using it anytime soon.
- Keep up with your vehicle – Has your check engine light been on for awhile? get it looked at! you could be saving much more at the pump. Diagnostics are usually free at automotive retail shops like O’Reilly Auto Parts, AutoZone, Napa, or your local shop. Cleaning or replacing clogged air filters on carbureted engines can improve mileage as well, fuel injected engines may not see as much of a MPG boost, but will see an acceleration bump.
- Use the right oil – Use the appropriate grade automotive oil recommended for your engine. I always like to add a quart of Lucas or Amsoil oil stabilizer with every oil change as well. These heavy duty additives reduce friction and heat, and improve the overall performance of your engine.
What other tips are there? Do you know one that’s not listed above? Be sure to share with the world and comment below!