With the rising cost of gasoline prices, we all are looking for ways to improve our vehicles gas mileage. Certainly driving less will reduce the amount of gas used, but is that really a practical option? We all have to use our vehicles every day, so buying gas is essential to getting us where we need to go. However, there are small things you can do to increase your gas mileage. Regardless of what car you drive, we can all use a little extra money at the end of the month. By stretching your tank further, you can reduce the number of times you fill up per month, giving you extra money to spend on your needs. Here are a few tips for improving your gas mileage and saving money.
Braking and Accelerating
There is nothing more taxing on your vehicle than excessive braking and acceleration. If you are looking to save money at the pump, steady driving is the key. Slowing down your speed will allow you to brake only when it is necessary and prevent you from breaking abruptly. When starting up again, avoid sudden accelerations. Starting off fast may make you look cool, but it will eat up your gas and cost you money.
Driving Tip: Don’t stick close to the bumper of the car ahead of you. You will brake and accelerate more to keep the unnecessary and dangerously narrow gap. Take a deep breath, relax, and stay away. Not only will it keep you from braking when it isn’t necessary, but it also gives you more room when coming up to lights. If the driver ahead of you slams their brakes, you can coast down and see if the light changes back to green. If you take your foot off the gas pedal and coast until you stop, you can save much more gas than if you accelerate to the red light before stopping. You may even get the opportunity to switch lanes and coast by their car because they have to accelerate from a dead stop.
Avoid Excessive Idling
Did you know idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner use? Decrease the amount of time you allow your vehicle to sit while warming it up or cooling it down. You may have to start your drive a bit cold during the winter or feeling warm in the summer, but you will save on gas and money. You may feel slightly uncomfortable, but ti will be worth it when you have to spend less time at the pump. When parked, turn off your engine. It only takes 10 seconds worth of fuel to start it up again.
It’s common sense. The faster you move, the more your engine has to work to push through the air. A 15-mile commute at a posted speed of 45 MPH will take 20 minutes while speeding through at 65 MPH will take 14 minutes. Is that 6-minute savings worth a speeding ticket or an extra couple of tanks per month? Speeding can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 33%. Most cars burn gas less efficiently at speeds of 60 MPH or higher. You can assume that each 5 MPH you drive over the speed limit will equate to paying an additional $0.18 per gallon for gas. Plus, no one wants to look like the idiot weaving back and forth through 3 lanes of traffic, slamming on their brake and gas pedal, and wasting energy.
Reduce Excess Weight
Are you carrying a cinder block your trunk? You would be surprised how much all that junk in your car’s trunk can weigh. If you have front-wheel drive, putting extra weight on the rear axle means the front wheels are not getting as good a grip as they could be. It also means your engine has to work harder to move the car. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle can reduce your MPG by about 1% based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the weight of your vehicle. If you are carrying a lot of weight, lightening your load could get you an extra mile or two per gallon.
If your tires do not have sufficient air, they will produce more drag against the road surface. This increases the amount of gasoline you use. Even if your vehicles are slightly low, undetectable to the eye, they could significantly reduce your mileage. Being under-inflated by 10 PSI cam cost you 5 MPG or more. Save money at the pump by properly maintaining your vehicle. Putting air in your tires along with tuning your engine routinely, having your wheels aligned and changing filters all play an important role in increasing your gas mileage. You would be amazed how many little things in your vehicle could save you money!
Speaking of maintenance, remember the Auto Clinic of Stuart when you need to take care of your car. Simple routine maintenance goes a long way for not only saving gas and money, but also for extending the life expectancy of your vehicle. No matter the problem, bring your vehicle to the Auto Clinic of Stuart. We will find the cause of your vehicle’s problems and get you on the road in no time!