There are a lot of reasons why you should ideally try to get the best gas mileage possible out of your vehicle. In addition to draining your pockets of any extra cash, burning up gas is also not great for our environment (to say the least).
So today we are going to attempt to save you a few dollars and maybe even save the world by giving you some of our favorite tips for getting better gas mileage. If you follow one, or all, of these tips you are guaranteed to get better mileage and you may even be able to notice a difference in terms of how long you can drive on a tank of gas and how much you are spending monthly on gas.
15 Quick Tips To Improve Gas Mileage For You
1. Keep Your Car in Tip-top Shape
If you want to get the best performance out of your vehicle, it is time to start taking care of it if you have not been already. In addition to regular oil changes, you also want to make sure that you are changing your air filter and your fuel filter often.
The tires are another part of your car that you are going to want to check. You should be checking your tires pretty often, such as every two weeks, to ensure that they have the correct tire pressure. If the tire pressure is too low this will have an effect on the gas mileage that you get. If you want to get the best gas mileage possible, there are even low tread tires that optimize the performance further. Don’t forget to check the alignment of your tires as well.
Doing regular maintenance on your vehicle is the best way to keep it running to its maximum potential in all departments, including how much gas mileage you can get. Getting a regular tune-up done by a mechanic is one way to stay on top of things to ensure that your car, truck, or SUV does not have any underlying issues that are negatively affecting your gas mileage.
2. Regular Maintenance
You should be performing all sorts of regular maintenance on your car. If you do not feel comfortable doing oil changes and other maintenance yourself, you need to find a trusted mechanic to work on your car for you. Maintenance includes oil changes, filter changes, checking the tire pressure, and simply keeping the car clean.
If there is a broken part in the engine of the car, this can actually be why you are not getting the best gas mileage. Keeping the engine in tip-top shape by performing regular maintenance will not only help you achieve the best gas mileage you can get, but it will also help to extend the lifespan of your vehicle.
3. Think About Aerodynamics
Did you know that carrying things on the roof of your car actually can have an effect on your gas mileage? It’s true, your car is optimized for the most streamlined performance when it comes out of the factory, and by adding bicycles, gear, and luggage on top of your car you are reducing how aerodynamic the vehicle actually is.
If you are traveling and you want to get the best gas mileage out of your vehicle, you should consider storing the supplies within the car if it is at all possible because it will help you to achieve your optimal gas mileage. If you are only driving down the street it may not make a huge difference to have things strapped to the top of the car, but if you are going on a road trip or traveling you will actually spend a significant amount on extra gas just from having things strapped to the car.
4. Slow Down
One way to get more gas mileage out of your vehicle is to simply slow down. When you speed up fast your car has to work harder to reach that high speed, and if you are going through town or areas with lots of stops this means that you are going to be bringing your engine up and down over and over again which will of course use more gas than going at a slow and consistent pace. Driving slower is also safer, and in addition to saving a few bucks on gas you may even save a few lives by slowing down on highways and in the city.
5. Keep Your Gas Tank Above a Quarter Tank
The age-old advice of keeping your gas tank full is golden. You don’t have to always have a full tank, but constantly running your car on empty is a recipe for trouble. Your car can not do its job properly if it does not have the fuel it needs, so try to make a point to fill up the car before it gets too low.
The quarter gallon mark is a good goal to hit and you should fill the tank up when you see that you are getting there. The type of gas is important too. If your vehicle needs premium or diesel gas, do not try to cut costs by using regular unless you want to mess up your engine. Most cars these days can run perfectly fine on regular gas, and putting premium gasoline in a car that takes regular does not do much to boost the gas mileage.
6. Use Cruise Control
Slowing down is a great start, but it isn’t all that realistic if you’re driving on the highway. That’s where cruise control can be useful! You can select a speed that you want your vehicle to travel at without even having to touch the gas pedal. So, why does this make a difference?
Without even realizing it, the pressure of your foot on the gas pedal is always changing. So, each time you hit a bump, pothole, or your foot relaxes, you’re causing the engine to rev at a different pace. Cruise control helps to take all the guesswork out of maintaining your speed and improve your gas mileage!
7. Select Another Route
By now, you know the quickest way to your office. Yet, that also means sitting in traffic for 30 minutes every morning as everybody else is heading to work as well. Well, it looks like it’s time to choose another way to get there!
What you might not realize is that sitting at a standstill destroys your fuel efficiency. You would undoubtedly get much better gas mileage by driving a few extra miles out of the way than you would when you’re just sitting in traffic.
8. Limit your A/C Use
You like to stay cool on those hot summer days. So much so that you blast the air conditioning every second that you’re in your car. Yet, your air conditioning system is essentially powered by your vehicle’s own fuel: Gasoline.
That means the hotter the temperature outside, the harder your car has to work to keep the inside cool. Ultimately, this can hurt your vehicle’s fuel economy pretty significantly. So, try opening the windows from time to time instead of using the A/C!
9. Keep It Moving
Despite what you may have heard growing up, there’s really no need to warm up your car before hitting the road. In fact, allowing your car to sit there idly is just wasting gasoline and lowering your car’s fuel economy. That’s especially the case if the temperatures are below zero in the winter.
Do your best to only turn your vehicle on right before you’re about to use it. That means don’t put the key in the ignition and then make a phone call or look at your GPS. Make sure you’re ready to go before you turn that key.
10. Clean Your Car Out
Having tons of storage space in your vehicle is great. What’s not so great is allowing excess weight to sit in your vehicle’s trunk, bed, or rear seats. The more weight in your car, the more your vehicle’s engine has to work to drive as it normally would.
Your car doesn’t have to be entirely spotless! Yet, when you’re nearing an excess of 50 or 100 pounds, you’re going to be losing out on fuel economy. With that, we’ll recommend only leaving heavy items in the car that you need that day or for work.
11. Drive Less
If you’ve ever caught yourself putting the key in the ignition to go to the pharmacy that’s a half-mile away, you’re wasting tons of gas without even realizing it. Plus, there’s really no need to be driving such a short distance if it’s not necessary. Try walking, jogging, or riding your bike next time you plan to go to a destination that’s pretty close to your home.
This also leads to our next point: Driving longer distances when you do actually drive.
Think about it. Every time you turn your car on, drive, and then turn it off, you’re wasting precious fuel. By extending the length of your drives, you can cut out the frequent turning on and off of your vehicle’s engine and save some gas. What we’re getting at here is to only use your car for longer drives and avoid making frequent pit stops along the way.
12. Focus on Safety
Nobody plans to be an aggressive driver, but it’s pretty common when you find yourself stuck in traffic or surrounded by seemingly less competent drivers. Every time you tailgate, weave in and out of traffic or slam on your brakes, you’re rapidly increasing your car’s fuel use!
Keep a safe following distance so you won’t have to slam on your brakes and re-accelerate as often. Work on gentle accelerations when the light changes. By practicing these tips, you can improve how far your gasoline will get you and increase the safety of yourself and those around you.
13. Avoid Driving in the Cold
Every time you drive in the cold, it takes a lot more energy for your car to warm up. Even more gas is used when you crank up the heat to warm up your seats and steering wheel. Don’t spend so much time letting the heat kick in and try to park your car in a garage to prevent the engine and interior from getting so cold.
14. Carpool If You Can
You have to go to work, your kids have to go to school, and the dog has a vet appointment. Are you really going to make three separate trips? If you really want to save gas, stop making such short trips and start combining several trips into one. That way, you don’t have to turn the engine on and off so many times and you can save yourself a ton of time in the process.
15. Know When to Upgrade
As much as you might love your car from 15 years ago, older cars are known for being gas guzzlers. When you notice that your fuel economy is slowly declining and repairs are becoming much more expensive, it might be time to get a new car! Plus, there are plenty of new cars that are considered “green” and more fuel-efficient.
Whether you want to save a few dollars or you are looking out for the environment, there are plenty of ways that you can make sure that you are doing the most to get better gas mileage. Keeping your car in top working condition is the best place to start, as an inefficient engine will struggle to run and burn up more gas than it needs to. If you follow one or all of the tips in this article you may begin to notice better gas mileage almost immediately. If you are going on a long road trip you can use these tips to spend less money on gas.