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Tips on how to improve your car’s gas mileage

Added March 23, 2020
Low fuel warning on a car's dashboard

In a time of fluctuating gas prices, it can be difficult to find savings at the pump. But, did you know you can save some cash on your own before heading to the pump? There are ways to improve your car’s gas mileage and keep money in your pocket. Here are eight tips to help you get better gas mileage for your vehicle.

Slow and steady wins the race

We all have places to go and people to see, but driving habits play a role. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to improving your gas mileage. That’s because aggressive driving habits that include abruptly speeding up and slowing down uses up more fuel than a gradual acceleration or slowly rolling to a stop. Working quickly requires more energy, and this applies to your car’s engine when speeding up and slowing down.

If you’re concerned about your gas mileage, try driving at a more consistent, steady pace versus constant accelerations and decelerations. Or, turn on your cruise control to have better control over your speed.

In addition, the faster you go, the more fuel your vehicle will use.

Know the type of fuel that work for your car

Regardless of the current price of gasoline, improving gas mileage is achieved if the type of gasoline you’re using is made to work seamlessly with your vehicle. Flip through your owner’s manual or check your gas cap to determine which type of gas will produce the best results for your car, truck, or SUV. Each vehicle has a recommended octane rating for the fuel it burns. These types of fuel are tested by the manufacturer to guarantee the best efficiency for your car.

Clean out your car

Did you know your gas mileage is affected by the overall weight of your vehicle? If you’re lugging around heavy furniture, boxes, or other items with extra weight, it could increase fuel consumption and drain your gas tank more quickly 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.

Maintain properly inflated tires

To achieve maximum fuel efficiency, keep your tire air pressure in line with the manufacturer’s recommendation—information often found on the inside of your door. Tires that are under- 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.

Use air conditioning sparingly

In the hot summer months, air conditioning can be a life saver while navigating the highway from point A to point B comfortably. However, blasting the A/C puts extra work on the engine and, in turn, uses more fuel. We don’t suggest you suffer in the heat. Rather, try to park in the shade when possible to keep your car cool from the get-go. You can also use a windshield reflector to help shield your car from sunlight, keeping the temperature cooler than it would be baking in the sun.

Avoid vehicle idling when possible

Simply turning off your engine can help conserve gas. If you anticipate being stopped for more than one minute or so, shut off the car. Contrary to popular belief, restarting the car uses less fuel consumption than letting it idle for one minute or more.

Choose your car wisely

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, gas mileage should be a top factor in your decision no matter the current price of gas. Today, many newer fuel-efficient vehicle models offer great fuel economy. Typically, smaller vehicles with a manual transmission get better fuel mileage allowing you to save on gas expenses.

Be informed

Lastly, don’t be fooled by false advertisements or repair shop claims about products that help with improving gas mileage. According to the U.S. EPA and Federal Trade Commission, there are no known products proven to improve fuel economy.

By following these eight tips, you can go further on a tank of gas and save your money for more important things.

Related Links:

Looking for other ways to save money? Here are 10 ways to get cheaper auto insurance.

What happens in the unfortunate instance that you run out of gas on the road? Towing and rental reimbursement coverage can save you time and money.