7 tips to improve your car’s gas mileage

Young woman putting gas in her car
March 24, 2020

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 by adjusting your driving in certain ways? Here are seven tips to help you get better gas mileage and keep some money in your pocket.

1. Keep your speed consistent

We all have places to go and people to see, but driving habits play a role in our gas mileage. Slow and steady wins the race. Aggressive driving habits –such as abruptly speeding up and slowing down – use more fuel than a gradual acceleration or slowly rolling to a stop. Moving quickly requires more energy, requiring more gas.

Try driving at a more consistent, steady pace versus constant accelerations and decelerations. If you're on a longer trip, turn on your cruise control to have better control over your speed.

2. Know the type of fuel that works for your car

You want to make sure the type of gasoline you’re dispensing at the pump 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.

3. 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.

4. Maintain properly inflated tires

To achieve maximum fuel efficiency, keep your tire air pressure in line with the manufacturer’s recommendation, which you can find on the inside of your door or in your owner’s manual. 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.

5. 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 AC puts extra work on the engine and, in turn, uses more fuel.

But of course, 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’s interior from sunlight, keeping the temperature cooler than it would be baking in the sun.

6. 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 consumes less gas than letting it idle for one minute or more.

7. 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 seven tips, you can go further on a tank of gas and save your money for more important things.

The general information in this blog is for informational or entertainment purposes only. View our blog disclaimer.

*Data accuracy is subject to this article's publication date.

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