16 ways to improve your gas mileage
With the price of fuel skyrocketing and endless traffic jams, motorists nowadays have become more conscious about how to save and achieve the best fuel economy. For others, they believe that acquiring a brand new car is the best way to go because of lesser maintenance which results in better fuel mileage. Now there’s no problem in buying a new car, but it does not mean that it will solve your problem.
Whether you have a small or large engine, fuel efficiency can be achieved with driving style and periodic maintenance of your car. The truth is you could own the thriftiest car in the world, but if your right foot is too heavy and lazy to ease off the pedal, it won’t matter. The same goes if you do not bother to maintain your car properly.
Many motorists only consult mechanics when their cars act up. Instead of saving money, you spend a lot on spare parts that should have been replaced long before they were worn out. The way you drive and the condition of your car have an impact on the amount of fuel you use. So, here are some tips to help you save fuel and money.
Aggressive driving can use as much as a third more fuel. Avoid accelerating or braking too hard, and try to keep your steering as smooth as possible.
Plan trips carefully
Cutting down on the time spent in the car is the easiest way to conserve fuel. Combine all your short trips and errands into a single journey.
Use higher gears
The higher the gear you drive in, the lower your engine speed is. This can improve fuel efficiency. So change up a gear whenever you can.
Avoid over revving
Change gear in good time when you pull away or when you’re accelerating. Never “redline” the tachometer.
Tune and service your engine
A well tuned engine can improve fuel economy by up to 4%, so change your oil and obey your car’s service manual.
Keep your tires at the right pressure
Correctly-inflated tires are safer and last longer. A tire that is under-inflated by just 1 psi can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 3%.
Avoid carrying excess weight
For every extra 100 lbs (45 kg) you carry, your fuel efficiency can drop by 1–2%. Keep your trunk or back seat clear of unnecessary items that weigh you down.
Keep the windows closed
Wind blowing through an open window will slow you down. To compensate, you may put your foot down harder, using more fuel.
Take the roof rack off
If you’re not using your roof rack, ditch it. It just creates create drag, reducing fuel economy by as much as 5%.
Use the correct oil
Always use the recommended grade of motor oil. Using the manufacturer’s recommended lubricant can improve fuel efficiency by 1–2%. Higher quality motor oils can also help your engine operate more efficiently.
Avoid excess idling
Idling gets you nowhere but still burns fuel. Turn the engine off when you’re in line or are just waiting to pick someone up.
Avoid high speeds
The faster you go, the more wind resistance you’ll encounter and the more fuel your vehicle will consume. Driving just 8kph over the speed limit can affect fuel economy by up to 23%.
Use airconditioning sparingly
Airconditioning puts added strain on the engine. Limit use to particularly hot or cold days. On temperate days, use the fan instead.
Check the air filters
Replacing a clogged air filter can improve fuel economy by as much as 10% and will help protect your engine.
Check the seal on your fuel cap
Fuel evaporates every time you open the fuel cap. Prefer larger fills to repeatedly topping up your tank.
When you’re not calm, you’re more likely to make errors in judgment. Fuel efficiency is all about smoothness, and keeping calm is absolutely crucial to achieve fuel economy.