Most drivers would love to improve their car’s fuel mileage and save on the monthly gas bill. Fortunately, this is something you can accomplish by making only a few small changes in your personal-driving habits. It doesn’t matter whether you have a small car like a Chevy Cruze or a large SUV like a Jeep Grand Cherokee, there’s always a way to squeeze out a few extra miles per gallon (mpg).
Check out these four easy tips to improve your daily mpg.
1. Go Easy on the Throttle
One of the biggest drains on your fuel tank comes from hitting the gas pedal a bit too enthusiastically when pulling away from a stop. Sometimes you’re caught in traffic that’s moving intermittently and you’re only heading from one red light to the next. Smooth throttle application that gradually accelerates rather than so-called jack-rabbit starts will save you gas in the long term.
2. Lighten the Load
This tip is especially true for anyone who drives a larger vehicle like a Dodge Grand Caravan or a Honda Pilot, where kids and other passengers can leave items behind that accumulate over time. Or maybe you have a trunk full of items you’ve wanted to empty out into the garage for a few weeks, but simply haven’t found a spare minute to do so. Whatever extra weight you’re carrying around in your car impacts your fuel mileage, which means it’s worth keeping your vehicle spic and span to save in the long run.
3. Use Cruise Control
The key to getting the best fuel mileage on the highway is maintaining a steady speed and avoiding the small accelerations and slow-downs that can creep in after an hour or two of driving. By setting the cruise control on your vehicle you can let the computer worry about the throttle and virtually guarantee a constant speed at all times. Some modern cars even come with predictive cruise control systems that use the automobile’s navigation system to tell them when there’s an uphill or downhill section approaching and to prepare accordingly.
4. Consider a More Fuel-Efficient Car
Changing your driving style is even more effective if you opt for an automobile that’s more efficient right out of the box. Consider trading in your current vehicle for a smaller compact car like the Honda Civic or the Hyundai Elantra. Less size equals less mass to move, which combined with a more modest engine adds up to a cheaper fuel bill.
Taken together, these four tips will go a long way toward boosting your fuel mileage. Small changes in behavior translate into large benefits over time, so make sure you give each one a month or so before you decide whether it’s making a difference in your gas costs.