With gas prices constantly fluctuating, it never hurts to know some ways to improve your gas mileage. While you may not be able to practice all of these all the time, here’s a few simple ways to increase your gas mileage whenever possible.
Refuel in the morning – Did you know that a gallon of gas in the morning is not the same as a gallon of gas later in the day? Why? Most large fuel tanks are buried underground. In the morning the ground is colder. As the ground temperature rises, the gasoline expands, making it less dense. If you fill your fuel tank a couple times a week, you could save between $5-$10 each month by refueling first thing in the morning!
Replace your air filter – If the engine air filter is clogged with dust and debris, your engine has to work harder than it should to get enough air to mix with the fuel, causing an increase in fuel consumption. Replacing the air filter can instantly improve your gas mileage up to 15%!
Don’t put the pedal to the metal – Revving the engine or accelerating quickly burns more gas. Accelerating more slowly will not only improve your gas mileage but could also extend the life of your engine.
Watch the weight – Keeping the weight in your vehicle to a minimum when possible can make a big difference in the gas mileage. If you’ve literally got junk in your trunk, time for a clean-out!
Inflate your tires – Keeping your tires inflated to the proper level reduces their rolling resistance, so your vehicle doesn’t have to work so hard. Many newer cars come with tire pressure monitoring systems – if that dash light goes on, don’t ignore it.
Avoid prolonged idling – At idle, you are literally getting zero miles per gallon. If you’re going to be sitting longer than 10 seconds, turn off the engine. Contrary to popular belief, starting doesn’t use more fuel than idling in modern cars.
Use cruise control – If your car is equipped with cruise control, it helps to maintain a consistent speed and can reduce the need to accelerate or brake helping to improve efficiency. If your car has it, adaptive cruise control is even better for this.
Use the Air Conditioning Wisely – Here in the southeast, you need your AC, but whenever possible roll the windows down or reduce the setting on the air conditioning. It makes a big difference on fuel costs over time.
It might be interesting to fill your gas tank and make no immediate changes and calculate the mpg. Then make as many of the above changes as possible and calculate the mpg again and hopefully you will notice a difference!