In today's current economic climate, people are working hard to make their dollars go farther. Not only are drivers holding on to their vehicles longer, they're also looking to improve fuel efficiency to get the most mileage out of every gallon of gas. You can do both by following a few simple tips:
Drive Sensibly
Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.
Observe the Speed Limit
While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.
You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas.
Observing the speed limit is also safer.
Remove Excess Weight
Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2%. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle's weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.
Avoid Excessive Idling
Idling gets 0 miles per gallon. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas at idle than cars with smaller engines.
Use Cruise Control
Using cruise control on the highway can help you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gasoline.
Use Overdrive Gears
When you use overdrive gearing, your car's engine speed goes down. This can save gasoline and reduces engine wear.
Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned
Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done.
Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40%.
Keep Tires Properly Inflated
You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3% for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.
The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver's side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner's manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire's sidewall.
Use the Recommended Grade of Motor Oil
You can improve your gas mileage by 1-2% by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by 1-2%. Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by 1-1.5%. Also, look for motor oil that says "Energy Conserving" on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.
Source: Fueleconomy.gov
Cost savings are based on an assumed fuel price of $3.52/gallon.
Source: The Department of Energy. For more information, visit their website at www.fueleconomy.gov