With the summer driving season upon us, we can all use a tip or two to increase the gas mileage in our vehicles. Here are a few quick tips that if followed can increase your fuel economy by as much as 20%. Most of these tips won’t just save you money, they will also keep you safer on the road.
1. Watch Your Speed – Most people don’t realize this, but when you take your MPH over 55, you are drastically impacting your gas mileage. The EPA estimates that keeping the needle at 55 (vs 65) can increase your gas mileage by as much as 15%.
2. Use Cruise Control – If you have it, cruise control can be a great way to conserve fuel. Using cruise control on the highway can keep you from unnecessary acceleration, and help you maintain constant speeds which will have a big impact on your fuel economy.
3. Accelerate and Brake Smoothly – Fast starts, weaving in and out of traffic, and hard breaking can be a huge waste of fuel, and can wear out your cars brakes and tires very quickly. Keep a safe distance between vehicles in front of you, and anticipate traffic ahead to allow more time to brake and accelerate gradually.
4. No Idling – The engines of today don’t need a warm up. Start the car immediately and drive away, don’t leave your car idling. It can be tempting to start the car and let the A/C cool it down in the dog days of summer, but this can have a huge negative impact on your gas mileage.
5. Keep Tires Properly Inflated – Check your tires and make sure they are inflated to the recommended tire pressure. This small step can reduce resistance and increase your fuel economy by as much as 5%. This will also save you money as under-inflated tires wear down much faster.
6. Get a Tune Up – A regular engine tune-up keeps your vehicle running efficiently. Little things like an alignment will make keep your wheels from fighting each other and wasting fuel. New air filters increase the air flow, and reduce the load on your engine.. These small things along with other aspects of a regular tune-up can go a long way in terms of saving you fuel.
7. Close Windows on the Highways – Try not to drive with the windows open unless your speed is under 55 mph. Driving on the highways with the windows open can increase the drag, and lower the fuel economy.
8. Minimize A/C Use – While everyone likes to stay comfortable when possible, remember that the A/C is one of the biggest culprits of poor summer gas mileage. Try to minimize the use of the A/C when possible. Little things like proper use of vents, and parking in the shade can keep your A/C from working overtime in the hot summer months.
The summer is a very busy time on the roadways, so be careful out there!