Cars are some of the best inventions of modern society, making transportation fast and easy. Without a car, most people would have to walk or take public transit everywhere they go, limiting their ability to get around quickly. However, this privilege comes with a cost: the price at the pump is always high, and most cars don’t get the best gas mileage.
Since cars are so helpful, it’s essential to look for ways to improve gas mileage so you can save money on fuel costs and cut down on your carbon footprint. You can improve your gas mileage in many ways without dramatically altering your driving habits or spending a lot of money. These tips will help you get more out of every gallon of gas, which means you’ll spend less on gas over time.
Tip #1: Check Your Tires for Proper Inflation
One of the simplest things you can do to improve gas mileage is to make sure your tires are properly inflated. By keeping track of tire pressure, you can save a significant amount of fuel and reduce emissions.
If your car has an analog or simple digital instrument panel that doesn’t show tire pressure, check the owner’s manual to find out how to access your car’s tire pressure readings. Many cars now have built-in monitors so you can view your tire pressure right from your dashboard and track tire pressure over time and see if there are any patterns or outliers in terms of when certain tires lose air faster than others.
Tip #2: Keep Your Car Well-Maintained
Keeping your car well-maintained and in good shape will save on fuel costs over time. Regular oil changes, fluid checks, and tire rotations go a long way toward keeping your car running smoothly and help the engine function at its best. If you let these simple maintenance tasks slide, some problems can arise that affect your gas mileage.
A faulty thermostat, for example, can prevent the engine from warming up and operating at its full potential. At the same time, a worn-out drive belt can reduce horsepower and negatively impact your gas mileage by adding more friction to the system. The more miles you put on your car, the faster minor problems add up and drastically lower your gas mileage, so make sure you keep up with regular maintenance.
Tip #3: Avoid Rapid Acceleration and Braking
Rapid acceleration and braking are bad for your gas mileage because they put more strain on your engine. If you need to accelerate quickly, do it in steps instead of all at once by speeding up slowly and only hitting the gas pedal once you’re at the speed you want to go.
If your car has an automatic transmission, you can use the “paddle shifters” on the steering wheel or shift stick to engage what is called “engine braking.” This allows your engine and transmission to slow down or “coast” as you decrease pressure on the gas pedal. It’s a great way to avoid rapid acceleration and braking if you need to slow down quickly for an upcoming turn or stop sign.
Tip #4: Use the Correct Octane Fuel
Using the correct octane fuel for your car is essential because using a lower octane level will cause more engine knocking, damaging your engine over time. Octane measures how resistant fuel is to burning when mixed with air, and lower octane fuels are more volatile.
In the United States, regular-grade gasoline typically has an octane level of 87, while premium gas usually has an octane of 93 or higher. If you use a lower grade than your car recommends or use lower octane fuel in a vehicle that requires higher octane gas, you will notice a decrease in your fuel economy, and your engine can incur damage from increased knocking.
Tip #5: Plan Your Trips Carefully
Plan your driving trips around town to avoid unnecessary idling and miles on the road when possible. Long-distance driving is known to reduce fuel economy, so plan accordingly if you’re traveling across the state or even driving to another city.
It could also be wise to minimize the heavy loads you’re carrying in your car since this can place additional stress on your engine and decrease fuel economy. This can affect the way you drive since it changes the weight distribution. So, if you carry heavy loads often, you might want to find box trailers for sale to consolidate your cargo and avoid any adverse effects on handling.
Tip #6: Check Your Tires Regularly
Checking your tire pressure monthly and before road trips are essential to getting the most fuel economy possible. Maintaining proper tire pressure is a factor in better fuel economy because it reduces rolling resistance, increasing your car’s gas mileage.
A good rule of thumb is to check your tire pressure when your tires are cold, and the car has not been driven recently. The recommended pressure for most cars is printed on a sticker in the driver’s side door jamb. If your tires are underinflated, you will feel a difference in effort while driving, and your gas mileage will decrease.
Implementing even one or two of these tips can result in significantly better gas mileage and save you money over time! So, to ensure that your investment pays off and your car is running as efficiently as possible, take the time to read up on some of these simple ways you can improve your gas mileage.