Table of Contents
- Tip #1 – Only Use Air Conditioning When Completely Necessary
- Tip #2 – Get Yourself Some New Air Filters
- Tip #3 – Check Your Tire Pressure Regularly
- Tip #4 – Empty the Trunk
- Tip #5 – Get Rid of That Roof Rack!
- Tip #6 – If You’ve Got It, Then Use It
- Tip # 7 – Turn Off Your Engine Instead of Idling
- Tip #8 – Don’t Leave Your Car in the Sun
- Tip #9 – Keep Your Speed Down
- Tip #10 – Change Your Oil Regularly
- Tip #11 – Pump the Right Gas Into your Tank
- Tip #12 – Turn the Radio Off
- Tip #13 – Charge Your Phone at Home
- Tip #14 – Go to the Gas Station on the Way to Work, Not on Your Way Home
- Tip #15 – Research Prices
- Tip #16 – Drive Stick? Get in the Right Gear
- Tip #17 – Drive Automatic? Be Careful with the Pedal
- Tip #18 – Be a Smooth Driver
- Tip #19 – See a Fuel Delivery Truck? Choose Another Place to Fill Up
- Tip #20 – Change Your Tires
- Tip #21 – Is it Time for a New Gas Cap?
- Tip #22 – Know Where You’re Going and How You’re Going to Get There
- Tip #23 – Check if Your Wheels Are Aligned Properly
- Tip #24 – Mind Your Left Foot
- Tip #25 – Replace Your Spark Plugs
- Tip #26 – What Motor Oil Are You Using?
For most people, it’s impossible to live without a car. It’s the vehicle that you use to get to and from work, to visit the supermarket, or to pick up the kids from school. And having a car certainly opens up the world. You can hop in it and drive wherever you want, whenever you want. But the only downside to a regular car is that you need to fill it up with gas. And gas costs money.
Even if you have an efficient automobile, you’ll still need to spend a lot of cash on fuelling it, especially if you do a lot of driving. Fortunately, there are some easy-to-follow tips that can increase the amount of mileage that you get out of your car. We’re going to have a look at them now.
Tip #1 – Only Use Air Conditioning When Completely Necessary
We all love air conditioning. In summer, it’s a Godsend. But it’s also terrible for consuming gas. It takes a lot of horsepower to pump out cold air like that. Of course, when it’s hot, the idea of having your windows closed and no AC on is not feasible. Opening your windows will create drag, though, so you also don’t want to do that, as it will contribute to reducing your gas mileage, too. But when it is necessary, you should put the AC on if you’re driving at high speeds, such as on the highway. But if you’re going slowly, maybe because you live in a city, then you’ll get more efficiency with your windows cracked open.
Tip #2 – Get Yourself Some New Air Filters
When was the last time you changed your air filters? Chances are that you’ve never changed them. And yet, this simple fix can have a huge boost to the amount of gas mileage that you’ll get out of your car. That’s because a dirty air filter doesn’t function effectively. And – like everything else in your vehicle – cars have air filters for a reason. They make the engine run more efficiently. So, pop down to your local car parts’ store and pick up new air filters, as they’re very cheap. And you’ll be able to fit them yourself as long as you find the right page in your car’s owner’s manual.
Tip #3 – Check Your Tire Pressure Regularly
This is another simple thing that drivers often neglect to do. You should be checking your tire pressure before every long journey. And, if you’re just using the car as normal, perhaps for the school run or for a commute, then you need to check the pressure every two weeks. Note it in your calendar, so you don’t forget. When the tires are not inflated properly, then your car doesn’t function efficiently, and it can also ruin the tires, which will end up being another expense.
Tip #4 – Empty the Trunk
Your car needs to be as light as possible at all times. The heavier the car, the harder the engine has to work to power the vehicle. You need to do everything you can to minimize the weight in your car. Do you tend to leave stuff in the trunk of your car? If so, it’s time to empty it. Of course, the biggest contributor to weight is passengers. So, you need to keep in mind that every extra body that’s inside the car will work against your fuel mileage.
Tip #5 – Get Rid of That Roof Rack!
Anything that makes your car less aerodynamic is your enemy when it comes to fuel mileage. The problem with a roof rack, or any rack that you might put on your car, is that it increases drag, and that means your car can’t drive as efficiently, making you use more gasoline. As we’ve just learned, any extra weight is bad for gas mileage too. So, unless you’re using the rack, then take it off. It isn’t that difficult. And the more often you remove it, the quicker you’ll be able to do it.
Tip #6 – If You’ve Got It, Then Use It
What is ‘it’? Cruise control, of course. Not all cars have it. But if your car does have it, then you should use it as often as possible so that you maintain a consistent speed. Each time you put your foot down, even a little, it uses up more fuel than if your car was regulating the speed and keeping the RPM at a stable rate. There are times when it isn’t wise to use cruise control. For example, if you’re caught in a storm or a blizzard, it’s a bad idea to use it, which is primarily for safety reasons. Always stay vigilant when you’re using cruise control.
Tip # 7 – Turn Off Your Engine Instead of Idling
We all know that turning on your engine uses up a lot of power and that this translates into fuel consumption. But, it’s actually much worse to sit in your car with the engine on. Experts suggest that one minute is the maximum that you should allow your car to idle. If you go over 60 seconds, then it’s much more efficient to simply have the engine switched off and to turn it back on when you need to move again. Keep this in mind when you’re caught in a traffic jam.
Tip #8 – Don’t Leave Your Car in the Sun
No one likes returning to a hot car, especially if you’re planning on following these tips and don’t intend to use your car’s air conditioning unit. But parking your car in a shady spot actually helps gas mileage too. Why? Because the gasoline in your car can evaporate in the heat. And that simply means there will be less gas in your tank when you return to it. This can add up over time too. So, make sure always to park your car in the shade.
Tip #9 – Keep Your Speed Down
What kind of driver are you? If you’re a speed demon, then you’re not only risking your safety and the safety of others on the road, but you’re also consuming more petrol than the moderate drivers that you share the road with. You need to ask yourself. Do I really need to be driving this quickly right now? If you knock ten miles off your speed, then you’ll only add a few minutes onto your journey, and you’ll save yourself money too.
Tip #10 – Change Your Oil Regularly
Everything you can do to keep your car maintained so that it performs to the best of its ability will translate into better gas mileage. Changing your oil is a simple task that takes a matter of minutes, but – just like changing the air filters and checking tire pressure – drivers tend to forget about it, and then they wonder why their car is using up so much fuel. Check your oil and change it often.
Tip #11 – Pump the Right Gas Into your Tank
When you visit your local gas station, you’ll notice that you have several choices when it comes to gasoline. Most drivers look at the price difference and simply pick the cheap stuff. But there is a more expensive gasoline there for a reason. Some cars aren’t designed to run on the cheaper, low octane gasoline, and instead, they function better – and more efficiently – when they have high octane gasoline inside them. You can find out what type of gasoline is suited to your car by consulting the user’s manual.
Tip #12 – Turn the Radio Off
That’s right. If you want better gas consumption, then you need to turn off your radio, as it simply uses up more horsepower. Admittedly, it doesn’t use up an enormous amount, but if you’re trying to do everything you can to get the best mileage out of your car, then this is your best option. Don’t worry. You don’t need to drive in silence, though. Why not bring along a Bluetooth speaker in the car and hook it up to your phone? Then you can still listen to music and podcasts while you’re on the go without using up any fuel to do so.
Tip #13 – Charge Your Phone at Home
And while we’re on the subject of your cell phone, it’s also a good idea to ensure that it has been charged before you set out on a journey. Of course, you’ll still need to pay for electricity to charge your phone at home. But charging your phone in your car will simply use up fuel in the long run. And if you want better mileage out of your gasoline, then don’t plug your phone into your car.
Tip #14 – Go to the Gas Station on the Way to Work, Not on Your Way Home
When you want to pump some gas in your car, then try to do it as early as you can in the morning. That’s because fuel tends to be denser when it’s cold, and as it’s stored underground, then it will be colder – and denser – before the sun has beamed down on the ground all day and warmed it up.
Tip #15 – Research Prices
As you’ll well know, not every gas station sells fuel at the same price. In fact, the price of gas can vary widely. If you’re able to get cheaper fuel, then you’ll get more bang for your buck. Don’t worry. There’s no need to drive around your town, checking what the price is at each place. That definitely wouldn’t be good for your gas mileage! There are lots of websites and apps that you can use to find out what the price of petrol is in different places locally to you. Spend a few minutes checking where the best price is before you head out to fill up your tank.
Tip #16 – Drive Stick? Get in the Right Gear
If you’ve got a geared car, then you need to consider what gear you’re in at all times. The higher the gear, the more efficient your engine runs. But there is a limit too. As you well know, when you’re driving slowly, you won’t want to be in the top gear. That runs down your gas tank just as quickly as it does when you’re screeching through town in first gear when you really should be in fifth.
Some modern cars will tell you when you’re in the wrong gear or will tell you when you’re driving in a manner that’s not efficient. These recommendations are important. Keep an eye on them. If your car tells you to push up a gear, then do it. This technology is incorporated into cars for the very reason that it will tell you how to be more economical and to get better gas mileage.
Tip #17 – Drive Automatic? Be Careful with the Pedal
It can be strange for some stick drivers when they get into an automatic vehicle because there’s so little to think about. All you need to do is put your foot on the pedal, and the car moves forward. But automatic drivers can find themselves driving as if they are in a go-kart, constantly flooring the pedal and then braking. This stop-start type of driving is awful for your fuel consumption.
Treat driving as an art and take things slowly. If you know that the road is going to open up in front of you, then build up speed in a fluid, incremental manner rather than flowing the pedal, as this will increase the RPM rate and that means your car is working harder, and every time that your car needs to work harder, then it will require more fuel.
Tip #18 – Be a Smooth Driver
Regardless of the type of car that you have, you need to pick up good habits when you’re driving, and one of these habits is to take things smoothly. For example, if you’re out on a busy road, then it’s a bad idea to hug the rear bumper of the car in front of you. Firstly, it’s dangerous if you do this, and it could make the driver in front of you nervous, which could lead to them causing an accident. But the main reason why you want to stay away from that car in front is that you can drive your own way.
If they slam on their brakes for no apparent reason, then you don’t need to, you can slowly and smoothly reduce your speed. The more erratically you drive, the more gasoline that your car will use, because you’ll be braking hard and suddenly, then revving the engine to get going again. Take it easy when you head out onto the road, and you’ll actually save yourself some cash as it will transfer into better gas mileage.
Tip #19 – See a Fuel Delivery Truck? Choose Another Place to Fill Up
Some things are best fresh. Nothing beats a lovely bread roll that’s just been baked in the oven. An apple plucked from the tree by your own hand tastes much sweeter than one that you get in the local store. Then, other things need a little time to mature before you can get the best out of it. Strangely, gasoline is one of those things. The problem with gas when it’s just been delivered is that it has debris in it. This is unavoidable, but that debris needs time to float down to the bottom of the tank.
And if you fill up with gas that’s just been delivered, then you’re going to get that debris inside your own fuel tank. And this is not only terrible for your car – and can cost you a lot of money getting it removed – but it also means that the gasoline isn’t as pure, meaning you won’t get as much mileage out of it. Keep an eye out for that fuel truck. And if you see it, then find somewhere else to fill up your engine.
Tip #20 – Change Your Tires
We’ve already found out just how important it is to ensure that your tires are pumped up to the optimum pressure at all times, but it’s equally as important that your car has the right tires on them. Of course, if you’ve got a new car, then the manufacturer will have ensured that the car is fitted with the perfect tires for the vehicle. But if you’ve purchased a used car or you’ve changed the tires since you bought your car, then it might be worthwhile re-evaluating if they are the right tires.
High-performance tires are an example of tires that may seem like a good idea, but they’re actually harming your gas mileage. That’s the same for tires that are designed for certain weather conditions, such as snow. You only need those tires if you’re driving in the snow. If you’re not, then it’s time to replace them because they cost you money on gasoline.
Tip #21 – Is it Time for a New Gas Cap?
If you’ve got an older car, then there’s a chance that your gas cap needs replacing. Go and have a look at it. The most important feature of the cap is the seal. Once this goes, then you’re in trouble. Why? Because a seal is there to block air entering the tank. And once the seal isn’t functioning properly, then your gas tank will be exposed to air, and that leads to worse gas mileage. You can find gas caps on the internet or in shops that sell automobile parts. It won’t cost you a lot. But it could save you some dollars in the long run.
Tip #22 – Know Where You’re Going and How You’re Going to Get There
This tip is not just good for saving you money on gas mileage; it will also save you time, too. Whenever you’re heading out in your car, know exactly what you’re going to do, where you’re going to go, and plot the best route. If you’re going to pick up the kids, then visit the supermarket and fill up your tank with gas. Have a look at a map and work out the best order to do things in.
Ask yourself what the most efficient route is. This will cut down the number of miles that you’re driving, which will then cut down the amount of fuel that you’re using too. Another way this can help is it can reduce the number of journeys you might need to take. If you can do everything in one trip instead of two, then you’re saving yourself time in the car.
Tip #23 – Check if Your Wheels Are Aligned Properly
Driving takes a toll on your car. And if you live somewhere where you’re constantly driving over rocks or bumps, then there’s a good chance that your wheels will be knocked out of their normal alignment. It might only be a small amount, but a poorly aligned car requires more power from the engine when it’s in motion, and that costs you money in terms of gasoline. So, take your car down to your local garage and ask them to check the wheel alignment, and if it’s not right, ask them to reset it for you.
Tip #24 – Mind Your Left Foot
Lots of drivers have bad habits that they just don’t notice because they’ve been doing them for so long. One of the worst habits a driver can have in terms of gas mileage is to rest their foot on the brake pedal. The slightest of pressure on it still causes a resistance. And that means that your car is both accelerating and braking at the same time. That is bound to use up more power from the engine. Actually, experts think that this terrible habit can cost you thirty-five percent more gasoline than if you’re not doing it.
Tip #25 – Replace Your Spark Plugs
This is another tip that many drivers neglect to do. And, strangely, it’s something that more drivers did decades ago. Perhaps you have memories of your father spending Sunday afternoon with the hood of the car up, studying everything in the engine, and ensuring that the spark plugs don’t need replacing. Really, this is a good habit to have. Having malfunctioning spark plugs in your car just eats up gasoline.
Tip #26 – What Motor Oil Are You Using?
We’ve already learned that it’s important to get your oil changed regularly. But you should also consider if the motor oil that you put in your car is the right one. Experts tend to agree that synthetic motor oil is more efficient than standard oil. It also tends to last longer. There are some fantastic synthetic oils on the market, so do a little research, and pick one up. But before you do, check that it is compatible with your car, as some cars cannot have synthetic motor oil in them. You should be able to find this information in your car’s user manual.
These 26 tips are all important and will keep your gas mileage down.
Generally, these tips fall into a few key categories.
Firstly, it’s always important to check that your car is maintained properly. Everything from the gas cap to spark plugs needs to be regularly changed. You’ve got to check your oil, your tire pressure, and ensure that your wheels are aligned properly. Some of these tasks can be done from the comfort of your own home, and some of them will require a skilled mechanic. They’ll all cost you a little money, but they will save you money in the long run, too. A healthy car is an efficient car. And that’s what you need if you want to get better gas mileage.
Secondly, you need to get better driving habits. If you’re an erratic driver, then you’re consuming more gasoline. There’s no argument against this. Driving slowly, smoothly, and making adjustments gradually will allow your car to work more efficiently, and therefore will keep your costs down. Driving like this will also make you safer. There are some bad habits that you absolutely need to stop doing, too, such as resting your left foot on the brake while you’re driving.
Thirdly, there are things that you can turn off in your car that will help you to get better gas mileage. Always be careful with the air conditioning unit, as it’s a big gas-guzzling device. You should make sure that you charge your phone at home rather than in the car. And turning the radio off can also help you save petrol too.
The fourth main area that can save you gasoline is just to be a bit wiser with the decisions that you make. Don’t fill up your tank if you know that the gasoline has only just been delivered. As we’ve learned, gasoline that’s been delivered recently will be full of debris and will damage your fuel tank as well as give you worse efficiency. If you’re going to run multiple errands, then think about the best order to do them in, and make sure you do them all at once, so you don’t need to make multiple journeys in your car.
Doing all these things will certainly improve your gas mileage. None of them are particularly difficult, but they are things that many drivers neglect to do. Integrate them into your life, and you’ll save yourself some money. And make sure that these new habits are permanent, because getting better gas mileage is something that you need to keep on top of.