Car Care:    Tips , Tricks and Maintenance

Gas Mileage Tips and Driving More Efficiently


Are you interested in techniques that can make your car more fuel efficient and save as much money on gas as possible?  These simple tips focus on making your car more fuel efficient while allowing your vehicle to go as far as possible on a tank of gas.

** There's no need to warm up the engine by means of idling after starting your vehicle. Advanced multi-viscosity oils and modern oil filters help oil get to the moving parts faster so there's no need to idle. If all your windows are cleared and you're safe to go, just drive away leisurely for the first few miles to allow the engine warm up as you're underway.

** Switch over to Synthetic oil. Synthetic oils are stronger and more slippery than regular motor oils. This allows the engine to run more efficiently due to less internal friction, therefore increasing your gas mileage. *Check with the manufacturer for compatibility if you have a rotary engine.

** Don’t ride the brakes. Not riding the brakes could increase your fuel efficiency by up to thirty percent. Sustaining a greater space cushion between you and the driver ahead will allow you to coast when you see constant brake lights further ahead.

** Check your tire pressure often. It's estimated that approximately 50 percent of tires on the road are under inflated; this wastes fuel and decreases your fuel efficiency. It's normal for air pressure to drop by close to 1 pound per square inch per month and 1 PSI for each 8-degree drop in ambient temperature.

** Adjust your cruise control to fifty-five miles per hour. Cruise control applies the accelerator more smoothly, reducing fuel consumption. Reducing your speed from 65 miles per hour to 55 miles per hour improves fuel economy by about ten percent.

** Use the correct gear for your speed. A vehicle going at thirty-seven miles per hour in 3rd gear uses 25 pct. more fuel than at the same speed in 5th gear.

** Fill up with lower-octane gas if possible. Despite its name, "premium" gasoline will not help you get better gasoline mileage or performance. Unless your vehicle's owner's manual states that it requires premium gasoline, filling up your car with high-octane fuel is a waste of money.

** Tighten up your gas cap. Loose, missing or mangled gas caps will cause gas to vaporize, reducing mileage per tank.  Approximately 147,000,000 gallons of gasoline evaporates this way every year.

** Use the air conditioner in moderation. Air conditioning can reduce your car’s fuel economy by ten to twenty percent when driving at lower city speeds. If however you're driving at highway speeds, it's often more fuel efficient to close the windows to reduce drag and use the AC instead.

** Park in the shade where possible. During hot months, attempt to park your vehicle in a shady spot to reduce the quantity of fuel lost to evaporation and it also demands less air-conditioning once you get back underway.

** Replace the air filter often. Replacing an obstructed air filter could better your gas mileage by as much as ten percent. Your owner's manual will specify when to change your filter, however checking it every six months or so is a good habit to get into.

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