Getting Better Gas Mileage
Having to spend so much personal income on fuel is a pet peeve for many people. Gas prices are often discussed as much as the weather or politics. This actually makes sense, since those things and many others are the driving forces behind fuel pricing. The price at the pump is directly related to crude oil, which in turn is set globally. The daily interactions of buyers, sellers, economic growth, weather, and supply and demand all create price changes in crude oil. Maybe we can’t affect those things, but there are some small things we can do that add up to savings at the pump. When it comes to gas mileage, every little bit helps! Saving money on fuel, or on cheap car insurance, can go a long way in stretching your dollars.
Ten Ways To Improve Gas Mileage
Avoid Aggressive Driving
Changing your speed excessively and breaking rapidly wastes gas. It is also not safe. Feedback devices like, mpg dials and tracking apps, can help you see where you are wasting energy and fuel.
No Roof Cargo
Wind resistance is an important factor in fuel economy, and having a large cargo box on your roof can lower your efficiency by 2-8%. Rear mounted boxes are better, and taking the box off when you don’t need it will also help.
Toss Out Excess Stuff
Believe it or not, hauling around extra heavy items can lower your gas efficiency. It can have more of an effect on smaller cars, but each 100 lbs. of extra weight can lower mileage by about 1%, according to FuelEconomy.gov.
This is probably one of the most common reasons people lose fuel efficiency. You can use up a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour by idling. If you have a choice, turn your car off for a while, as starting up only uses up 10 seconds worth of fuel.
You can save about 2 miles per gallon by driving 55 instead of 65. Obviously it is also safer, the faster you go the less reaction time you have, and the more gas your car consumes.
Get A Tune Up
Keeping your car tuned up, the oil changed regularly and the fuel filters replaced, call add up to a savings of 1 mile per gallon. In addition, it makes driving safer since you are less likely to break down on the road.
Keep Tires Properly Inflated
Under-inflated tires increase rolling resistance, which can cost you up to 1 mile per gallon. Cold weather will decrease tire pressure, so check it often and make sure it is at the pressure recommended in your cars driving manual.
Try to avoid rush hour when running errands, and plan ahead to get as many things done in one trip instead of multiple trips. This will help reduce idling time and stops and starts, which can eat up gas.
This is of course the best way to save on gas, mileage on your car, and pollution of the environment. Most people don’t like giving up their independence or privacy while driving, but if everyone did it just once or twice a week, it would have a significant impact. Look up links for public transportation in your area at the American Public Transportation Association.
Consider The Weather
Hot Weather– Warm temperatures can actually help your gas mileage because you engine warms up to its most efficient temperature quicker. Also, warm air will cause less aerodynamic drag than cold air. However, it is keeping the driver and passengers comfortable that can quickly cancel out those factors and result in less fuel efficiency. Using your air conditioner can cost you up to 2 miles per gallon in fuel efficiency. Depending on your speed and other conditions, like extreme outside temperatures, it can be even higher.
To help get better gas mileage when it is hot, roll the windows down when you are driving slowly, and use the AC when you’re on the highway. It also helps if you get your car moving and move the hot air out of the windows before turning on your air conditioner.
Cold Weather-Cold air makes it more difficult for your engine to warm up to its fuel efficient temperature. The fluids in the engine and transmission cause more friction when they are cold, and that makes your fuel less efficient.
It may seem like a good idea to let your car idle to warm up, but it’s not. Idling gets 0 miles to the gallon, so experts recommend driving off within 30 to 60 seconds of starting your car. Driving the car is actually a better way to warm it up.