New Tips on an Old Topic: How to Improve Your Gas Mileage!
With the price of gas giving everyone a headache, it’s time to take another look at that perennial problem: How to improve your gas mileage.
Here’s a scary statistic: You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas! With so many people cruising at 80 miles per hour on the highway these days, no wonder we are all feeling the pinch.
Dozens of organizations have come up with ways to improve mileage. Here’s a summary of the best tips. How many do you observe?
MAINTAINING YOUR CAR:
- Keep your engine tuned up. Incorrect fuel ratio, bad spark plugs and incorrect spark timing lower your miles per gallon.
- Use your air conditioner (A/C) sparingly. The A/C compressor puts an extra strain on the engine.
- Keep your windows closed when possible. Open windows actually reduce gas mileage compared to using the A/C properly.
- Make sure your tires are correctly inflated. Under inflated tires cause more resistance to travel.
- Ask other people with the same type of car what kind of gas mileage they get. This may alert you to a problem with your car.
- Use a good engine oil, preferably a synthetic or standard oil treated with a friction reducing oil additive. These have been known to improve fuel economy by as much as 12%.
- Reduce the weight in your vehicle. Clean out the truck. Don’t let clutter accumulate in the back or passenger seat. More weight requires more fuel.
- Fine tune your car’s aerodynamics. Remove accessories that lower the aerodynamics of your vehicle, such as luggage racks.
YOUR DRIVING BEHAVIOR
· Avoid stop and go traffic by taking alternative routes or less congested travel times.
· Minimize the need to brake by anticipating traffic conditions. Be alert for slowdowns and red lights ahead of you, and decelerate by coasting whenever it’s safe and possible.
- Use your cruise control whenever possible – if the road surface is smooth.
- Don’t use cruise control on bumpy roads. That eats up more gas.
- Travel at moderate speeds. Keeping your highway speed at 55 mph improves gas mileage by as much as 25%, compared to 75 mph.
- Avoid trying to increase speed while climbing a hill.
· Avoid idling. Idling gets 0 miles per gallon. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas at idle than do cars with smaller engines.
· Use overdrive gears. When you do, your car’s engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear.
· Avoid aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking). It wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town.
· If you own more than one car, use the more energy-conserving vehicle as often as possible.
· Consolidate trips and errands to cut down on driving time and miles traveled. Find one location where you can take care of banking, grocery shopping and other chores.
· Comparison shop first by phone, online or through newspaper ads, before you drive to your shopping destination.
· Keep your eyes open for low fuel prices, but don’t waste gas driving to a distant filling station to save a few cents.
To download a brochure with additional tips, visit AAA at: http://www.aaapa.org/pdfs/Gas_Watchers_Guide.pdf