12 Tips for Better Gas Mileage
Cars give us the freedom to pursue our dreams – whether they involve epic road trips with friends, hitting the road to visit family members or commuting to that cool new job you landed.
Want to get more out of your car? Follow these easy tips for getting better gas mileage. You’ll save money on gas, while making the world a better place by increasing energy sustainability. Double-win!
Be a Smart Driver
Patience is a virtue. Zipping around other cars by rapidly accelerating and decelerating wastes gas, and it’s not particularly safe either. Be kind to other drivers (and your wallet!) by gradually applying the gas, and by avoiding excessively stepping on and off the brake.
Save, don’t speed. While vehicles vary, it’s an accepted rule of thumb that every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph will reduce your fuel efficiency – as much as an additional $0.15 per gallon of gas. Save and be safer by avoiding speeding.
Don’t idle too long. Whether you’re picking up your child at school or waiting at the bank drive up window, turn off the car and put it in park. By avoiding idling, you’ll save gas, money and help the environment.
Be cool about using air conditioning. Good news! Warm weather improves your engine’s efficiency. But, when you turn on the air conditioner, you’re using more gas. In fact, air conditioning is a leading cause of reduced gas efficiency. Use these guidelines in summer.
- Drive with windows open at slower speeds.
- Set the temperature at a reasonable setting when you have to close windows.
- Turn it off when you’re cool enough.
- Keep it off when you’re idling. It’ll cool you off fast if you turn it on when you start driving.
Roll up those windows. When driving on the highway, keeping your windows closed can keep your aerodynamics at peak performance.
Adjust your commute times. Driving in slow traffic can take a toll on your gas mileage. Sometimes leaving earlier or later can reduce your travel time and improve fuel efficiency, with relatively minor adjustments to your work schedule.
Give Your Car the Care it Deserves
Keep tires inflated. Check your owner’s manual, the sticker on your driver’s side door jamb or in your glove box to determine proper tire inflation pressure (psi). Don’t use the maximum psi printed on your tire.
Tune your engine. When your engine works efficiently, you get better gas mileage.
Change your oil. Regular oil changes with the correct grade of oil can improve your gas mileage. Some motor oils with Energy Conserving stickers can further improve your performance, if appropriate for your vehicle.
Watch Your Loads
Rooftop cargo can be a drag: Think twice about putting a cargo unit on your roof, which can reduce your car’s gas efficiency by as much as 25 percent on highways. Using a rear-mounted cargo box or tray also reduces fuel economy, but only by about 1 to 5 percent on the highway.
Weigh your options. Sometimes you have to haul heavy items in your vehicle – and the ability to do so can come in handy. But take the load out of your vehicle as soon as you can – it’ll help your fuel consumption.
Check trailer tires. Like the tires on your car, low tire pressure on your trailer can increase drag and reduce efficiency. Keep them properly inflated, for better gas mileage.
Ready to save money while reducing your carbon footprint? Now that’s a dream worth pursuing and sustaining!