Tips on How to Improve Gas Mileage

by Peter on May 23, 2012

Gas prices are on constant high the past few years. There are times that we observe decreases in the price of gas but definitely we never get to see one dollar a gallon, those days unfortunately are long gone. Therefore it is important that we make the most out of the gas we pay. In addition, saving fuel does not only carry a financial benefit but also benefits the environment since the less we burn the less we pollute.  

Fuel consumption is at its highest peak when we accelerate. Thus, when you drive make an effort to keep a safety distance that allows you to decelerate at a slower rate and makes the need to accelerate from an abrupt braking less. Furthermore, if possible try to use cruise control to help maintain a constant speed. Keep in mind that keeping a steady speed is only one part of the equation since studies indicate that gas mileage deteriorates significantly after 60 mph. Thus if you commute or you are spending a lot of time driving in highways try not to exceed the 60 mph limit.

Don’t let the engine running for no reason. Idling, especially with the air conditioning, can cost up to 4 cents a minute. On the other hand don’t over go overboard with switching off and on the engine as it can wear down the starter. Note that some cars now have systems that automatically switch off the engine when you go idle for some time and start the engine automatically when you step on the gas.

We all do it or at least we have all seen it: car trunks becoming a storage place. If you have this habit thinks about it twice. EPA says that for every 100 lbs of excess weight we reduce our MPG by around 2%.  Thus no need to carry around your fishing gear, scuba diving equipment (never remove any safety equipment or your spare tire.)

Shop around for gas. Try to locate the cheapest station in your area. You can use the internet to do so since there are price observatories for every state.

Keep your tires inflated at the recommended level by the manufacturer and save more than 3%. Moreover, if during the winter you have snow tires remove them when weather conditions permit it since they are made to give you a better friction thus they consume more fuel (some claims put the saving rate at around 10% )

Consider carpooling to work the math is simple the more people you get to car pool the more you save on fuel and in tolls in case your route involves paying them. Moreover you save by not wearing off your car by driving it every day. Note that there are websites that can find you persons to carpool with but of course this depends on how comfortable you feel riding with a stranger to work (at least in the beginning.)

If you are in the market to buy a new car then there are a number of things to consider. Of course the no brainer is start by comparing fuel consumption per gallon for all the candidates. Another factor you might want to consider is going for the manual version of the car you wish to buy. Going for a manual car though can be tricky. First of all you save money if you do not race the engine (there are cars that actually have an indicator telling you when to shift gears.) Secondly driving a stick shift in a traffic jam can get really annoying.  You might also want to consider the option of buying a hybrid even though this is not exactly straightforward. Hybrid cars prices are higher than the regular ones so you might have to actually try and do the math by figuring out if you will actually cover the difference from fuel economy.


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