While it’s unlikely to make you wealthy, learning how to get better gas mileage and improve fuel economy can save you a substantial quantity of money at the pump over an extended period of time. There are a lot of fuel-saving tips that can improve the gas mileage of any car, truck or SUV, whether it involves easy-care or smart decisions about when and how to fill up.
This report assesses how to get better gas mileage and improve fuel economy and details strategies for getting the most from the gas you purchase while also reducing wear and tear on your car, truck or SUV.
See also: How NOT to Save Money on Gasoline
7 Surprising Ways to Get Better Gas Mileage
Gas prices might not be as high as they used to be, but it doesn’t mean it is too late to save a little money at the pumps monthly by optimizing your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
Adopting good gas habits may lead to substantial savings over the lifetime of your car or truck, and several of the best ways of improving fuel efficiency also help reduce wear and tear on your vehicle, which means fewer trips to the mechanic. Following are some of the most effective means of getting the most for your money when you fuel up.
Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated
Lots of people don’t pay any attention to their tire pressure before a warning light comes on or until their tires seem apparently flat, but maintaining proper tire inflation is truly among the very best methods for maximizing your gas mileage.
Under-inflated tires increase rolling resistance, and data shows that even tires that are just 10 PSI under the recommended pressure can translate to a 5 mph gallon reduction in fuel efficiency. Luckily, many gas stations have air compressors with built-in gauges, even though it’s a fantastic idea to invest in a more precise handheld pressure gauge to get better gas mileage from your tires.
One of the easiest ways to improve your gas mileage is to inflate your tires to the correct pressure. Sadly, a lot of motorists today neglect this part. As long as the wheels are able to turn and the tires maintain good contact with the ground, then it’s already good enough for them.
Regrettably, running on low tire pressure increases the rolling resistance of your tires on the ground surface. This robs you of very precious fuel. So make sure to inflate your tires to their correct pressure even before rolling out of your garage. Thankfully, you don’t have to second-guess the pressure levels in your car’s tires. There are now plenty of useful gadgets that seamlessly connect to your mobile giving you real-time information on tire pressure. This way you will know when you need to make the necessary adjustments.
Since the major factor that can increase fuel consumption is rolling resistance, you might want to check the tread pattern of your tires. The thing is many tire manufacturers today produce tires with relatively low rolling resistance. What this means is that the tires are able to roll along the surface of the road almost effortlessly. This reduction in resistance translates to an easier workload for your engine which means, better fuel mileage.
Remove Excess Weight to Get Better Gas Mileage
While removing excess junk in the trunk or removing bike racks may be a pain, it may also help you get better gas mileage. Extra weight can have a significant effect on fuel efficiency, especially in cars with front-wheel drive. Likewise, accessories like roof racks, flags, and mini-trailers can significantly increase air resistance, resulting in increased fuel consumption of up to 25 percent in the most extreme instances.
In an effort to get better gas mileage, a number people prefer to turn their vehicles into freight or delivery trucks, packing as many bags and other things that they can squeeze into their trunks or even flatbeds. Unfortunately, doing this increases the burden of our vehicle that puts more strain on the motor, which makes it work harder.
As you already know, an engine that’s working exceptionally hard or close to double its usual operating performance will need more fuel to be burnt. Do not believe me? Imagine yourself carrying a 10-pound bag. It’s relatively simple, right? Consider raising that to approximately 50 pounds and you would definitely be huffing and puffing as you go around carrying it on your back. You are going to be perspiring more. For an engine, that means more fuel.
Any increase in vehicle weight will substantially cause greater engine workload that easily translates into poor fuel economy. While the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or GVVVR of your vehicle will provide you a reasonable idea of precisely how much is its weight capacity, I actually do not advocate driving it to the hilt. If the GVVVR of your vehicle states that it’s about 4,000 lbs, do not push the weight limit to 5,000 lbs. Doing this will increase fuel consumption.
Hit the Gas Pumps Early in the Morning
For men and women that fuel two or more times per week, going to the gas station in the morning can save a surprising amount of money monthly. Gas stations store oil in underground tanks, and as these heat up during the day, molecules in the gas expand.
Because gas pump detectors measure flow rate rather than gas density, you’re really getting slightly less fuel by volume during the hottest hours of the day than in the coolest, though you’re paying the same price. While the difference is not enormous, it can add up to significant savings over the duration of your vehicle’s lifetime.
The pumps used in gas stations measure the flow rate of the gas passage through the system. Sensors in gas station gas pumps don’t quantify the true density or volume of the fuel; just estimation depending on the flow rate. Now here is the deal breaker.
Temperature affects density but not the flow rate. Therefore, if the fuel pump was pre-programmed to deliver one-gallon in 10 seconds, given the flow speed is at maximum, colder gas will be denser providing you considerably more fuel. But how much more, you say? Well, studies show that refueling on a morning at 59 degrees Fahrenheit will net you 25% more gas than refueling on a day at 95°F. The thing is, you are actually paying for exactly the same price.
Change Your Air Filter and Improve Fuel Economy
Apart from making sure you keep your tires aired up, changing your vehicles air filter is usually among the simplest and most efficient techniques to get better gas mileage. Like a vacuum cleaner, an air filter loses suction when it gets clogged with debris and dirt, meaning the motor has to work harder to pull in the atmosphere that’s required for combustion.
Oftentimes, swapping out an old air filter may lead to an instant, noticeable impact on fuel consumption, and there are loads of online video tutorials demonstrating how to change an air filter at home so as to keep down the cost.
Never forget replacing your air filter. A whole lot of vehicle owners are guilty of this. Many simply forget that one of the numerous recommendations for improving gas mileage, replacing or changing one’s air filters might be perhaps the simplest and most practical way to increase gas mileage. The reason is simple.
If you have a vacuum cleaner, then you know that the strong suction of your system may be affected by the level of obstruction or congestion due to debris and other particles in the bag. Cleaning or replacing the bag helps bring back the vacuuming efficiency of your gadget. In like fashion, replacing your air filter inside the recommended replacement period of your car’s manufacturer can help improve overall engine performance by enhancing its capacity to draw air out of the surroundings.
If the air filter is clogged up with debris, dust, or other contaminants, your car’s engine must work double time to draw air for mixing with gas. This increases fuel consumption and reduces gas mileage. Replacing the air filter can immediately bring you amazing improvement in your gas mileage by up to 15%. Not bad for a simple DIY quick fix.
Know When to Use the AC
Most individuals understand that running the air conditioner in your vehicle negatively affects fuel efficiency, and while that’s demonstrably right, the truth is a little more complicated.
In city traffic, where stop-and-go driving is the standard, air conditioning is not as efficient than just rolling down the windows. But at highway speeds, the wind drag brought on by rolled-down windows really have a more powerful effect on fuel efficiency than an air conditioner running at full blast.
While the most efficient option of all is to drive with the windows up and the AC off, there are many places where the heat makes that option unbearable, and so it’s worth knowing when to use the AC and when to enjoy the breeze.
It’s true that using your AC unit can considerably lower fuel economy. However, it really depends upon when you are going to turn on the AC. Studies now show that in city driving where stop-go-traffic won’t allow you to go anywhere near the 60 mph mark irrespective of how much you are aching to step on the pedal, it’s more fuel efficient to roll your windows down and turn your vehicle AC off.
Now, in regards to highway speeds in excess of 60 mph, the best strategy is to roll your windows up and turn on the AC. This reduces drag due to open windows. If you are driving very fast, then do the reverse.
Fuel economy is more about the proper driving practices in addition to a fundamental understanding of how specific physical principles impact the work of an engine. The bottom line is that any increase in motor workload leads to an increase in gas consumption, thus lowering gas mileage.
Use Cruise Control and Get Better Gas Mileage
Although nobody wants to admit it, the simple reality is that human drivers are less effective than a vehicle’s cruise control settings. Acceleration and braking often have the most significant impact on total fuel consumption, especially at highway speeds, and using cruise control helps to keep a consistent, efficient speed without all of the small, continuous changes in the rate of speed.
We have this inclination to match the rate of the driver in front of us whenever we are on the highway. Even if the other guy is already past the speed limit, you are more inclined to follow his lead without you really realizing it. Not only is this illegal, but it’s also very unsafe, and of course very fuel-inefficient.
Using the cruise control on your car can allow you to maintain a speed that’s legal, safe, and incredibly fuel efficient. This is because it makes it possible to move along just fine no matter how fast different motorists are going. Cruise control also helps lower your need for braking and acceleration which we know may have a substantial effect on fuel economy.
Don’t Top Off Your Gas Tank
Lots of people top off their gas tank by manually committing a couple of added pumps after the nozzle has automatically shut off, but this strategy can actually cost you money. Many nozzles are fitted with a recovery system which pulls extra gas back into the pump, and because this occurs after the sale is listed, over-filling your tank might mean paying for gasoline you do not actually get. It’s also worth noting that it’s ideal to pump gas at a slower rate – while it requires a couple of additional seconds, it decreases the amount of fuel vapor which enters the tank and has absorbed by the vapor recovery system.
Enhancing your gas mileage is not going to make you wealthy, but it can add up to substantial savings over time, and the next time gas prices go up, you will be glad you ingrained good habits early. By following the practices above, it is possible to better gas mileage and significantly improve your vehicles fuel efficiency. That translates into less money spent at the pump, fewer trips to the gas station and less wear on your vehicle.