Trade in your car for a moped; and take public transportation whenever possible. Better yet, get a bicycle! Car pool to work and walk everywhere else. When you do need to drive, following ten tips can save you gas, and money.
KEEP YOUR ENGINE TUNED UP
Dirty filters, old fluids, and worn belts can cause a vehicle to work harder, using more fuel. But a proper tune up is more than just changing the oil and replacing the air filter. Incorrect fuel ratio, worn spark plugs, and inaccurate spark timing can have a big effect on gas mileage.
2. CHECK YOUR TIRES
Under-inflated tires cause more rolling resistance. Overinflated tires have much less friction and will give you better gas mileage but will reduce your traction and braking power.
3. PLAN YOUR TRIPS
If you need to go to more than one place, know the best route to avoid traffic and save time. Know when to go and consolidate trips whenever possible.
4. REDUCE YOUR VEHICLE WEIGHT
Take the golf clubs out of your trunk. Don’t leave things in your car that don’t need to be there. The more weight the car has to move, the more fuel it needs.
5. USE CRUISE CONTROL ON LEVEL ROADS
But do not use cruise control when you can do a better job yourself. On level surfaces your vehicle will maintain a consistent speed, which is better than speeding up then slowing down, which most of us do. Don’t use cruise control on hills. It will slow your speed coming down the other side and you’ll loose the natural momentum you would have gained to climb the next hill.
6. TURN OFF YOUR A/C
Air conditioners use a lot of energy. At low speeds and in stop-and-go traffic, turn off the A/C and roll down the windows if you can stand the heat.
7. TURN ON YOUR A/C
If you are traveling at freeway speeds it’s better to turn on your air conditioner and roll up your windows. Open windows create a lot of drag, dramatically increasing your wind resistance.
8. KEEP YOUR HIGHWAY SPEED AT 55 MPH.
Drive 55 instead of 75. It can improve you gas mileage by as much as 25%.
9. USE THE HIGHEST GEAR YOU CAN
If you are driving an automatic, put it in overdrive. If driving a stick, put it in a higher gear and keep your RPMs low. The higher the RPMs, the more fuel you will use.
10. CHECK YOUR MILEAGE
When you’ve done what you can to improve your mileage, check to see what it is. Fill up your tank. Reset your trip counter and drive conservatively. Fill up your tank again. Now divide the miles you drove by the gallons of gas required to refill your tank. This is your MPG. Now compare with what other cars of the same year, make and model are getting. If you’re way off, you may need to have a mechanic look to see if there is anything wrong.