Ways to Increase Your Fuel Efficiency
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Ways to Increase Your Fuel Efficiency

Posted on Friday, July 8th, 2011 at 4:12 pm
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With the ever-fluctuating gas prices today, it is a good idea to be aware of ways to increase your car’s fuel efficiency and lower your bill at the pump. I know I cringe a little every time I grab my receipt at the gas station! Here are some helpful tips for how to get the most miles out of your tank of gas.

Be An Efficient Driver: Simple Tips for Fuel Efficiency

  • Follow the speed limit. Observing the speed limit will not only save you from costly speeding tickets, but it will actually increase your fuel efficiency. Generally, gas mileage decreases at speeds over 60 mph. In fact, you will end up losing about .29 cents per gallon for every 5 mph over 60 mph.
  • Drive passively, not aggressively. This means don’t speed, rapidly accelerate or brake unnecessarily. Aggressive driving can lower your gas mileage by up to about 30% on the highway and 5% around town.
  • Keep it light. Removing excess weight (especially in compact cars) will help increase your fuel efficiency. In fact, removing 100 pounds can reduce your gas usage by about 2%. If you use your car as a second closet (like I do), you might want to reconsider.
  • Don’t idle. Letting your car idle can cost you 1/4 – 1/2 a gallon of gas per hour.
  • Sweat it out. Turning your AC off when driving around town can save you money. Running the AC causes the car to work harder and burn more gas. However, the AC has little effect on highway driving. In fact, studies show that at high speeds it is more efficient to run the AC than to create drag by rolling the windows down.
  • Cruise control. Using cruise control will help you maintain a constant speed, and thus lower your gas expenses. Remember that every time you accelerate, you use gas.

 

Plan Your Driving

  • Plan your trips. Try to accomplish all your errands and stops in one trip while your car is already warmed up. Making multiple trips on a cold engine will waste gas and time.
  • Plan your commute. If you can, plan your commute to avoid peak traffic hours.
  • Carpool and ride sharing is also a great way to cut back on fuel consumption. Whether you are just commuting to work or going on a long trip, try to find someone to split the gas and driving with.

 

A Little TLC: Keeping up on Car Maintenance

  • Keep your tires inflated properly. Deflated tires can lower your gas mileage by up to 3%. Check your owner’s manual for the proper tire inflation for your vehicle. Some vehicle’s also have this information on a sticker on the driver’s door or in the glove box.
  • Tune your engine. Keeping a properly tuned car engine can save up to 4%. A tuned car is a fuel-efficient car!
  • Use the recommended grade of motor oil. This will save you 1-2% on your gas bill. Also, look for motor oil that says it is “Energy Conserving” on the circular yellow API performance symbol. On that note, synthetic oil can save around 5% on gas. However, if your manufacturer doesn’t recommend synthetic oil for your vehicle, choose the lightest oil you can (15-30, preferably).

 

Following these tips will help you save money on gas with the car you have now. Of course, if you are in the market for a new car you might look into some of the great fuel-efficient and hybrid cars out there. By choosing a fuel-efficient vehicle, you can literally save thousands over the span of your car’s life!


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