11 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Gas Mileage

Gas prices aren’t as high as they used to be, but they aren’t as low as they used to be either. Although gassing up is just one of those things that come with owning a vehicle, there are several ways to maximize your mileage so you’re fueling up less frequently.

1. Switch to a More Fuel-Efficient Vehicle
It seems like an obvious solution, and it’s certainly easier said than done to upgrade your vehicle to a more fuel-efficient model like a fully electric car or hybrid. If it’s time for a new vehicle, or you want to invest in a ride that will save you money in the long term, it’s the only way to go. If nothing else, it’s at least worth a trip to the dealership to see what it has to offer and then crunch the numbers.

2. Lighten Your Load Before Long Hauls
Over-packing your car for a road trip, or the more likely scenario, hauling around a bunch of junk on a regular basis for no reason weighs down your vehicle and that requires it to work harder for all that getup-and-go.

Consider this – you go to the garden center, buy several bags of topsoil, then forget to unload your car for a week. Automotive engineers sweat the details to remove ounces of weight to improve a vehicle’s EPA mileage rating. Imagine what happens if you remove several pounds. Make it a habit to only carry what needs to be in the car.

3. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated
Tires that are low on air don’t roll easily requiring more engine power (and more fuel) to make them rotate. Luckily tire pressure is one of the easiest checks to perform.

Buy an inexpensive pressure gauge, keep it in your glove box, and make a habit of checking the tires at fill-ups. Be strict about using the numbers on the vehicles tire pressure label, usually found in the driver’s door. Most vehicles have the same pressure rating for all four tires, but pay attention if your label requires different pressures front and rear.

4. Avoid Stop-and-Go Traffic
You’ll save on gas if you keep your car moving at a steady pace as opposed to braking often in traffic. If your morning and afternoon commutes are usually sluggish, try another route. Another reason your vehicle will consume more fuel in stop-and-go traffic is because it will run longer than if you traveled from A to B quicker. If you have the option, test out different departing times to avoid gridlock. Maybe leave home/work a little earlier or later depending on what your schedule (and boss) allows.

5. Take Your Foot Off the Pedal and Coast for a While
Instead of driving to the absolute last second when you need to stop, take your foot off the pedal well before the light to allow your car to coast to a stop. Make this a habit and you’ll start seeing the difference in how often you have to refuel.

6. Turn on Cruise Control to Keep an Even Speed
The best thing you can do to increase your gas mileage is to travel where you can keep an even speed. Most people get the best mileage somewhere between 45 and 55 miles per hour. If you can maintain that speed for long periods of time, you will greatly reduce your gas usage.

7. Plan your Errands About Town Efficiently
Before heading out, plan your stops so you can get to one end of town and back without having to cut across roads, make any unnecessary turns, or go back-and-forth. You can even plan to head in one direction, hitting everything on one side of road, and then head south to get the rest on the way back.

8. Don’t Let Your Car Idle
Even when your car is sitting idle – like when you’re heating it up in the morning when it’s cold out – it’s still using gas. If this is your daily practice in the winter, wean yourself off of it. As an alternative, bundle up and let the car heat up gradually as you drive. This may not be as cozy as getting into a toasty car that’s had 20 minutes to warm up, but at least your wallet won’t feel the burn at the pump.

9. Take Advantage of the Weather to Heat the Car Naturally
When it’s cold out, park your car in the sun. By consciously regulating the temperature inside the car naturally, you may be able to cut down on the times you want to crank up the heat.

10. Keep the Windows Up When Driving
Contrary to popular belief, running the A/C isn’t the gas-guzzler you might expect it to be. No need to feel wasteful if you require more climate control than Mother Nature is providing. Simply keep your windows up when driving to be most fuel efficient in the heat.

11. Maintain Your Vehicle Regularly to Keep the Engine Running Clean
The best way to ensure your car is running clean is to get regular maintenance. No one likes the expense of car repairs and maintenance, but if you stay on top of your car’s needs, like clean air filters, you’ll cut down on fuel costs and costs across the board.

Source: Wise Bread

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