10 Best Gas Mileage Tips

Written by Staff Writer

Throughout the summer months, the heat index and gas prices seem to rise simultaneously. Starting around the end of May, prices per gallon increase by an estimated 2-15 cents per gallon! These summer hikes in the price for fuel can be intimidating and discouraging, especially because they occur during vacation season. But you shouldn't worry; there are ways that you can continue driving and not break the bank while doing so. Whether you drive daily or are planning a summer road trip, take note of these simple tips to help you save money, reduce your fuel consumption and increase fuel efficiency. You won't waste money or fuel, which is a plus for both you and the environment!

  • Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated
    Make sure that your tires are inflated to the proper level recommended in your vehicle's driving manual. The right amount of tire pressure will maintain proper amounts of tire contact area with the road, which minimizes tire friction. This will slightly better your vehicle's gas mileage.
  • Be Steady on the Gas
    A car consumes more gas when it accelerates. Stop and go traffic is known to be the worst for your fuel economy, so try to drive at a constant level of speed and avoid heavy traffic. Using the brake less sporadically, avoiding quick acceleration and sudden braking, and maintaining more distance between you and the car in front of you are key to driving in city traffic.
  • Slim Down
    The more weight a car has to carry, the more gas it burns. Try to keep the weight of items in your vehicle to a minimum. Take out heavy items that you don't need. But make sure to keep your spare tire handy!
  • Drive More Slowly
    Driving fast will not help you save money! A faster speed means that your engine is working harder and burning more amounts of fuel to produce increased power. Higher speeds also increase air resistance against your vehicle, making the car use more energy to overcome that resistance. So try not to push the limit with speed; this is one of the best ways to save gas. Many vehicles have the best fuel efficiency around a speed of 50 mph.
  • Avoid Excessive Idling
    Keep that engine off when the car is parked! Idling uses up fuel faster than most people realize, especially if the AC is on. Idling even uses more gas than re-starting your engine! Too much of this and you end up wasting gas. So in parking lots, or when in a long line at a drive through, turning your engine off will save you gas and money.
  • Keep on Cruising
    While driving on the highway, using your cruise control will enable your car to maintain a constant speed. This consistency can increase your vehicle's fuel efficiency and help you save gas.
  • Maintain Your Car
    Keeping your engine tuned, your oil checked, and your vehicle properly maintained can help your car to run smoothly and most efficiently, thus saving you money and fuel.
  • Roll Those Windows Up
    When your vehicle's windows are down, especially when driving at high speeds, the car's aerodynamics are affected and the wind turbulence is increased. This makes your car work harder to move forward. If you keep your windows closed, you could slightly improve your fuel efficiency.
  • Check Your Air Filter
    A vehicle with a clean air filter has better gas mileage. Dirty filters reduce engine efficiency and power by restricting the flow of air into the engine, so check to make sure your air filter is in the best possible shape.
  • Use Your Car Wisely
    When possible, try carpooling with friends or using other modes of transportation. During your daily routines, plan your routes to avoid heavy traffic and too much cross-town driving.

No matter what time of year, these simple tips will help you save money on gas!