Get Better Gas Mileage
In this age of unpredictable gas prices, it's smart to do what you can to reduce the amount of gas you use. Not only can you save money, but you might enjoy all the projects involved in raising the number of miles you can travel on a tank of gas. Following these tips may be more fun than you expect!
Keep your vehicle tuned
If you repair a car with serious problems, such as faulty oxygen sensors, you can improve your gas mileage by as much as 40 percent! Most cars won't see that kind of improvement, but many vehicles that have failed emissions tests have a 4 percent improvement in gas mileage after a tune up.
Check your tires
Tires that are under-inflated can cause a car to burn .3 percent extra gas for every 1 psi they are below the manufacturer's recommended levels. Multiply this by 4 tires, and you could save considerable gas by just inflating your ties to the proper amount. In addition, properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.
Replace the air filter and use the recommended grade of motor oil
You can improve your gas mileage by 1-2 percent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. Check your vehicle's manual for guidelines on motor oil, then request the proper grade the next time you have your oil changed. Also, "energy conserving" motor oil that contains friction-reducing additives can help you save gas. Replacing air filters has also shown an increase in fuel efficiency.
Watch your driving
One of the things that wastes gas the most is rapid accelerating or accelerating and then braking. After all, when you've sped up and then have to brake, you've wasted all the momentum you'd built up during acceleration. To save gas, time your turns and merges so you that you have plenty of time to get up to speed, and then accelerate at a gradual, consistent rate.
Stick to the speed limit
Our 55 mph highway speed limits were imposed during the energy crisis in the 1970s, and for good reason. Driving at speeds above 60 mpg decreases fuel efficiency -- and it decreases more dramatically with every mile per hour you drive above 60 mph. Looking at it another way, for every 5 mph you drive above 60 mph, you'll spend an additional $0.24 per gallon of gas.
Streamline your car
If you can, remove anything from the roof rack of your vehicle, so it's as aerodynamic as possible. Any heavy weights that you can remove from inside the car will help improve gas mileage.
When possible, use cruise control. This helps you keep a steady speed and generally will help you save gas. Also, if you're driving a vehicle with a manual transmission, use your overdrive gears. This slows down your engine speed and saves gas.