Drive any vehicle long enough and you will get a good feel for its gas mileage. Likely, you will wonder how you can improve your fuel economy without resorting to radical measures such as hyper-miling. Fortunately, there are ways for you to conserve gas with your car and keep more money in your pocket.
- Go light. Excess weight in any vehicle will reduce your fuel mileage. You can’t do much about the weight of your car apart from removing seats (impractical for most people). But you can make sure that you only carry the items you need with you. For every 100 pounds of added weight you will lose one mpg according to the EPA.
- Drive with a light foot. If you regularly press the pedal to the metal you will see your gas mileage drop accordingly. Always avoid jackrabbit starts and brake with care. You aren’t a race car driver, so don’t drive like one.
- Keep your tires adequately inflated. Lose a few pounds in your tires and your gas mileage will suffer. A 2013 Auto Trends report outlined both the reduction in fuel economy and the increase in safety issues that come by not properly inflating the tires.
- Make your errands smart trips. You may find yourself traveling around town getting gas for your car, dropping children off at soccer practice, stopping at the store for food and taking care of a host of other cares and concerns. If you do your errands over many trips, then you will use more gas. It is better to consolidate your errands to one trip wherever possible.
- Don’t idle for long. Many of today’s cars are now equipped with automatic stop/start technologies. The way that this works is that your engine is shut off when you come to a stop, but immediately restarts the moment you take your foot off the brake. If you are waiting for family or stuck at a railroad crossing, simply turn your car off.
- Air conditioning can keep you cool and save gas. The old thinking was that air conditioning was a drain on fuel economy. It isn’t. Rather, having your car windows open is as wind drag can slow you down. Find the right setting to keep everyone comfortable and keep your windows shut as you cruise down the highway.
- Change your oil and filters. Regular oil changes and oil filter changes are good for your car. They make your engine work optimally and a smooth performing engine uses less gas. Change air filters and fuel filters on a regular basis. Don’t ignore that code on the instrument panel as it may be warning you of an even greater problem advises Caliber Collision.
Shop For an Efficient Vehicle
Not all gas conserving methods work as well with every vehicle. Indeed, if you own a gas guzzler there is very little you can do to save gas. However, if you are ready to buy another car, then shop with the following in mind.
First, determine the type of vehicle you want. Never settle for a Prius if your heart is on a Charger. Second, determine what engine and transmission choices are available. You may find that the V-6 Charger suits your needs more than the HEMI V-8. Third, acquaint yourself with the EPA’s fuel economy ratings. Know that city and highway mileage can vary — the combined fuel economy is closer to real world driving. Fourth, consider looking for a model you wouldn’t have previously considered. A diesel or a hybrid may suit you just fine, offering the best combination of performance and fuel economy on the market.
Finally, when you are ready to buy, shop online and get quotes from at least three dealers. Take into consideration manufacturer rebates and other incentives. Buy slightly used and you can get a late-model car for a great price.