A good many of us are looking forward to the age of electric cars simply because we’re tired of paying for gas. That day will come. In the meantime, the best way to spend less on gas is to not burn as much when you drive. In short, better gas mileage will save you money.
There are plenty of things drivers can do to improve gas mileage. If you’re a hypermiler, nothing in this post will be a surprise. You probably know these five tips, and more. But for the rest of us, the tips are a good starting point.
The first tip is to follow your car’s maintenance schedule religiously. If your owner’s manual states you should change your oil every 50,00 miles, then do it. The same goes for changing your oil filter, your transmission fluid, and so forth. Sticking to the maintenance schedule offers the added benefit of extending the life and value of your car.
Understand that maintenance schedules exist for that very reason. Manufacturers know exactly what it will take to keep your car running in optimal condition. They know that if you regularly change your oil, for example, that your engine won’t have to work as hard. Less work for your engine means better gas mileage.
You may not know this, but improper tire inflation reduces gas mileage. This is especially true when tires are underinflated. Under such conditions, more of a tire’s surface area remains in contact with the road. This produces additional friction which, in turn, forces the engine to work harder. Keeping your tires at the proper air pressure can improve gas mileage significantly.
Do you get a visceral thrill out of punching the accelerator from a dead stop? Many of us, especially in our younger days, took perverse pleasure in secretly drag racing the driver next to us when the traffic light turned from red to green. But alas, stepping heavily on the accelerator wastes fuel. It’s great that your car can get from 0 to 60 in 10 seconds flat, but you waste a lot of gas doing so.
On the other hand, you’ll get better gas mileage if you accelerate gradually. Ease up on that accelerator and you’ll discover that your gas mileage improves. If your car has a built-in economy mode, switch to it whenever you’re driving in the city. Economy mode relies on the car’s computer to automatically accelerate more gradually.
The more weight your car carries around, the harder the engine has to work. So why not reduce unnecessary weight by not storing things in your car. Maybe you are a golfer, for example. You store your clubs in the trunk year-round. Guess what? You’re wasting gas. Take the clubs out of the car as soon as you get home from the course. You should see better gas mileage as a result.
Almost all modern cars offer cruise control standard. If yours has it, you should use it. Cruise control is a great tool for getting better gas mileage on the highway. Even on rural roads or long stretches of multi-lane suburban roads without a lot of stop lights, you can save gas with cruise control.
The thing about getting better gas mileage that you don’t have to be a genius to do it. You don’t even have to be a hypermiler. Just employing these five tips will make a big difference.