Must Know Tips to Get the Best Gas Mileage Out of Your Car

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Fuel is a significant expenditure when it comes to operating a vehicle. As per a Union of Concerned Scientist report, fuel costs over a car’s lifetime may be almost as much as its initial purchase expense. One way to ease the strain on wallets is by improving the fuel efficiency and aiming for the best gas mileage

Getting better gas mileage is essential for several reasons:

  • It saves money. Adopting the right driving and vehicle maintenance habits will help you save a few dollars every time you ride your car. These dollars will add up into considerable amounts at the end of the year. Plus, with the ever-increasing gas prices, we want to get as many miles as we can from our gas tanks.
  • It keeps your vehicle in its best shape. Many of the habits you need to learn to save on gas mileage are good habits that take care of your car as a whole.
  • It reduces CO2 emissions. While we wait for electric cars and hybrid cars to be more available, we can still help the environment with our regular cars. By burning less gasoline and diesel, we can help reduce the effects of our vehicles on the environment.
  • It increases energy sustainability. As we all know, oil is a non-renewable energy. Using it wisely is key to our well-being and that of the planet.

There are plenty of ways to save miles per gallon in your current ride. Here are our 6 top tips on how to get better gas mileage.

6. Know Your Fuel Lingo

how to get better gas mileage car fuel
Skitterphoto / Pixabay

Change Your Fuel Filter

The fuel filter—a critical element directly influencing engine performance and fuel efficiency—ensures that clean fuel flows through your car’s engine. If impurities get in the way, engine stalling or start failure may occur, leading to higher gas expenses.

With consistent fuel filter inspections, you’ll keep your car running more effectively, saving you time and money in the long haul. Don’t underestimate the significance of this tiny yet crucial part in your car’s efficiency and lifespan.

Choose the Right Fuel

There are a few easy ways to enhance your car’s gas mileage. One of the best ways is to use the recommended motor oil for your vehicle. Every engine performs optimally with specific oil weights, and using a heavier option not only increases friction, but also requires more fuel. However, if you really want to get more gas mileage out of your fuel tank, consider using a motor oil labeled “Energy Conserving” in the API performance symbol. Such oil contains friction-reducing additives that will improve fuel efficiency about 1% to 2%. Make sure you consult the fuel door to ensure you’re using the recommended fuel grade.

Use Fuel Additives

Polybutene amine (PBA) fuel additives can help restore your engine’s performance by cleaning out deposits, while also reducing your carbon footprint. But it’s important to use caution when it comes to fuel additives. Overuse can damage your car, causing certain features such as sensors to malfunction. To avoid this, make sure the fuel additive is the right fit for your vehicle before using.

5. Keep Your Vehicle in Shape

how to get better gas mileage car repair

Do Regular Checks

To keep your car running and requiring low gas usage, regularly check your vehicle for the following:

  • Air filter: This part needs to be changed or replaced to allow it to draw more air. The air filter can get clogged up with dust and debris, which makes it harder for the filter to bring air to mix with the fuel. This operation increases fuel consumption, especially in cars that are ten years old or older. You can replace your car’s air filter by purchasing a replacement here, or you can have your mechanic perform the task the next time you have your oil changed.
  • Engine oil: You should have this oil changed at regular intervals.
  • Fuel injectors: These need to be cleaned with an ultrasonic bath occasionally. This one is expensive, but it is worth it. Your fuel injectors get soaked in a solution and then are exposed to ultra-high frequency sound vibrations that shake any deposits clogging them up.
  • Gas cap seal: Check the rubber seal on your gas cap. They tend to break down with time, which leaves the oxygen enough room to leak into the gas tank. As more air enters the engine, the engine burns more gas. One easy way to remedy this is by replacing your gas cap. You can find one to fit your model here. Most are affordable, costing under $20.
  • Spark plugs: Your car’s spark plugs ignite the air/fuel mixture with your engine’s combustion chamber. New spark plugs will help your engine run more efficiently. You can find spark plugs online to do the work yourself, or you can hire the job out.

Fix Any Problems Quickly

If you’re asking how to get better gas mileage, fix any issues with your car quickly. Don’t wait for your engine to break down to look for what’s wrong with it. In doing so, you’re burning more fuel and jeopardizing your car.

Run emission tests on your car to figure out if it is out of tune. Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor, for example, can improve your mileage by as much as 40%.

To have more choices at your disposal when the times comes to change something in your car, head here for the best sites for auto parts stores.

Keep Your Tires Inflated

Under-inflated tires are a huge culprit in maintaining max MPGs. When tires aren’t at the proper PSIs (Pounds per Square Inch), they have more rolling resistance. More rolling resistance requires more gas burning to get them in motion. Having your tires underinflated by 10 PSI per tire can cost you more than five MPG or worse.

Inflated tires are also crucial for your safety and proper tire wear. For example, if your tire pressures are 5 PSI below the recommended amount only, fuel consumption goes up by 2%

We recommend keeping a tire pressure gage in your glove compartment and checking the air every so often. Wait until after the tires have had a chance to cool down to check them (hot tires can affect your PSI reading). You can do a tire check before heading off to work, for example. You can see how much proper inflation you need either by either looking in the car’s owner manual or a label inside of the door jamb. Here are some more tire maintenance tips to be safe on the road.

To ensure your tires are correctly inflated, check them with the Slime 20017 Digital Tire Gauge with Lighted Tip. It contains an LCD that is easy-to-read and has a lighted tip so you can use it even at night or when light is low.

4. Watch Your Driving Habits

how to get better gas mileage driving habits
Lê Minh / Pixabay

Become Less Aggressive

While we don’t mean to label drivers as hostile road bullies, aggressive driving involves hitting the gas at stoplights, making sudden lane changes, and erratic acceleration and deceleration that can badly affect your car.

By simply taking a step back and driving calmly, with moderate acceleration and deceleration, you can save up on gas money in the long run.

Plan Your Trips

By consolidating your errands and avoiding peak traffic times, you’ll drive less and operate with more ease. Consider an optimized route to minimize distance and initiate warm engine starts, ultimately optimizing gas mileage.

As a result of shorter driving distances, you’ll likely gain advantages when shopping for car insurance. Insurance premiums typically use estimated annual mileage as a variable for determining risk assessments. Fewer miles traveled reduces risk and increases the probability of receiving a better insurance rate.

Use Cruise Control on the Highway

Maintaining a constant speed improves fuel economy as opposed to frequently accelerating and decelerating. Consider using speed control to sustain the speed limit, especially in regions where average highway speeds are 55 MPH. This patient driving approach not only saves fuel but also ensures safe driving. Challenge yourself to calculate fuel saved over time. The results might surpass your expectations.

3. Drive Smart on Colder Days

how to get better gas mileage drive cold winter
Oleksandr Pidvalnyi / Pexels

The months demand more fuel, making it one of the most fuel-consuming seasons. To maintain your fuel economy resolutions and conserve energy when the temperature drops, try these practices.

Choose the Right Winter Tires

Winter tires are well-known for losing MPGs, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Different types of tires, including all-terrain tires, tires for snow and tires for rain, have tread patterns that create more resistance on snowy and wet roads. The wrong kind of tire tends to burn more fuel, but it doesn’t need to be that way though.

Look for low-resistance winter tires with less drag to help you with fuel economy.

Fill Up Your Car Early in the Morning

Cold weather can save you money on fuel! Because diesel and gasoline become denser in the cold, they take up less space in your tank. When you fill up your tank in the heat of the day, the fuel expands, and you don’t get a full liter. Changes in fuel density also affect the energy in each unit of fuel. So fill up in the morning or at night to maximize your fuel!

Reduce Idling

During winter, many drivers prefer to warm up their cars for at least 10 minutes. But contrary to popular belief, letting engines run longer won’t make much difference.

In just one minute, car fluids circulate and reach peak performance. Beyond that, it’s a waste of time and fuel. Moreover, leaving the engine idling to heat the car interior results in poor fuel economy.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to keep you comfortable and fuel-efficient. Instead of waiting, consider using an interior car warmer or wrapping up in scarves and mittens. With these options, you can defrost your windows and heat your car’s interior instantly without wasting fuel.

2. Be Careful of Cargo Weight and Wind Resistance

how to get better gas mileage cargo weight wind resistance

Decrease Cargo Weight

The lighter the car, the easier it moves and consequently, the less fuel it consumes on the journey from point A to B. Cutting down weight is one of the most effective ways to save on gas mileage. If you carry a lot of unnecessary stuff in the trunk and back seat, it’s time to lose it. Boxes of things that never make it to the thrift store, old luggage, sporting equipment or car parts – all can add up. For every hundred pounds you add to your car, you lose some miles per gallon. You’ll be surprised how fast trivial possessions amount to this weight. Consider switching your jack and jack stands for aluminum versions to reduce the burden. If you have a well-organized garage, removing items like sports chairs or equipment might free up space and reduce load when driving. Keep them close by and bring them aboard if needed. Take the steps to lighten your cargo, and improve your mileage.

Some options for garage organization include this overhead unit by Fleximounts or the Lynk Sports Rack.

Remove Anything That Causes Wind Resistance

When you load cargo onto the top of your vehicle, it creates more wind resistance, which leads to higher fuel consumption. According to FuelEconomy.Gov, attaching a large cargo box on the roof of your car can reduce fuel efficiency by between 2% and 8% while driving in the city, and by 6% to 17% on the highway. Fortunately, using cargo boxes or trays that mount on the rear of your vehicle are better options as they only cause a 1% to 5% fuel efficiency drop on the highway, and just 1% to 2% in the city.

1. Exchange Your Car for One With a Better MPG Rating

get better gas mileage
Smspsy / Shutterstock

One tried and true, no-fail way to positively reduce the amount of fuel your car uses is to buy a model that is more fuel efficient than your current vehicle.

If you are currently driving a large truck or SUV, you can’t force it to become as fuel efficient as a small car. After all, there are only so many things you can do to decrease your car’s fuel consumption. Whether or not you want to give up your cargo and passenger space, though, is something you will have to determine.

Of course, there is also a car payment to consider if your current vehicle is paid off. However, if you decide your best course of action is replacing what you have with a more fuel-efficient model, you can check out what Amazon Vehicles has to offer.

Look at the car’s optimal MPG to determine if your gas savings will be significant enough to make such a change. If not, try the tips listed above to get the most fuel efficiency out of what you are currently driving.

A lot of these maintenance habits and tasks could seem time-consuming and frustrating at first, especially if it is your first time. However, always keep the end goal in mind. There are many ways you can make it work. The first thing is the owner’s manual. It has all the information you need to choose the right components for your car and know if it is in good shape. You can always also call your car manufacturer with any specific question.

For more advice on how to take care of your car, click next to discover what gear you should have for road trips. Stay safe on the road!