What are some easy things you can do to improve your gas mileage and save money?

save money on the highwayWhen the economy gets tough people become more conscious of the need to save money. Some will spend a lot of time (and fuel) getting to the cheapest gas station, sometimes it’s hard to know if they saved any money at all. Here are some sure-fire ways to save money by improving your fuel efficiency:

Driving Habits

  • Remove extra weight. Hauling around unnecessary weight in your trunk or cargo area increases the amount of work your engine has to do.Buick Super Fastback
  • Avoid high speeds. Drag increases faster at higher speeds. The difference in air resistance between going 50 and 60km/h is far less than the difference between 100 and 110km/h.
  • Don’t ride the gas and brake pedal. Gradual speed changes are more efficient than sudden stops and starts. “Hurry up and wait” -not good.
  • Don’t idle for too long. Turn off your engine if you’re going to be waiting for a long time, but shutting it off at a stop light is not a good idea.
  • Restarting the engine uses a lot of gas, so batch trips and errands together whenever possible.
  • Limit warm-ups in the winter. It is far more efficient to remove ice mechanically then with heat. Get out the ice scraper.
  • Use overdrive. If your car has overdrive gearing use it as soon as you reach highway speed.
  • Use cruise control. The car’s computer is pretty good at optimizing fuel efficiency.
  • Reduce air resistance. Close windows at high speed, remove roof racks, keep your vehicle clean.

Servicing Your Vehicle

  • Reduce engine friction. Use a high-quality or synthetic motor oil.
  • Check your oil! Not having enough oil makes your engine work harder and reduces its life.
  • Change the spark plugs regularly. The air and fuel mixture will burn cleaner and more efficiently.
  • Improve the intake/output system. By making it easier for air and gas to get in and exhaust to get out of your vehicle you will improve the vehicle’s overall performance and mileage.
  • Dirty filters can increase the amount of fuel your vehicle uses by as much as 10 percent. Change your filters!
  • Keep tires properly inflated and aligned. Check regularly to ensure your tires are fully inflated and your alignment is good.
  • Get regular engine tune-ups and car maintenance checks. A lot can go wrong with a car. Damaged spark plugs or transmission problems can also contribute to poor gas mileage.

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