How to Drive for Better Gas Mileage
The gas mileage of a car refers to the distance that a car can travel on a certain amount of fuel. The commonly accepted units are miles per gallon or kilometers per liter. You should know what your gas mileage is prior to taking the necessary steps to improve it. If you aren’t measuring it, how are you possibly going to know whether you are improving or lowering your car’s mileage?
Improving your gas mileage all starts with the way that you drive your car on a daily basis. Speeding is not only against the law, but it is also a great way to consume more fuel than is necessary. This sounds like common sense, but you want to make sure that you are driving within the speed limit. Sudden braking and engine “revving” will also reduce the efficiency of fuel consumption in your vehicle.
Most people like to stuff their car with things that they don’t need for their trip, simply because their car can fit it. What they do not realize is that your car has to consume more fuel just to take a heavier car across the same distance, and you end up wasting gas. Think carefully about what you truly need and leave the useless heavy stuff at home.
Plan Your Route Efficiently
When you have errands to run, try to plan out your driving so that you get everything done in one strip. If you end up taking shorter trips, your car has to consume more fuel to allow for multiple startups from a cold engine. Keeping the engine warm by taking a single trip will ensure that your mileage will stay where it is or improve over time.
Avoid Leaving Your Car Idle for Extended Periods of Time
Believe it or not, your car still consumes fuel when it is at rest. Depending on the car, you might waste up to a gallon of gas if the car is left running for an entire hour. Turn your car off completely and wait until you need to start it up again. Even though your car has to start up with a cold engine, you will waste significantly less gas compared to an hour of idle running.
Use Cruise Control if You Have It
If you are the lucky owner of a car that has the option for cruise control, use it when you can. This tip is most important to those who are driving on the highway on a frequent basis. You will consume less fuel throughout the year and improve your mileage traveling the same distance.
Use the Right Octane Gas and Motor Oil for Your Car
Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. It is tempting to buy the most expensive premium gas or oil until you realize that it wastes fuel. Avoid this urge and stay within the recommendations.
Where Possible, Try to Stay Away from Traveling on Rough Roads
Unless you have a car that is built to travel on rough roads for extended periods of time, you are going to waste fuel navigating the bumpy and uneven terrains. Your vehicle will have to use more fuel just to travel the same distance.
Last, But not Least, Schedule Your Car for Regular Checkups
If there is any other factor that is reducing your mileage, your mechanic will find it during a preventative maintenance checkup. Factors such as misaligned chassis parts, dusty air filters, or spark plugs that need replacement can be present, and a professional will find them right away. You will then know what to fix and the parts that you will need to purchase.
The majority of your gas mileage problems usually come from poor driving habits that persist over years of driving. Once you get those under control, your mileage will improve, and you will no longer have to worry about it.