Tips to Improve Gas Mileage
Getting the best gas mileage you can from your vehicle is something we are all thinking about more and more everyday. Since you can't change the price of gas, here are some things you can do to reduce the amount of fuel you use. With a few minor tweaks to your vehicle and driving behavior, you'll be sure to see a difference in MPG after the first fill up!
- Observe the speed limit. While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.30 per gallon for gas.
- Take a load off! Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 lb in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2%. Removing excess weight could save you up to $.08 per gallon.
- Avoid excessive idling which gets 0 MPG. Also use cruise control and overdrive gears to control your speed and better maintain your engine.
- Check and replace air filters regularly. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, replacing clogged air filters improves your car's gas mileage by as much as 10%. Your car's air filter keeps impurities from damaging the inside of your engine. Not only will replacing a dirty air filter save gas, it will protect your engine. We recommend K&N® High-Flow Air Filter for the ultimate in fuel economy.
- Keep tires properly inflated. This can improve fuel economy by up to one mile per gallon. Depending on the size of your fuel tank that could mean an extra 20 miles per fill up! Properly inflated tires are also safer and last longer. Keep a Milton® Tire Pressure Gauge in your vehicle to make sure you are at your recommended psi.
- Get regular oil changes. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend changing your oil every three months or 3,000 miles. And if you follow these recommendations, your vehicle is likely to perform more efficiently and reliably. See our How To Change Your Own Oil project if you want to save even more money and do it yourself!
- Get your spark plugs and wires checked regularly. According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, old, dirty and worn spark plugs are prone to misfire reducing fuel efficiency as much as 30%. Champion® Platinum Power Spark Plugs are sure to help your car start the first time.
- Don't bother topping off when filling your car's gas tank. The additional gas has the potential to leak out if overfilled.
- Don't pay more for premium grade gasoline if you vehicle does not require it. The more expensive gas will cost you more money without boosting performance or fuel economy.
- Plan and combine trips. Combining errands into one trip saves you time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Trip planning ensures that traveling is done when the engine is warmed-up and efficient.
- Tighten your gas cap. According to allfastcars.com, 147 million gallons of gasoline evaporate each year because fuel caps are damaged, loose or missing. So when you are finished fueling, be sure to tighten the cap.
- Finally, drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than just your gas money.