With gas approaching $5 a gallon at some stations in the US, many drivers are worried about how they will continue to drive. Some are considering buying smaller, more fuel efficient cars and others are looking at hybrids. It is possible to get better gas mileage out of the car you have with these simple steps.
One of the most important factors in determining fuel economy for any car is the tires. Proper inflation optimizes fuel economy. Even slightly under inflated tires will increase your fuel consumption. Check tires when cold once a week to make sure they meet the manufacturers inflation recommendations.
Lighten Your Load
A lot of people drive around with unnecessary things in their trunk. Unnecessary items in your trunk, add weight to your car. This in turn increases fuel consumption. Remove items that are used seasonally from your car. Even an added 100 pounds can significantly increase gas consumption.
Car manufacturers put their designs to rigorous aerodynamic testing while in the design phase. Adding roof racks to your car adversely affects the aerodynamics of your car. Roof bins add even more drag to your car. If you have removable roof racks and or bins, remove then and only use them when they are needed. This also applies to rear bike racks too. Removing all unused racks when not in use will go a long way to improving your gas mileage.
Driving habits are one of the big determining factors in what kind of gas mileage you get from your car. Pay close attention to how you drive. Jack rabbit starts use more fuel than slow steady starts. Anticipate red lights and use the built up kinetic energy to let momentum carry to you to a smooth slow stop instead of slamming on the breaks. The less you use the breaks in your car, the less fuel you will consume. Examining not only how you drive but where you drive to can cut down on gas consumption. I looked at my own habits and found I was hitting the drive-thru almost every morning. My car was idling while in line waiting for my coffee. I bought a home espresso maker and changed my driving pattern which cut down on my gas consumption.
Keep on Top of Maintenance
Maintenance is a key step in getting the maximum fuel economy out of your vehicle. I take my car in to my mechanic on a regular basis and have him check the timing and air filter. Keeping your car tuned to manufactures specifications ensures your cars performance is the best it can be.
Gas is expensive, but there are many things you can do to cut gas consumption on the car you currently have. Don’t forget, that not driving is healthier for the environment and for your health. Riding a bike and walking are not only great gas savers but also promote health.