With gas prices steadily rising over the past 10 years and now spiking due to international issues, Americans are more often looking for ways to get better fuel mileage. Whether you drive a large SUV or a small sedan, your fuel costs have doubled in the past few years and for many that increase has made their budget even tighter.
The good news is that there are some simple ways everyone can boost their gas mileage. Although some of these tips on saving gas do include purchasing certain additives or replacing certain parts, most of them focus on changes that you can make in your driving style. For most people, whether it be a change in driving or the addition of a part or additive, any MPG improver is a welcome site.
Utilize these fuel mileage tips to get more mileage out of your vehicle and save money on your gas bill today!
Cut Out All Idling For Better Mileage
It may seem like a no-brainer that cutting out any moment you average zero miles per gallon would help your overale mileage, but some just cannot grasp the idea. How often do you sit in line at a drive-through? Are you in traffic that often waits a minute or more at a stop light? Do you leave your vehicle running while you run inside a business or house? If so, do not be surprised by poor mileage.
By simply cutting out all idling, you can boost your overall mileage by more than 10 percent. A savings of 10 percent can add up quickly when gasoline is so costly. Obviously you would not want to cut your engine off every time you come to a stop, since restarting the engine can burn slightly more gasoline. However, any time you are stationary for more than a minute, you are giving up some easy savings.
Optimize Your Vehicle Performance For Better Mileage
Anytime a vehicle is not running at top shape, it is highly likely that some of the energy the motor generates is wasted. By making some simple updates and keeping up with repairs, much of that energy can be saved, thereby saving gas and money.
One of the biggest gains you can make with vehicle upkeep is by replacing or cleaning your air filter on a timely basis. If you have a basic, stock air filter, be sure to replace it as recommended by the auto manufacturer. Any clogging of the filter can slow your air intake, which means you don't get the best mixture of gas and air in your combustion. That equals wasted gas and wasted money. If you want to get the most out of this area, get a K&N or another high performance filter that gets better airflow. You can also save money over time by cleaning these filters rather than buying new ones.
Some car owners invest in air devices that are supposed to create a vortex in the air intake, possibly allowing more air in and using less fuel. Although this technology is not yet proven, many claim to get an added mpg by using these devices.
Other areas to save by good upkeep are to properly inflate your tires, regular oil changes, and timely replacements of spark plugs and plug wires. These changes may seem simple, especially if done by manufacturer specifications, but can add up to as much as another 10 percent of added mileage.
Remove Extra Weight Or Drag For Better Mileage
Few people think about removing added weight as a mileage booster, but few things drain your fuel mileage as much as weight. Think about it! The heavier the vehicle is, its mileage suffers. Car makers often make up deficits for fuel mileage standards by lowering the overall weight of the vehicle.
What do you have in your vehicle that you can do without? Clutter in your trunk? Third row seats in your SUV? Some people will even remove their jack and spare tire and replace them with a can or two of "Fix-a-Flat". Take a look through your vehicle and remove everything unnecessary.
If you drive a pickup truck, you may want to reduce your drag and your weight by removing your tailgate. Try replacing it with a netted tailgate or investing in a truck bed cover to keep the wind out and get a little more mileage.
Change Your Driving Habbits For Better Mileage
Are you an aggressive driver? Do you like to feel your car or truck push you back into your seat? If so, a change in your driving habits could make for a huge increase in fuel mileage.
First, you need to change how you take off. If your car has a tachometer (shows your RPM) then find out how little you can use your accelerator when getting up to speed. Your 0-60 speed should be a memory of the past. Everytime you feel yourself being pushed back into your seat, remember it is your money pushing you.
Second, use a little brake as possible. Instead, find out just how far your car will coast when approaching turns or stop signs. Not only will this help you save money on gas, but it will save money on brake pads.
Third, don't speed. Most automobiles are made to make their most efficient power at about 50 mph, not 65. Give yourself a few more minutes and take your time.
Use Of Chemical Or Mechanical Mileage Boosters For Better Mileage
If you are looking to use fuel additives or special devices to boost your gas mileage, be sure to do your research. For every site that says a particular additive works there are three that deny it. I would definitely recommend that you not use any additive that is not from a well known company with some sort of guarantee.
You should, however, consider using additives such as injector cleaners that could boost the overall performance of the vehicle. Check with your local mechanic or a dealership to find out which additives they recommend.
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Abby on January 30, 2012:
I am so tired of paying high gas prices and have been researching all aspects of reform. Including buying a new car. Thanks for writing such an informative article!
jmckinny from Santa Barbara, CA on January 29, 2012:
Generally some very useful information. With that said, I hate it when someone in front of me at a stop light turns their car off to save gas, it can be a huge inconvenience, and it's debatable whether or not you actually save gas. Also, I would certainly add a 6th tip about avoiding the AC and opening a window--that actually makes a huge difference.