Tips to get better gas mileage

With the prices of gas skyrocketing, it’s no wonder that more and more people are turning to vehicles that boast great gas mileage.

Here’s how you can squeeze a few more miles (and save some $$) out of your current ride:

1. Go easy on the gas pedal.

We’ve all done it. Pressed that pedal to the metal, baby. Speed racer!

It’s fun, I know. Regrettably, this is not the best way to save on your fuel funds. It takes more gas to get your car to go “OOMPH”, and that burns fuel. Take it easy, let the other guy beat you off the line. Also take into cosideration how hard you’re braking – best rule of thumb is to brake slow and steady, which allows you to save fuel. Save fuel – save money.

2. Keep the weight down.

With three kids and friends included, my van tends to get weighted down a lot. What I often forget to do is take the luggage OUT when I’m back home. Sometimes I leave a bike in the back, or whatnot. Our cars work just like us – if we are heavier, it takes more energy to move our bodies around. Same with the cars. Try to keep the weight down by keeping your car relatively evenly packed.

3. Keep tires inflated to correct pressure.

This one is essential. Checking your tires every other month is a good way to make sure you are keeping your ride happy. If you don’t, running on low tire pressure can increase the rolling resistance of your tires on the surface. Which in turn steals your precious fuel. Your tire pressure recommendations are usually on the inside of your car door.

5. Don’t idle.

Running your engine at idle can eat up about half a gallon to almost a full gallon of fuel every hour. Modern cars are usually pretty efficient these days that you’re more likely to burn less fuel if you just turn off your engine, then restart.

6. Refuel in the morning.

Take advantage of the physical properties of petroleum products. Gas stations have their tanks buried deep underground, and in the morning the ground is still relatively cold – making the gas more dense. As the day goes on, it gets warmer, and you can expect the molecules of the gas to expand as well. So, if you refuel later in the day, when the gas has already expanded, you may be getting less than what you actually pay for.

True story. Morning fueling.

7. Fuel injectors. Take care of them.

Just like your teeth or really good jewelry, it’s important to clean and take care of them. Fuel injectors need the same care. Ultrasonic cleaning is where your car’s fuel injectors go into a tub filled with a special cleaning solution before being zapped with ultra-high frequencies. The sound frequencies shake or loosen yucky deposits that may have built up on your fuel injectors. When your fuel injectors are happy, so is your gas mileage.

8. Replace your air filter.

I recently realized I haven’t changed or replaced my air filter in eons. Poor air filter. Now my car is much happier with a new one. The air filter is one of the easiest and most practical ways to help you improve gas mileage. Keeping the air intake clear will help overall engine efficiency. If your air filter is clogged up, then it’s harder for your car’s engine to work. Get a new one if you can’t remember the last time you changed yours.

9. Use Cruise Control.

On the highway? Use it. Saves gas. End of story.

10. Use the A/C sparingly.

Is it really that hot? Sitting in traffic? It’s actually more fuel efficient to roll your windows down. Driving on the freeway going about 60 mph? More fuel efficient to use A/C.

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