By making just a few changes, you can improve your fuel economy and get more out of your car each time you fill up your tank. With these changes, you’ll save money, and who isn’t looking for ways to keep more money in their bank account?
Even if you don’t have a “fuel efficient car,” you can make these changes to save money and to make your car more environmentally friendly. Using less gas is a simple way everyone can go green, benefitting our surroundings and natural resources.
1 – Drive Smart
Did you know the way you drive can actually have an impact on how much fuel you use? When you’re behind the wheel, be a smart driver and your car will be more fuel efficient. This is one of the easiest things you can do to save gas.
Use cruise control whenever possible so you don’t have to accelerate more than necessary. Every time you accelerate, you use a little more gas, so doing it less often will mean you’ll be using less fuel.
You know speeding is dangerous, but did you know you’re also using more fuel when you’re going faster? Different car models have different speeds at which they are most fuel efficient. You can do some research to find out what your car’s most efficient speed is, but just driving a little slower can help you use less gas.
When the weather allows for it, keep your windows rolled up and turn the air conditioner off. When the windows are down and the air conditioner is on, your engine is strained and has to work harder and use more fuel.
2 – Resist the Urge to Idle and Combine Trips
When your car is idle, or the engine is running but you aren’t moving, you are using fuel. In most cases, this is completely unnecessary, so turning off your car is a simple way to be more fuel efficient.
When you are parked in a long line, waiting to pick someone up at the airport or train station or eating lunch in your car, turn it off. This tip will also help the atmosphere, as you’ll be sending less exhaust into the air.
Another way you can run your engine for shorter time periods and save fuel is by combining trips. Group errands together, especially when you have several stops you can make in one area. This will reduce the number of trips you have to make and the distance you have to drive, so you’ll use less fuel.
3 – Lighten your Load
It’s something we don’t think about a lot, but roof racks on top of your car, bicycle racks attached to the back and heavy loads in your trunk weigh your car down. All that extra weight translates into bad fuel economy.
This is a simple matter of cleaning out your car once in a while. As much as we all dread it, all that extra stuff you are carrying around could actually be costing you money at the gas pump.
When you aren’t using racks to carry sports gear or luggage, take them off your car. Don’t make a habit of hauling around large bags, heavy tools or just extra stuff. Keep your car clean and light to make it more fuel efficient.
4 – Use the Required Gas and Oil Grades
Your car’s owner’s manual will tell you what kind of gas the engine needs. You can make it more fuel efficient by using what is recommended and not using a higher grade, which will usually be more expensive. Be careful though. If your manual states that your engine requires premium gas, use it. If you ignore this and opt for a regular grade, you will likely damage your engine.
You’ve likely heard that some premium gas brands clean your engine. This is because the brand has added detergent to its gas to help prevent build up in your engine.
However, most gasoline brands do this anyway, so buying premium doesn’t always guarantee better engine cleaning. If you’re worried about engine build up, you can actually buy gas detergent at an auto parts store and add it your gas tank.
The owner’s manual should also tell you what oil grade you should use. When you use oil that is too thick, your car uses more energy, and fuel, to process it. On the other hand, when you use the prescribed oil, your engine will run smoothly and won’t use as much fuel.
5 – Don’t Skip Regular Tune Ups
When your car is running smoothly, it’s easy to skip regular tune ups. But, taking good care of your car is one of the easiest ways to improve fuel economy. Have your engine checked regularly and don’t put off changing your oil.
Cars consume more gas when certain parts begin to wear out, so replacing them is a great way to improve fuel economy. Regularly check to make sure your air filter, spark plugs, mass airflow sensor and oxygen sensor are working properly. If these parts are dirty, damaged, or faulty, your car isn’t as gas efficient as it could be.
Other faulty parts can also cause your car to use more fuel, so follow the advice of your mechanic when it comes to replacing parts. Stay on top of car repairs and have your engine and other parts inspected regularly to catch any problems before they become worse.
Worn out tires are dangerous, but they can also decrease your fuel efficiency. If your tires are looking worn or bald, it’s time for a new set. Tires that are out of alignment and under inflated can also cause your car to use more gas. So have your tires aligned regularly and check your air pressure often.
No matter what kind of car you have, these five tips can help you improve fuel economy. When you do this, you’ll be using less gas, helping you save money and benefitting the environment.