FUEL EFFICIENCY TIPS
Having a bunch of heavy stuff in your vehicle will lower your gas mileage, so keeping your car as light as possible will help you get a few extra MPG’s during your day-to-day driving.
Adding 100 pounds lowers fuel economy by 2%.
Every car has what is called “drag” or wind resistance. Modern cars are built to create as little drag as possible, but there may be some things you can do to reduce drag even further. If your car is equipped with roof racks, for example, you should remove those unless you intend to actually use them.
Bike racks, roof storage containers, side mirror extenders, and even antennas all increase drag, which in turn costs you money through reduced gas mileage.
Even keeping the car’s exterior clean can make a difference.
Windows up at highway speeds This is more complex than it first seems. For better economy around town, keep the windows down and the AC off. On the highway, the aerodynamic drag from open windows cancels out the gain from the air being off…keep windows and moon roof closed. One study said that highway driving with the windows down and can cost you nine cents a gallon.
According to AAA research, there’s no benefit in using premium gas if your car doesn’t need it. But although 70% of U.S. cars require only regular gasoline, drivers — collectively — waste more than $2.1 billion a year buying premium gas.
There’s no need for premium gas unless your automaker specifically demands it with labels “premium only” or “premium required” (not just “preferred”) on the gas gauge or fuel filler door. Typically, the car will run fine on regular with no damage to the engine. Using regular in a premium-preferred car may cost a half-second accelerating to 60 mph.
Over time, a gas cap can take some damage from being dropped, due to temperature changes, or simply by being screwed in and out. If this seal develops cracks, gets warped, or otherwise doesn’t form a good seal anymore, your gas mileage will be reduced. Not having a good seal allows air to enter into your tank, then into your engine, which causes you to burn more gas. A new gas cap is very simple to replace and usually costs under $50.
Get your Oil Changes Regularly It is something you should be doing regardless of the gas economy. The oil in your engine doesn’t only act as a lubricator for all the moving parts, it also acts as a cleaner. A clean engine will get better gas economy and gas mileage. So, get your oil changes done on a regular basis according to manufacturing specs. Not only is it good for the overall maintenance of the vehicle, but it will help improve your miles per gallon.
Replacing a dirty air filter can increase gas mileage up to 10%.
Properly inflate your tires: every 1 PSI of under-inflation costs 0.4% in fuel economy and tires naturally lose 1-2 PSI per month, more in winter
Avoid excessive idling: Idling uses a surprising amount of fuel — more than restarting the engine. If you need to wait in your parked vehicle for more than a minute or two, switch off the engine and only start up again when you’re ready to continue driving. In extreme weather, it’s nice getting into a comfortable car but be conscious of how long the vehicle is idling so fuel isn’t wasted.
Keep auto stop-start enabled. Restarting the car uses less fuel that idling for even 20 seconds
“Speeding increases fuel consumption and decreases fuel economy as a result of tire rolling resistance and air resistance. While vehicles reach optimal fuel economy at different speeds, gas mileage “usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 miles per hour.” Reducing speed 5 to 10 mph returns 7%-14% better mileage.
Drive conservatively: Avoid “jack rabbit” starts, rapid acceleration and hard braking, which can lower fuel economy by 15 to 30 percent at highway speeds and 10 to 40 percent in stop-and-go traffic.
Glide into your stops: As you approach a stop sign or light, take your foot off the gas pedal earlier and let your car downshift before applying the brake.
Aggressive driving habits such as gunning the engine, speeding, screeching around corners and jamming on the gas pedal are major fuel wasters. Avoid fast acceleration and generally drive in a measured and moderate fashion to achieve top fuel savings.
Cruise control can help you become more fuel-efficient and can help you save an average of 7-14% on gas thanks to its ability to maintain a continuous speed. In comparison, the constant change in acceleration and deceleration of the driver placing their foot over the pedals can eat more gas.
Having a pre-paid pass on toll roads allows you to use the express lane, saving fuel by minimizing or eliminating tollbooth slowdowns and stops.
Tips for the do-it-yourself car wash
Park your car in a shady spot…avoid direct sunlight which could cause the water/soap from drying too soon…increasing the chances of spotting and streaking.
Thoroughly rinse the car from top to bottom to remove loose dirt that could cause scratching while washing. Work your way down from the roof to the bottom.
When applying the soap-soaked sponge/mitt move lengthwise across the car…not in a circular motion. A circular motion can create light, but noticeable scratches.
Using a separate bucket, rinse your sponge/mitt often to remove any dirt which could cause scratching…and, to keep your sudsy water dirt free.
Divide the car into sections…again starting at the top…rinse each section thoroughly to remove all soap before moving on to the next section.
When finished, dry immediately using a soft towel of chamois. Avoid air drying which leave watermarks caused by hard water.
Window and mirror cleaning:
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