Car ownership is expensive. Next to regular maintenance and repair costs, fuel expenses to keep your car running put a dent on your wallet. If you own a newer model, chances are that your car has improved efficiency. But what if you own an older model?
Whether your car is old or new, there are several ways to make your car fuel-efficient. Here are a few quick and easy tips to minimize your fuel consumption mileage and save money on gas.
1. Have your car tuned up
Giving your car a tune-up is one of the most practical ways to improve fuel efficiency. Here are a few effective ways to improve your gas mileage:
- Inflate your tires to the correct pressure
- Replace your air filter
- Check your spark plugs
- Keep your gas cap fully sealed, and replace it if necessary
2. Take the excess load off
Maybe you don’t need to splurge on expensive modifications – you just need to reduce your car’s excess, unnecessary weight. The heavier your car, the more energy it requires to move.
Know about the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of your car and don’t push your car to its limits. Start unloading your car’s trunk and flatbeds to improve fuel efficiency in the long run. You should also avoid putting roof racks and other storage accessories to reduce drag.
3. Avoid prolonged idling
Did you know that you can burn money in gas just by sitting with your car on? Just think about the times you got stuck in a heavy traffic jam or when you had to wait for 15 minutes for your order.
Just because you’re not running doesn’t mean you’re not losing gas. Idling your car can consume a lot of fuel, somewhere between a half and a full gallon per hour. If you know you’ll be waiting for long, consider stopping somewhere and turning off your car.
4. Take it easy on the pedal
Let’s be honest: we all tend to live our wildest fantasies of becoming a racer when we’re on the road. Unfortunately, going heavy on the gas pedal isn’t the best way to save money.
Aside from the possibility of getting speeding tickets and getting into accidents, speeding burns more fuel, hurting your gas mileage. Most cars start to lose fuel efficiency when they drive over 45 mph.
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5. Choose your vehicle’s recommended fuel type
Premium gas doesn’t always mean “best gas” for performance and fuel efficiency. The best fuel will always be the one most appropriate for your car type.
When in doubt, go back to your car manual. If your manufacturer says your car needs unleaded fuel or even the cheapest petrol with a low octane rating, you have to trust them.
6. Buy quality fuel from reputable sources
Professional mechanics have pointed out the fact that using poor quality fuels can increase the consumption of fuel in your vehicle. Avoid purchasing overly cheap fuel from dishonest roadside kiosks. Chances are that, the fuel won’t burn effectively and your car may require large amounts of fuel to function.
Stick to legitimate petrol stations and diesel fuel delivery services. You can even utilize online resources to find the best deals on refueling.
7. Drive in the highest possible gear
This may sound counter-intuitive but it makes perfect sense.
If you’re driving a manual car, try to run on the highest possible gear for the average speed you’re going without putting undue stress on your engine. For instance, instead of putting the gear into the 3rd when hitting the road at about 40 mph, put your gear on the 5th to help save 25% fuel.
The idea is your engine won’t have to work that much to run on the higher speed limits of gear.
8. Refuel early in the morning
If possible, try to refuel early in the morning and not towards the end of the day. Gas stations have their storage tanks buried deep underground. Early in the morning, the ground itself is still relatively cold, making the petrol dense. Colder, denser petrol will give you substantially more fuel.
Oil expands with the rise in temperature – and this expansion causes less energy if fueled in a hot time of the day.
9. Be sensible when using the A/C unit
Studies show that when driving slow (like when a moderate to heavy traffic won’t let you go near the 60mph mark), it’s more fuel-efficient to roll down your windows and turn your car A/C off. If you’re on a highway, where your car speeds 60 mph and over, it’s best to close the windows and turn on the A/C. This eliminates drag caused by open windows.