Tuesday, February 21, 2012

5 Basic Tips to Get More Mileage From Your Car

Gas is creeping up towards the $4 a gallon mark for the nation, and here in southern California prices for gasoline have already surpassed that mark with premium fuel heading towards $4.50.  Even with more fuel efficient cars being produced, $4 a gallon for gas is bound to put a strain on anyone's budget.  Here are a few tips to help the average driver improve their fuel economy without going to the extremes that some hyper milers go to. 

1)  Proper inflation of your tires.  Check the air pressure of your tires when they are cold, not after you've been driving around.  The cold psi should be at the manufacturer's recommended pressure. 

2)  Don't speed.  As simple as it sounds, speeding on the freeway will result in poorer fuel economy.  As speed rises, the horsepower needed to overcome wind resistance, tire friction, etc. increases too.  You can maximize your fuel economy on the highway by driving between a set speed of 55-65 mph. 

3)  Maintain your vehicle.  Keep up with regular maintenance to keep your engine operating efficiently.  A dirty air filter may not directly decrease mpg on a modern car, but it will decrease power which will make you floor the gas more to get up to merging speeds which decreases mileage.  Having proper alignment will keep your car from dragging its wheels and causing uneven tire wear.

4)  Lose weight.  This is in reference to any items in your car.  If you have golf clubs, bowling equipment, or any kind of items you don't need on a daily basis, that extra weight you're carrying will decrease your mileage.  A heavier car requires more throttle input to start moving.

5)  This ties into #2.  Don't drive aggressively.  Not only is it a nuisance and a danger to other drivers, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, a combination of aggressively accelerating followed by hard braking and subsequently accelerating again reduces fuel economy on the highway by 33% and 5% in the city. 

These 5 tips will help you get more mileage per tank of gas, and hopefully reduce the burden your wallet faces each time you go to the pump.  Happy motoring and keep on driving! 

Link to Part 2 of our gas tips:  More Gas Saving Tips Part 2

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