5 Ways to Improve Your Vehicle’s Gas Mileage
Few things can be as frustrating to drivers as having to pay for fuel, only to see it drain away far too fast. If you feel like your vehicle isn’t getting the gas mileage it should, you can take steps to bring it to a higher level of efficiency.
Adjust Your Driving Habits
Some of the easiest gains in your vehicle’s efficiency are not to be found under the hood, but rather in the driver’s seat. Generally, in order to wring out the maximum distance from every drop of gas, you have to think “slow.” Accelerate slowly, as periods of acceleration causes the vehicle to open the throttle wider, mixing and burning higher volumes of gas and air than it does under lower rpm loads. Brake slowly and well ahead of time in order to keep the vehicle in motion. It takes less energy to accelerate an object that still has inertia in its favor. Plan ahead and combine multiple stops into one trip to reduce the amount of gas you use.
When you find yourself waiting at the drive-through or stopped in a traffic jam for more than a few seconds, turn off the vehicle. Don’t worry; it will start again. A vehicle that is idling is getting precisely zero miles per gallon. Numerous periods with the engine running and the car standing still can quickly have a significant impact on the overall efficiency of the vehicle.
An engine in good working order is naturally more efficient than one that has been neglected. Changing your oil and coolant according to the manufacturer’s recommendations ensure that the engine stays properly lubricated and runs at a proper temperature. This keeps undue friction and excess heat from robbing the engine of efficiency and using more gas than it could otherwise. Lubricate any grease points and fittings in the driveline and powertrain to ensure smooth and efficient operation.
Proper tire inflation plays a large role in the efficiency of your vehicle. Underinflated tires expose more of the tire to the road, which in turn reduces friction with the road. Check your tires for proper inflation regularly, before heading out on a long trip, and whenever the average outside temperature has changed substantially, as that can affect the relative pressure inside the tire in relation to the air pressure around it.
Sleek and Light
Go through the hidden recesses of your vehicle and pull out any excess cargo that may be needlessly hitching a ride. A trunk full of clothes, papers, and tools can quickly add up to efficiency-robbing weight. If you pull 50 pounds of junk out of it, that will be 50 fewer pounds brought up to speed repeatedly. Keep your vehicle aerodynamic by avoiding roof racks, protruding accessories, or spending long periods at speed with the windows down, as these all produce drag, which means more fuel burned to achieve the same results.
A combination of altered driving style and a little consideration of the mechanical and aerodynamic characteristics of your vehicle can save you considerable cash at the gas station.
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