Many drivers don’t realize how much extra fuel an automobile that’s out of tune actually uses, something that wastes millions of dollars of gas every single day. The fact is, keeping your car properly tuned and running smoothly can increase gas mileage by nearly 5%.
Even better, fixing a serious maintenance problem like a clogged gas filter can actually improve your mileage by nearly 40%, something that will save you an awful lot of money at the pumps when you consider that gas is slowly creeping back towards four dollars a gallon across the United States.
You’ve probably heard how keeping your tires properly inflated is a great way to reduce gas consumption and, if you haven’t, you probably haven’t been driving for very long. Keeping your tires properly inflated to their correct pressure (found on the driver’s side door jamb or in the owner’s manual) can improve your mileage by nearly 4% and, conversely, decrease your mileage by nearly 1% for every one psi drop in air pressure. Not only that but tires that are properly inflated will last longer and give you a safer ride.
Another surefire way to increase gas mileage by 1% to 3% is to use the grade of motor oil that your car manufacturer recommends. For example, if your car was designed to use 5W-30 motor oil and instead you use 10W-30 oil, you can actually lower your gas mileage by over 2%. Your automobile mechanic can help you with this but, if you change your oil yourself, look for the words “energy conserving” on the label as well as the API performance symbol.
One thing of note for most car owners is that, while replacing a clogged air filter will improve the performance of most cars made in the last 15 to 20 years, it won’t improve your car’s mpg.
On today’s newer fuel injected vehicles with computer-controlled engines, which includes most cars manufactured from the 1980s up until the present day, replacing a clogged air filter will most likely improve your cars performance and acceleration but won’t do much to improve its fuel economy. This goes for diesel engines as well.
A number of other simple ways to increase your mileage is to take anything not necessary out of your car, especially if it’s heavy, take off any roof racks that you’re not using on a daily basis, and make sure that you combine a few short trips into one longer trip. Once your car is warmed up it will perform better and use less gas and thus getting a few things done at once instead of doing several tasks separately during the day will save you gasoline and money.