What is your gas mileage? It is the ratio of miles traveled to the gallons of gasoline used. Clearly, improving your fuel economy and developing gas mileage saves a driver’s money as well as benefits the environment by releasing fewer emissions into the air which reduces a place’s dependence on oil and imports.
When driving is reduced by resorting to modes such as carpooling, combining trips, and using public transportation, there is a positive effect on the amount of gas each person consumes. With that said, there are numerous ways on how to improve fuel economy when driving, and these generally involve driving efficiently while ensuring that your car is well-maintained.
Improve Your Gas Mileage
- Drive more efficiently – your driving habits have a consequential impact on fuel efficiency:
⇒Go easy on your car’s pedals – braking, speeding, and rapid acceleration wastes a large amount of gas. Depending on the type of vehicle you have, poor driving habits can have a negative effect on fuel economy.
⇒Slow down – gas mileage decreases above 60mph, and according to research, for every 5mph exceeding 60mph, those who drive pay an equivalent of 24 cents more for each gallon of gas consumed. Each vehicle has its own speed for fuel capability and speeding results in about 7 to 23% of reduced fuel economy. When you drive at a slower speed, it can save up to 21 to 71 cents per gallon of oil.
⇒Leave some extras at home – surprisingly, an extra 100lbs. in your vehicle can trim down gas mileage by up to 2%. The decrease is relative to the weight of the vehicle so if the car is smaller, this will be more affected by the weight increase compared to larger vehicles; for every additional 100lbs., plan on spending up to 6 cents more per gallon.
⇒When appropriate, use cruise control – when using the cruise control under proper conditions, it can improve your fuel economy by up to 14%, which is an average savings of 43 cents per gallon of oil. However, avoid using the cruise control when traveling through extremely hilly terrains.
⇒Turn off your car’s engine – when your vehicle is idle, it gets 0mpg and consumes several billion gallons of fuel per year, so it is advised that the engine of vehicles should be shut down if waiting will last longer than 10 seconds. Leaving your car’s engine running while the vehicle is idle can use up as much as 1-gallon of gas each hour, and simply shutting down the engine can save about 5 cents per minute.
⇒Check your tire’s pressure – vehicle maintenance can help improve your gas mileage. According to studies, 1.25 billion gallons of gasoline is wasted each year because of under-inflated tires. Tires can lose around 2psi per month, so if each tire is under-inflated by 10psi, it reduces your fuel economy. Four under-inflated tires by 10psi will lessen your vehicle’s fuel economy by 10% at an additional cost of about 30 cents per gallon.
⇒Inspect the alignment of your tires – when tires are misaligned, they drag instead of roll freely. The wrong alignment can reduce the efficiency of fuel by as much as 10%, and also, tires can wear out quickly.
- Fill your tank in the morning or in the evening – Fuel is dispensed by volume, so if you fill the vehicle’s tank when the temperature is cool like early in the morning or late at night, fuel will be denser which results to more gas for the same amount of money.
- Replace your car parts for better gas mileage
Doing simple tasks like replacing some car parts can help you save money and better your gas mileage.
- Mass Air Flow Sensor
– this measures the air flow that enters the engine. It sends this information to the engine’s computer that controls fuel injection, transmission shifting, and the ignition system.
When this part gets dirty, information sent to the computer is inaccurate, thus affects fuel economy.
- 02 Sensor
– it analyzes the exhaust flow before and after the catalytic converter sends data to the engine’s computer. It then adjusts the fuel injection level, so when this part is faulty, data sent is inaccurate as well.
- Spark Plugs
– these ignite air or fuel mixture in the engine’s combustion chamber. With new spark plugs, engine runs smoothly and efficiently.
- Air Filters
– It filters the air coming through the engine, so dirty filters decrease gas mileage especially on older vehicles.
– for cars, these provide handling and traction. Worn out tires that are misaligned or under-inflated can reduce fuel economy. Since tires naturally lose air, make regular checks to ensure the best gas mileage and handling.
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