From weekday commutes to weekend road trips, rising gas prices have made driving much more expensive. Unless you drive an electric car, you’ve probably felt it.
Even when gas is cheap, boosting your fuel economy can leave more money in your pocket. While fuel economy ratings from the manufacturer are pretty accurate, there are certain factors that you, as the driver, have direct control over. Here are seventhings you can do right now to get better gas mileage
It can be hard to drive in the heat of an Idaho summer without A/C, but if you want to save gas, it might be worth rolling the windows down instead. The air conditioning system makes the engine work harder, and as a result, consumes more fuel.
However, at highway speeds, running the A/C is a better option. Having the windows down on the highway creates significant amounts of drag, so much so that it has a bigger impact on your fuel economy than having the air conditioning on.
Anything that makes your car less aerodynamic or heavier will hurt your fuel economy. Bike racks, roof racks/boxes, forgotten bags, or boxes in the trunk increase drag and weight. If you need a bike rack, consider mounting one on the rear of the vehicle. If you can’t go without a roof rack, add a wind deflector (sometimes called fairing) to the front bars.
The less speeding up and slowing down you can do, the more gas you can save. Getting your vehicle up to cruising speed takes significantly more fuel than maintaining it. If you are on the highway, use cruise control.
Additionally, stay within the speed limit. The faster you drive, the worse your fuel economy becomes. According to the U.S Department of Energy, every five miles per hour over 50 mph is like paying another $0.35 per gallon!
Accelerating quickly from every stop sign or red light wastes fuel. If you want better gas mileage, be gentle with the throttle.
Idling is the ultimate fuel waster. An idling vehicle gets 0 MPG. It may be tempting to let the A/C or heat run for a few minutes before getting in the car, but it’s a surefire way to waste gas. Reducing idling is also good for the environment!
Underinflated tires can reduce your fuel economy by up to 3% and will wear out faster. Regular tire rotations and wheel alignments will reduce drag, benefiting fuel economy and tire longevity.
Regular maintenance is essential for the longevity of your vehicle and can also improve your fuel economy. Fresh oil keeps the rotating parts properly lubricated, allowing the engine to run efficiently. Lower viscosity oils (lighter weight) make it easier for the rotating assembly to move, and can also improve fuel economy.
Lastly, changing out your dirty engine air filter will give the engine an unrestricted supply of fresh air, yet another factor that impacts your miles per gallon.
While we can’t control what we pay at the pump, we can control how we drive and maintain our vehicles. Following these tips can increase the time you go between fill-ups, and make driving less harsh on your wallet.
Need to get your car serviced? Trust the skilled and experienced technicians at Lake City Auto Care! We have shops in Hayden, CDA, and Rathdrum Idaho. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today!
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