Gas prices are on the rise. So how do you keep your tank full without emptying your wallet?
- Make sure your tires have the correct pressure or PSI (referenced in your owner’s manual), good tread, and are properly aligned.
- Empty your vehicle (including your trunk) of any unnecessary items to reduce cargo weight.
- Use your cruise control when possible to maintain a constant speed.
- Combine several short trips into one long one. Engines are most efficient when they are warmed up.
- Try to avoid rush hour and take less busy routes to avoid the stop and go of bumper-to-bumper traffic.
- Slow down. Driving faster on the highway can really reduce your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
- Keep track of gas mileage (or mpg – miles per gallon) with every tank refill. Note if any drastic change in the average.
- Your newer vehicle is controlled by software, so ask your dealer for an engine computer software upgrade. The update may lead to efficient operation and/or fix other problems.
- Use fully synthetic motor oil which will give you better performance (horsepower) and fuel economy.
- Park in the shade or use a windshield shade to keep your interior cooler. Then lower your windows when entering the car after it’s been parked a while. Your A/C will work more efficiently, giving you better MPGs.
- Don’t stow heavy cargo on your vehicle’s roof. It increases drag and reduces fuel efficiency. With some makes and models, an empty roof rack carrier will still create drag and impact your MPGs.
- Don’t let your vehicle idle. There is no need to warm up modern vehicles without carburetors. You will use gas without going anywhere.
- Sudden accelerations waste a lot of fuel. “Gunning” the gas to leave a green light just to brake as you come up to the next red one isn’t going to get you there any faster. But it will reduce your fuel efficiency by close to 40%.
- Don’t use premium gas unless your car requires it. The only difference you’ll get is the higher price at the pump. However, Top Tier gas is worth a second look.
- Don’t forego the AC. It does have an impact on your vehicle’s fuel economy, but it’s worth the trade-off to keep the driver more alert.
- It’s not recommended to rely on your fuel tank warning light to prompt a visit to the gas station. Your driving needs during those last couple of gallons could have you on empty faster than you think.
Want to learn more? Here are a few fuel mileage myths debunked over recent years.
You have to drive a small car to get good fuel economy. FALSE.
For the 2021 model year, more than half of the top ten most efficient vehicles (the list that excludes EVs and PHEVs) are midsized or large cars.
Gas tanks are underground, so they remain at that temperature as you fill up at the pump. The outside temp has very little impact on the temp of the gas, so more evaporation as the day gets warmer is highly unlikely.
A vehicle’s fuel economy decreases significantly as it ages. FALSE.
Vehicles that are 10 or even 15 years old will experience a little decrease in fuel economy if properly maintained.
Putting your tailgate down will make your truck more aerodynamic. FALSE.
If you own a pickup truck, leave the tailgate up! When the tailgate is up, a vortex is created in the bed which forces air coming over the cab to stay above the bed. If the tailgate is left down, the air enters the bed and creating additional drag.
Getting better gas mileage will put more money back in your pocket. If you are looking to save even more this summer, check out these tips to lower your cooling costs.