The price of gas varies from city to city, but no matter where you go, it’s not cheap. Many drivers have sought to cut their spending on gas by driving less. While this is certainly a good strategy, we can’t stay home all the time. Here are some tips for using less gas when you do drive.
* Avoid rapid acceleration and braking. Accelerating too fast uses much more gas than building up speed more steadily. When you see that you’re going to have to slow down or stop, let off the gas well ahead of time instead of slamming on the brakes at the last second.
* Drive at a reasonable speed. For most vehicles, the optimal speed for fuel economy is about 55 miles per hour. When you get above 60 mph, fuel economy drops rapidly.
* Use cruise control when possible. This keeps your vehicle moving at a steady speed, which translates to greater gas mileage.
* Make your vehicle as light as possible. Take things that you don’t need out of the trunk, and remove heavy accessories that aren’t necessary. The exception to this rule is any accessory that makes your vehicle more aerodynamic, such as a bed cover for a pick-up truck.
* Take the interstate instead of the back roads. When you’re driving on interstate, there’s usually no stopping and starting. The road is also straighter and better maintained, so you won’t even have to slow down and speed up as much.
* Check your air filter. A dirty air filter can significantly reduce your fuel economy. How often it needs to be changed depends largely on driving conditions. If you live in the city, once a year might be sufficient. If you drive on dusty rural roads regularly, you will need to change it more often. If in doubt, remove it and see if there is a lot of dirt in the crevices. If there is, it probably needs to be replaced.
* Keep a tire gauge in your glove box so that you can check your tire pressure regularly. Under-inflated tires can have an adverse impact on gas mileage, and they also wear out more quickly than those that are properly inflated. Here is a nice review of all season tires for you.
* Use the air conditioner only when necessary. Air conditioning can wreak havoc on your gas mileage. But if you’re driving at moderate to high speeds, you’re better off using the air conditioner than riding with the windows down. That’s because leaving the windows down creates wind resistance.
Don’t spend more than you have to on gas. By doing these simple things, you can greatly increase your gas mileage and keep more money in your wallet.