How to Make Your Car Fuel Efficient
It seems like every time you pull up to the pump, you have to dump a ton of cash to fill the tank. Gas prices are always on the rise. The only way you can fight back against the cost at the pump is to learn how to make your car fuel efficient.
There are many things that can affect fuel efficiency. Some of the things that affect fuel efficiency are surprising. Learn how to make your car fuel efficient to cut back on costs.
What is MPG?
If you want to learn how to make your car fuel efficient, you need to understand what MPG means. Mile Per Gallon is the estimate of how far your car can travel on one gallon of gas. You may see MPG on the for sale sticker on a car, truck, or van.
Before a dealer or manufacturer can advertise an MPG, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has to certify it. There are actually two MPG’s listed for any given vehicle. MPG for city driving and MPG for highway driving are both displayed.
The MPG is the top end of what the vehicle can deliver when it comes to fuel efficiency. There are a lot of things that will play a role in determining whether you can get every drop out of a gallon of gas and reach the top level of MPG.
What Affects Fuel Efficiency?
Many things affect your fuel efficiency. Learning how to make your car fuel efficient starts with learning why your vehicle may be gobbling up gas quicker than you can fill it up. While you cannot control every aspect of fuel efficiency, there are plenty of things that you can do to make a difference.
Engine design is out of your control. Some cars, especially older models, were not designed when fuel efficiency was a priority. For example, older vehicles may get 10-15 MPG’s, while the newer version of the same model may get 15-25 MPG. The average new car in the US gets about 25 MPG.There is not much you can do about the engine design on your vehicle if you do not have the cash to trade up, but there are things you can do to push your vehicle to the higher end of its designed MPG.
Let’s say you see an ad for Repairable Salvage Cargo Vans for Sale, but you are worried about the cost of operating the vans. If they are newer model vans, you may be getting a great deal. Any newer model will give you better gas mileage than older models, simply because they are designed to do so.
The tips below are going to show you how to make your car fuel efficient regardless of the age of your car, truck, or van. Follow these simple steps, and you will start saving at the pump.
Tip Number One: Don’t Skip Out On Maintenance
It is a fact that a well-maintained vehicle gets better gas mileage. One of the easiest steps to how to make your car fuel efficient is to keep it well maintained. Get oil changes that are in line with your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. Oil thickens with time, which requires more work from your engine to pump through the system, which in turn burns more fuel. Regular oil changes are an easy way to improve fuel efficiency.
Other services like tune-ups are also an important way to keep your vehicle at the peak of its efficiency. Following manufacturers service recommendations are how to make your car fuel efficient mechanically.
Tip Number Two: Get Those Repairs Done
Addressing the simple auto repairs that your vehicle needs early on can help to keep your vehicle’s fuel efficiency up. Anything to do with your exhaust system is vital to your fuel efficiency. Brakes, tires, worn bearings, and more all affect your MPG. We address tires and brakes under Tip Number Three.
Tip Number Three: Check Your Tires Regularly
If you are wondering how to make your car fuel efficient, you may want to check the pressure on your tires. Tire pressure plays a role in fuel efficiency. Underinflated tires can cause more resistance, which makes your engine work harder. This causes more fuel to be burned.
The weather can affect your tire pressure. The changes between the heat and the cold can cause the air in your tires to contract and expand. Make it a habit to check your tire pressure every couple of weeks, and adjust the pressure if you need to.
Tip Number Four: Adjust Your Driving
Part of what is burning up your fuel is your very own driving style. According to a recent study, if you want to learn how to make your car fuel efficient all you have to do is let up on the accelerator. Going 80 MPH on the highways as opposed to traveling 70 MPH will burn up 25% more fuel.
Slowing down and staying within the speed limit will help you get a better fuel economy. Speed is not the only thing that is affecting your fuel efficiency. Stop and go driving can also gobble up some gas. When you are in the city, stop and go is par for the course. When you are on the highway, keep your eyes on the road to see obstacles from a distance and account for them, so you do not have to stop. Roadway striping is there for a reason. Learn to switch lanes instead of slowing down and having to accelerate back up.
Tip Number Five: Coast When You Can
When you are driving, if you come to a downward incline, take your foot off the accelerator and use gravity to save on fuel. Using gravity to your advantage can make your vehicle more fuel-efficient. Use downhill areas to help pick up momentum for the climbs ahead. Instead of accelerating to pick up momentum, you can just coast your way through.
Tip Number Six: What Are You Towing Around?
Weight can cause your fuel costs to climb. Toting around cargo that you really don’t need will cut back on your fuel efficiency. The heavier the weight, the more effort it takes for your vehicle to move along.
Any time you are towing anything like an equipment trailer, do what you can to keep it as light as possible. Take the time to distribute the weight evenly. It can help with efficiency when you are towing heavy loads.
Every 100 pounds adds a 2% loss in efficiency. Keep that in mind when you travel.Clean out your trunk, cargo area, and truck bed regularly. That extra weight will put a dent in your fuel efficiency.
Tip Number Seven: Be Careful With Accessories and Modifications
Truck accessories like fins, boxes, and more can drive down fuel efficiency. The same is true with luggage boxes, ski carriers, bicycle carriers, and other aftermarket accessories. Everything that you add to your vehicle that it did not come with can reduce the vehicle’s efficiency.
Anything that increases your vehicle’s speed performance, like racing parts, will drive up the cost of fuel. Modifications to improve speed performance can drain your fuel efficiency by about 30%.
Tip Number Eight: Go Without AC
Unless it is really getting hot or really getting cold, leave the AC and heat off. Air conditioners are a great convenience, but they can really reduce the efficiency of your vehicle. If you need to use the heat, set it so that it is circulating the heat that is naturally generated by the engine. Sucking in air from outside and circulating it through the vehicle is less expensive than running the AC or the heat.
Keeping up with heating repair services and AC tune-ups is how to make your car fuel efficient if you can’t live without climate control. Using the AC in your car reduces your MPG on average by about three MPG’s.
Tip Number Nine: Check Your Gas Cap
Around 17% of all vehicles on the road right now have faulty gas caps. Replacing your gas cap can save on average about two cents per gallon at the pump. Broken gas caps are also the most common reason a “check engine light” will come on. Replace your broken gas cap.
Tip Number 10: Switch to Low Viscosity Fluids
Make sure you are using the lowest viscosity oil recommended for your vehicle. Lower viscosity oils can increase fuel efficiency by 2%. Most manufacturers will recommend a single type of oil for peak performance, but your mechanic can help you choose one that is lower in viscosity to save on fuel costs.
Tip Number 11: Don’t Let Your Engine Run
This is a great opportunity to clear up a myth. You do not need to warm up your car in the morning. Letting your car engine run while it sits idle just burns up gas. Anytime you will be sitting in your car waiting longer than 40 seconds, turn it off. You are getting zero miles per gallon when you are sitting idle.
Tip Number 12: Use Cruise Control
Using cruise control can help you drive at a steady speed without keeping your foot on the accelerator. Cruise control can help you maintain fuel efficiency on the highway. Use it.
Tip Number 13: Don’t Down Shift
If you drive a standard, upshift as soon as possible and stop downshifting when you come to a stop sign or red light. Instead, move your shifter to neutral and use your brakes to slow down when you come to a stopping point. It will help to save fuel when you drive this way.
Tip Number 14: Be a Planner
Think about your driving and plan trips so that they are the most efficient. For example, instead of making multiple trips during the week to get dry cleaning or groceries, do it all on one day. Plot your driving to travel in a route that will take you everywhere you need to go in the same direction. Back and forth driving or taking multiple trips when you do not need to not only uses fuel unnecessarily, but it is a huge time waster. A little planning can go a long way in helping you to save money on gas.
Tip Number 15: Extreme Measures
Sometimes, the best option for how to make your car fuel efficient is to drive less. If you have access to public transportation, use it. Carpool if possible. Walk more. The cost of running your vehicle is expensive, and driving less is an easy way to curb costs.
Driving your vehicle less comes with the benefit of extending the life of your vehicle. It can save money and have bonus benefits for the environment. Driving less means paying less, and it means polluting less. It can be a win-win situation.
Conserving Fuel is Everyone’s Problem
Whether you are just sick and tired of paying at the pump or you are more concerned about the environment, conserving fuel is everyone’s issue. Learning how to make your car fuel efficient means that you are doing your part to conserve this precious resource.
The savings can be measurable when you learn how to make your car fuel efficient. Lessening your carbon footprint is also an important benefit. You can be a part of the solution while you hang on to more of your money.