Learning how to improve gas mileage boils down to a handful of habits and tips. If you remember them, your gas mileage will definitely see an improvement. Below we have 10 great tips that anyone can implement. Each one is small on its own but add them all up and you can make a significant difference. Do yourself and your car a favor and start incorporating these simple life-hacks into your daily or weekly routine now. Here’s how to improve gas mileage.
1. Don’t Drive When You Don’t Need to
Let’s start with the easiest way to improve gas mileage – not even bothering to get in your car. It sounds painfully obvious but it’s still worth mentioning. If your work is a 45 minute drive away then driving your own vehicle is probably your best or even your only option, and you can’t be faulted for that.
However, one of the best ways to improve gas mileage actually involves using your car not as a convenience but as a necessary utility. Only drive when you absolutely have to. If you need to visit a friend or make a quick trip to the store then you should consider all of your gas-free alternatives. Maybe you could carpool with other friends instead, or you could ride your bike if it’s not too far.
2. Cut Down on Weight
No, we’re not saying that you have to lose weight but your car might have to. The fact is, the more weight your car is carrying the more fuel it will burn per trip. Some people use their car’s trunk or backseats as storage for various items despite the fact that they don’t ever really need them throughout the day.
Take out any nonessential luggage from your vehicle before any trip, especially if we’re talking heavy tools or something along those lines. There’s nothing wrong with keeping a spare tire on hand at all times but do you really need to have much else back there if it’s only going to cost you in the long run? Learning how to improve gas mileage involves not just paying attention to fuel but to the rest of your car as well.
3. Respect the Speed Limit
Not everyone is aware of this but driving faster actually comes with diminishing returns. In other words, the faster you drive the less economical you are spending your fuel. You may think to yourself that it would be better to save on time than on fuel but that would be a short term gain that leads to a long term deficit.
The amount of fuel you’ll end up saving compared to the amount of time you’ll lose will be a worthy trade off. If you’re the type who likes to go a few miles above the speed limit on highways then try getting into the habit of staying at or below the limit. Not only will you be obeying the law but you’ll also be getting the most out of your fuel, which you had to pay for in the first place.
4. Go Easy on Acceleration
Tip number four goes hand in hand with our previous advice. Going too hard on the gas pedal is counter-productive not just when it comes to speed but also with acceleration. Getting a car to start moving costs more fuel than some might expect, which is why you shouldn’t hammer on the foot pedal.
This is an important thing to keep in mind when it comes to improving gas mileage because while accelerating heavily will save you a few seconds of time it will lose you too much fuel to be worth it. It’s a great habit to develop for anyone who rushes out of the gates after a red light. Just because your car can accelerate really quickly doesn’t necessarily mean that it should all the time. Slow and steady wins the race, as they say.
5. Have Properly Inflated Tires
Having the correct air pressure is not only good common practice for vehicle maintenance but is actually one of the most effective ways to improve gas mileage. It isn’t enough to just make sure that your tires are capable of turning while parked. Keeping an eye on their pressure will ensure that your vehicle and its fuel reserves will operate at the most optimal capacity.
Your car actually has to do more work when driving if your wheels are improperly inflated or have lost some air. This means that you’ll be spending more gas per turn. If you’ve been driving a car for weeks with tires that haven’t been examined or re-pressurized in a while then who knows how much extra fuel you’ve been needlessly spending.
The idea is to reduce as much physical resistance as possible. Less resistance means an easier drive, and an easier drive means less gas being used. There’s no point in increasing the labor of your car when you don’t have to. It will keep your automobile – and your wallet – in better shape over the following months and years.
6. Check Your Gasoline Cap’s Seal
This is one of the more sneaky ways in which gas efficiency can decrease. Believe it or not, you can actually lose fuel when your gas cap is either sealed improperly or has an even slightly damaged seal.
The general idea is that when your gas cap isn’t closed off tightly, oxygen can seep into your fuel reserves. When oxygen mixes with your fossil fuel then your car will be forced to expend even more gas while driving to deal with the increased air.
Therefore, a good habit to get into if you haven’t already is to always make sure to tightly screw on your gas cap after every fill up. You should also check the seal’s integrity every now and then to make sure the rubber sealing is in good condition. This is a very underrated tip on how to improve gas mileage. More drivers really ought to perform this simple check-up regularly.
7. Stock up on Fuel Earlier, Not Later
This is a slightly more unorthodox way on how to improve gas mileage but we promise you that this is legitimate. Many people are still unaware of this but it is actually better to refill your gas tank in the morning and not in the afternoon.
We don’t want to bore you with too much chemistry but hear us out. Petrol gas, like just about any substance on the planet, reacts to changes in temperature. When it is colder the liquid is actually denser. This is because petrol gas actually expands when the temperature rises. In other words, half a gallon of petrol gas that has already expanded in the afternoon is not going to be quite as dense or plentiful as half a gallon of cold petrol in the morning time.
That means the most logical thing to do would be to develop the habit of refueling your vehicle in the morning before work. You might have to wake up a little earlier but doing this more often is a great trick if you really care about how to improve gas mileage.
8. Inspect Your Air Filter
The logic behind tip number eight is very similar to that of number six. As we’ve already discussed, excess oxygen is bad for gas mileage. That’s why so many people consider a replacement air filter to be the single best way of how to improve gas mileage.
Not only is it very simple but it’s quite effective as well. If you’ve been driving around with a faulty air filter then you’ve been putting a decent amount of excess stress on your car’s fossil fuel consumption. If your air filter is damaged or aged then you should replace it as soon as possible. This will give you an instant boost to your gas mileage.
9. Be Liberal with Air Conditioning
Since you’re reading an article on how to improve gas mileage you probably already knew about this. The more you use your AC unit, the more energy your car will be spending. It’s been proven time and time again that rolling down your windows and turning off the air conditioning is a much more economical alternative to cranking up the cold air.
Get into the habit of rarely using your car’s AC unit. Try saving the air conditioning for especially humid days or when you’re going over 50 or 60mph on a highway. Open windows at faster speeds will actually increase your car’s resistance due to drag. This would be an optimal time to use your AC and is a great way to improve gas mileage.
10. Plan Out Your Day and Take Less Trips
Let’s end our piece today on how to improve gas mileage with a simple piece of advice: plan your trips accordingly.
We’ve already mentioned that starting and accelerating your car more often is bad for gas mileage. That’s why when going out to do your tasks you should plan your trip so that it involves the quickest routes.
You should also be mindful of everything you have to do before you leave. Making two trips that are 20 minutes each actually consumes more gas than one trip that is 45 minutes long. Never underestimate acceleration and engine start-up when it comes to how to improve gas mileage.