As gas prices continue to sour, increasing the fuel efficiency becomes the best way to shield your pocket book. Below are simple ways that can help you increase your car’s fuel mileage without you having to be adept at the mechanics beneath the hood.
Make sure the tires are properly inflated
Properly inflated tires can drastically reduce the fuel consumption.
On average, you tires lose around 1 PSI. It is recommended to check tires at least monthly, preferably weekly if possible. Properly inflated car tires will not only save fuel consumption but will also help you avoid premature wear on the tread.
Combine as many trips as possible. Two short trips will inevitably consume more fuel than one that is slightly longer. The reason for this is that every time the engine is cranked, your car consumes extra fuel. Better still, you’ll be saving some time on your trips.
Lighten Your Load
In case you didn’t know, weight is among the biggest causes for loss of kinetic energy. As such, get the lightest car that’ll serve your needs. An extra 100 pounds increases fuel consumption by up to 2%. If you already have a car, take the extra weight off of the car. For example, if you have seats that you don’t use, take them out. If you use your truck’s cargo bay as a storage area, find another place for them.
Tune up the Engine
For enhanced fuel efficiency, your car needs to have a properly tuned engine. A word of caution though, don’t use tuners that improve power to the detriment of efficiency. As a guide, make sure the air filter is squeaky clean, the oil is changed on time, and the plugs in the engine are good.
Accelerate smoothly with moderate throttle
For best fuel efficiency, engines need to have a moderately high air flow and 4,000 to 5,000 revolutions per minute.
Avoid ‘short shifting’ in a manual transmission car. For example, instead of using 1st gear and 2nd gear, drift directly to the 4th or 5th one.
When using an automatic, enable overdrive except during heavy towing
Most shifters come already configured on overdrive mode. Overdrive helps improve fuel mileage at higher speeds by using a higher gear in the transmission. Some cars have an overdrive gear button. Only use it when needed, for example, when proceeding uphill or during engine braking downhill.
Minimize Idling as Much As You Can
An idling car burns fuel without really going anywhere. As such, switch the engine off when you have a longer waiting time. Or better still, get a car with auto-stop technology. An auto-stop technology reduces the fuel consumption and emissions by automatically reducing the amount of time the engine spends idling.
Plan your trips
Although this might seem pushy, it is important to plan your trips carefully. The bottom line is to try to accomplish as many objectives as possible using the least number of trips. Needless to say, this will not only help reduce your fuel consumption but will also help you reduce fatigue by eliminating unnecessary trips.
Find your car’s sweet spot
Also known as sweet speed, the sweet spot is the minimum speed at which a car is accelerating at maximum gear. Some cars, usually at speeds of around 50 mph, give better mileage. For instance, 4Runners from Toyota return the best fuel economy at speeds of around 50 mph, while most Jeep Cherokees are best at speeds of around 55mph.
This is really a no-brainer. You don’t have to drive to a place that is a walking distance away. Also, park your car some distant away especially where you are not sure to find a parking lot. For example, in places like a market. This will not only improve your car’s mileage but will also save you the hustle of navigating through congestion.