Wether your concerns are financial, or environmental, we all have to admit that conserving fuel is a positive. There are actually quite a few things that you can do, regardless of what vehicle you drive, to significantly improve the gas mileage you get. They are:
5 Things You Can Do To Save Gas
- Don’t accelerate or brake quickly if possible
- Use cruise control
- Keep your car well maintained
- Make sure your tire pressure is in the right range
- Consider aftermarket upgrades
- Make sure your O2 sensor and exhaust system is working properly
Don’t Accelerate Quickly To Conserve Fuel
The faster you bring your speed up, the more quickly your car will burn fuel to perform for you. If you want to save fuel, accelerate at a slow but steady pace. If you see a light coming up is red, take your foot off of the accelerator and coast into the stopping point.
Use Cruise Control
Did you know that using cruise control can save you up to 6% more fuel? It’s true, cruise control keeps your vehicle at the same speed and when employed over a long period of time, the continuous speed will save you money on gas. Think of it this way, speeding up and slowing down uses gas less effectively than maintaining a steady speed.
Keeping Your Car Well Maintained
Keep The Air Filter In Good Condition: A clogged air filter will limit the efficiency of your car. By ensuring your air filter is clean, you ensure that you are burning less gasoline per mile.
Corroded Battery Lines: when the lines of your battery corrode, they force your alternator to work harder which lowers the efficiency of gas use in your vehicle. Keep the battery lines in good working shape and replace them when corrosion begins.
Have frequent visits to the mechanic: have a trusted mechanic look over the car frequently While the maintenance items are pretty routine, they can scan the computer system and check how efficiently the engine and fuel injection systems are running.
Replace your O2 sensor: the O2 sensor takes data on how rich your fuel to oxygen mixture is in the exhaust of your car. From that your computer determines what adjustments need to be made to the fuel mix to help the car run more efficiently. An old or malfunctioning O2 sensor can have a minor or major impact on the amount of fuel your car burns per mile you drive.
Keep Your Tire Pressure Properly Ranged
Tire pressure is an important component to gas mileage. Have you ever had a flat tire? Flats make it tough on your car to drive because there is so much drag on the ground from the deflated rubber. Under inflated tires can cause a minor version of this effect which over time can waste a ton of gasoline.
Up to 3% improvement for keeping your tires properly inflated. So what is the proper inflation psi? Tires should be kept at around a 35 – 32 PSI range and a car will lose about .2% in efficiency per 1 drop in psi. Your car’s recommended tire pressure can be found in the vehicle’s owner’s manual.
You should check your tire pressure frequently and check them when the tires are cold (haven’t been driven on) to ensure an accurate reading. Tire pressure will vary with the outside temperature with higher temps elevating pressure levels and lower temps producing lower tire levels. When you go through a seasonal shift, be sure to check your tire pressure level to protect your tires and the environment by producing even tire wear.
Consider Aftermarket Upgrades
If you are willing to spend a little extra on making your car more fuel efficient, there are quite a few upgrades you can make to your vehicle to improve the fuel economy from computer plug ins to fluid alterations. Check out these few suggestions.
Real Time Engine Monitoring
This is essentially a plug in which attaches to your OBII reader in your vehicle and collects all sorts of information on how your vehicle is running. Examples of data that this plug in collects include engine coolant temperature, battery voltage and real time fuel economy readouts. The most important part of this is the injection timing reports. The longer the injectors remain open, the more fuel that the car uses. So how does this help with fuel efficiency? Well, it doesn’t on its own, but it will alert the driver to what driving style help to improve fuel efficiency by giving them a real time report of how their vehicle is performing.
Similar to how a real time engine monitoring device helps drivers become aware of their immediate impact on fuel efficacy, a vacuum gauge can also help driver awareness in this way. Vacuum gauges are devices that monitor the manifold vacuum providing data back to the driver in real time. Higher manifold vacuums translate to higher fuel mileage and this gives drivers a clear idea of how to create high and steady gauge pressure while accelerating. The data displays similarly to other dashboard monitoring systems within your vehicle and is relatively inexpensive to install.
Grounding cables are an important part of the vehicle’s electrical system. You may think the electrical system will have little to do with how efficiently a car runs, but you would be wrong. As our cars get more and more technical they rely heavily on computers to run properly. The more quickly the computer system works in a vehicle, the better it is going to be at making adjustments to things like fuel to oxygen mixtures. All electrical components share one grounding cable which connects to the negative of a car’s battery. Ensuring the grounding cable is in proper working order and replacing it before it begins to corrode can help your car get better gas mileage.
Using engine fluids with a lower viscosity can help to improve your gas mileage significantly. You want to use fluids that your car brand recommends for your engine, but finding a thinner fluid when it comes to your transmission, engine and differential oils that are approved will help you in this goal. A synthetic oil will break down over a longer period of time than more natural oils used in car maintenance. In addition they are more stable in the fluctuating and high heat temperatures that the oils are subject to. What this means is that the oil will stay better for longer which will help to preserve top fuel efficiency.
Replace Your Catalytic Converter, O2 Sensor and Muffler
.You can make the comparison of your exhaust system to the heart and arteries in your body. Over time you get build up and your vehicle has to work that much harder to get the same power out of itself. I encourage you to replace the parts of your exhaust system and to do it all at once. The result is your car will burn more efficiently, produce more power, and burn cleaner than it has in a long time
The O2 sensor is the most common reason that check engine lights go off around the country. It is responsible for telling your vehicle’s computer how oxygen dense the air that the car is taking in is, and how much of that air it needs to mix with the fuel. This happens quickly and impacts how efficiently your car burns fuel and how much power it gets out of the combustion.
By cleaning out the entirety of your exhaust system including the muffler which collects all sort of junk, you essentially are giving your car an enama. Replacing these parts can be expensive, but it will help your car run like new and it will over time save you a ton of money on gas.
Don’t Let Your Car Idle
Your car will burn around a gallon of gas per hour it is left idling. On top of this being bad for the environment it’s also tough on components of your vehicle that use the air flow created by your moving car to function properly, like the air conditioning.
Lighten The Vehicle
The heaviest vehicles generally burn the most fuel. The lighter that you make your vehicle the less energy your car’s engine will have to provide to push it forward. Every 100 pounds is equivalent to a 1 to 2% increase in fuel consumption on average. The smaller the vehicle, the more impacted it is by increasing weight. To reduce weight, you can make modifications like extra seat removal, rim exchanges for lighter varieties, roof rack removal etc. but exercise caution and make vehicle safety your number one priority followed by efficiency improvement.
Drive With Less Fuel
A gallon of fuel will weigh around 8 pounds so a car will hold between 50 and 100 pounds of fuel on average. By driving with less fuel in the tank you will get better gas mileage, but be cautious in this. Many great mechanics recommend never letting your car get below a quarter of a tank and some even suggest keeping a tank at least half full at all times.
Buy Gas When The Weather Is Cooler
Usually this is going to be first thing in the morning or later in the evening. When it is hot, gasoline quickly turns into a vapor that will evaporate out of your tank while you pump. When it is cooler the gasoline becomes denser and will sit in the tank for longer before evaporating.
Choose The Best Route
Look over the routes to your destination that your GPS recommends. If one is predominately highway driving consider it as an option for the sake of saving gas. Same thing goes with a shorter distanced trip that may take a bit longer. You want to avoid stop and go as much as possible so keep that in mind but the most important factor is overall distance. If there is a substantial difference between distances choose the shorter path to save more gas.
If you are making it difficult for the car to move forward by creating unnecessary drag, you will burn more gas. Examples of this mostly include using the top of the car for moving items, like a large bin on top of a car.
Consider Ride Sharing
Ride sharing is a great way to get your expense of gas to decrease, though it will reduce your carbon footprint by riding together instead of separately!
So in conclusion there are quite a few ways to ensure you are using the smallest amount of gasoline that you can from after market upgrades, to routine maintenance to simple driving style modifications and technology that helps you recognize them. Some modify their car to increase the top speeds and acceleration rates their car’s produce, others want to save money and the planet by increasing efficiency of fuel usage.
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