With today’s high gas prices, it’s worth taking a few minutes out of your day to make minor modifications that will improve your gas mileage.
- Keep your tires properly inflated and check them frequently.
- Keep your front suspension and steering in proper alignment.
- Use the thinnest viscosity oil that your car’s manufacturer recommends.
- Keep your engine in proper mechanical condition.
- Keep your engine in tune and make sure the air and fuel filters are clean.
- Make sure your brakes are not dragging.
- Repair body damage. That crunched front fender adds aerodynamic drag — just ask any race car driver.
- Don’t use premium fuel if your car does not require it; using it is an unnecessary expense.
- Don’t waste your money on those late night “as seen on TV” products that are supposed to increase your mileage.
- Avoid excessive warm-up time. Modern engines do not require it.
- Don’t idle your engine for long periods. Turn off your engine when you leave the car or have to wait a long time.
- Avoid jackrabbit starts.
- Keep your speed at 55 miles per hour/95 kilometers per hour or less whenever possible.
- For newer vehicles with aerodynamic designs, close the windows and turn on the air conditioning when driving on the freeway.
- For older cars with inefficient air conditioning compressors, use the ventilation system and close the windows, temperature permitting.
- Anticipate merging traffic and stoplights — decelerate and accelerate smoothly.
- Plan your trips wisely. If you need to go to several places, plan a route that allows you to run most or all of your errands in one outing.
- Empty the trunk! Extra clothes, overdue library books, tools and the bag of aluminum cans that you have been meaning to take to the recycler all weigh down your car unnecessarily.
- Car-pool whenever possible or practical.
- Listen to radio reports for alternate routes around congested areas.
- Drive in the highest gear possible.
- Try to keep your speed constant. Use cruise control when on long stretches of road.