If gas prices were a rollercoaster, it would be a big draw: full of ups, downs, twists, turns, and unexpected loops. Unfortunately, gas prices aren’t a rollercoaster, so all of those ups and downs affect your bank account more than most of us want. The simple solution to getting more bang for your buck at the gas pump is to buy a vehicle that gets good mileage, such as a hybrid. Not everyone can afford a hybrid, though, and hybrids aren’t always practical for everyone. Thankfully, there are a number of tips that you can follow to improve your gas mileage, at least by a bit.
Check Your Tires
You may have heard this one before. Making sure your tires are properly inflated can save you some cash at the pump. When your tires are underinflated, your vehicle has to work that much harder to push your car along, meaning it uses more gas. (Underinflated tires are also a safety hazard.) You should also keep your tires balanced and in alignment for maximum MPG savings. Many service shops will check your alignment for free, and even more will help you get your tires inflated to the recommended pressure.
Drive with Common Sense
If you’re in a bad mood or experiencing “road rage,” you’re more likely to speed, brake harder, and accelerate faster than you would under normal circumstances. By observing the speed limit, using cruise control and overdrive gears, and even removing extra weight from your car (that is, you don’t always have to carry your golf clubs around with you), you can help make your car more efficient. Cruise control can also keep you at a constant speed, boosting your MPG even more.
The Right Motor Oil
Regardless of when your car needs its oil changed, make sure you always use the recommended motor oil grade. Using a motor oil grade that isn’t recommended for your car’s engine can actually decrease your MPG by 1-2%.
A Tuned Engine
Engine tune-ups not only extend the life of your car, but it can also improve your gas mileage. By replacing spark plug wires, or fixing an issue like a faulty oxygen sensor, you can keep your car in tip-top shape all while shaving a dollar or two off your gas prices.
At the Pump
When you’re actually filling up your car’s tank, there are a number of things you can do to help keep your MPG in the green. First, the auto-shutoff is in place for a reason. Topping off your tank can lead to wasted gas, so trust the pump. Using the correct octane is also important: your car that’s designed to run on regular won’t get better mileage just because you’re putting premium in it. Finally, be sure your gas cap is sealed tightly. A loose cap can allow gas to vaporize, which means your car isn’t getting to use it.
Get a coupon for a “Gas Saver Bundle” including oil change, tire rotation, and 27-point inspection here.
Do you have any tips for increasing your MPG? Do you believe in the windows down under 55 MPH?