With gas prices skyrocketing, and showing no real signs of coming down any time soon, it’s a good idea to see what steps you can take to get the most mileage from the car you do have, before thinking about trying to trade it in, and ending up with something that could cost you even more in the long run.
1-Take care of your vehicle. Clean oil, fresh spark plugs and a well-tuned motor are more efficient than a run-down system. If your car is under warranty for regular check-ups, make sure you take it in for proper maintenance.
2-Use the correct gasoline. Most cars run well on an octane rating of 87. Mostly it’s just high-performance and turbocharged engines that need higher octane.
If your engine is pinging on acceleration or up hills (making a sound like shaking uncooked popcorn in a glass jar) use a higher octane gasoline. Check the owner’s manual for your vehicle’s requirements.
3-Keep your tires inflated properly. Incorrect inflation leads to rolling resistance from the tires. Most car tires should be inflated to 32 PSI. Adjust accordingly depending on load and weather conditions. Again, read your owner’s manual for guidelines.
4-Drive at an even speed whenever possible. It’s more efficient than rushing to the next traffic light and then stopping and burning guel standing.
5-Use cruise control on the highway.
6-Choose the route with the flattest terrain and fewest stops, if you can.
7-Drive on highways instead of city streets wherever practical. A vehicle moving at constant speed is more efficient than one that slows and speeds up, stops and starts.
8-Do all your driving errands at once. A cold engine consumes more gas than a warmed up engine.
9-Read the label the federal government requires on new cars the next time you shop for a vehicle. It tells a model’s estimated city and highway mileage, so that you can compare mileage figures for all the vehicles you consider.
10-Eliminate unnecessary cargo. Hauling heavy loads in the trunk or inside the car will lower your gas mileage.
11-Avoid speeding on the highway. Drive at 55 MPH to conserve gas.
12-Keep track of your car’s mileage: if it changes drastically, follow the above steps and then go see your mechanic if you can’t figure out why.
13-Check your air filter. If it is dirty or old, replace it. There is no proof that it will help you get better gas mileage, but it will help to reduce carbon monoxide emissions.
Take all these steps, and you should help avoid the pain at the pump and save a great deal more money every month.