A car is a necessity, pandemic or not. It’s a great asset for helping you reach your destination safely, especially when you need to get somewhere in a hurry.
However, the car needs fuel, and gas prices are high these days. Knowing how to stretch your gas tank further can go a long way toward reducing your fuel costs, especially when you combine that with a more fuel-efficient car. Read on for a few great tips for more mileage on your vehicle to help cut down on refills and pad out your bank account each month.
- Pay attention to your tires
From knowing what tire is right for you to keeping your tires inflated properly, our tires are vital to helping your car maximize its mileage. Every pound of pressure the tires lack increases rolling resistance and decreases efficiency. All this means that the engine takes more gas to move the car. Keep your tires inflated and check them regularly (every month is a good rule of thumb) to ensure they have enough air in them to work properly.
Checking the tire pressure every time you fill up is another effective option to make sure the tires get the air they need. Pay extra attention during winter, when the lower temperatures tend to decrease the amount of pressure in your tires.
- Reduce excess weight
At first glance, it may sound like a good idea to use your car as an impromptu storage space. However, weight is a major contributor to strain on the engine, which drives the engine to work harder and burn more fuel. Take some of the stuff you don’t need out of the car to lighten the load and make the engine’s job a little easier.
While you’re at it, find another place to store your things if you’ve made a habit of using the trunk as storage space. You can take the weight reduction to the next level by removing any other weight you don’t need to increase engine efficiency. For example, if you don’t use the extra seats regularly, take them out to reduce the work the engine needs to do.
- Eliminate drag
Accessories like roof racks may look cool, but they can also significantly affect your car’s mileage. Aerodynamics matters to fuel efficiency, particularly when you’re looking to improve your mileage. All the added weight puts more strain on the engine and makes it burn more fuel, but these add-ons also impact the car’s aerodynamics and increase drag. Higher drag means the engine has to work harder to push the car through air, so better aerodynamics means better mileage.
It’s generally a better idea to forgo the accessories to keep your vehicle streamlined. The same thing can also happen when you bring more things with you, like bike racks. Pack smart and stick to packing the essentials like extra water on your next trip.
- Drive in a higher gear
When it comes to driving a manual, it makes sense to run on the highest gear for the average speed that you’re going. When you travel at a given speed, it’s actually better to use a higher gear whose lower limit covers that speed. For example, when travelling at around 60 kph, stick to 5th gear rather than switch to 3rd. Doing it this way improves fuel efficiency as the engine doesn’t have to work as hard to run on the higher speed limits of different gears.
- Stick to recommended motor oil
What lubricants you use has major effects on the performance of your engine and other moving parts. For example, your engine is designed to work with a specific type of motor oil to bring out its ideal performance. Using a different type of oil can create extra friction on the moving parts and put additional strain on the engine.
For increased efficiency, stick to using the recommended oil for your make and model. Look at your owner’s manual when checking your motor oil to find the recommended one for your vehicle. Getting the right motor oil is key to giving your engine what it needs to function properly.
- Seal your gas cap
For many drivers, the gas cap isn’t usually something that comes to mind unless it’s time to open the fuel door. However, watching the gas cap is a good way to ensure you’re getting the most mileage out of your vehicle. Normally, there’s a rubber seal around the gas cap that forms airtight protection for the gas tank. Over time, the rubber seal degrades, which allows air to enter the tank and forces the engine to burn more fuel. The leak also makes it easier for gas to evaporate and escape, wasting gas and contributing to air pollution. Inspect the gas cap when you experience problems with your mileage to check that it isn’t contributing to the problem. It’s also a good idea to get a new cap from the dealer every few years to ensure you always have a gas cap with a tight seal.
- Avoid prolonged idling
Idling can be a major drain on fuel, even when you’re simply trying to warm up your car by idling. Leaving the engine running while you’re not moving gives you 0 gas mileage, so avoid overusing the engine when you don’t need it.
If you’re staying in the same place for over a minute, it’s a good rule of thumb to turn off the engine to save gas (provided it’s safe to do so). Modern cars are generally efficient enough that you’ll burn less fuel turning off the engine and starting it again when it’s time to leave.
- Replace your air filters
One great tip for vehicle mileage is replacing your filters regularly. Air filters are an integral part of any mechanical system; in the case of cars, their job is to keep dust and other particles out of the car’s inner workings. Once the filter gets dirty, the engine has to work double-time to get enough air to mix with the gas. Make a habit of inspecting and replacing dirty filters to improve the engine’s ability to draw in the air without difficulty. Remember, clean engines are efficient engines, and that’s key to helping you get more out of the engine.
- Drive at or just below the speed limit
Driving at around the speed limit is a prudent move for a multitude of reasons, mainly because it’s safer for you and other drivers. Different makes and models have different optimal speeds, but driving slower consistently, strictly sticking to the speed limit also lets you drive at a reasonable speed that doesn’t burn up too much gas. The faster you go, the more fuel you burn, so drive slowly to conserve more gas.
- Try coasting
Coasting can be a great way to keep moving without spending more gas to keep the engine working too hard. You can use the pulse and glide technique to maximize the amount of coasting you can do at a time. This technique works by accelerating to the desired speed, then coast until the car loses too much speed before accelerating again. You can also use coasting to slow your car down when you’re about to stop (like at a red light or when about to park). However, it’s a technique ideally used when you’re alone on the road. When you add other drivers to the equation, you’ll have to stop too often to make the most of coasting. It’s also important to keep your distance from other cars, so make sure you’re in complete control of your vehicle at all times to maintain safety.
Round & Around Tire Inc. provides quality tires to help you maintain control on the road when you go places. We offer a wide variety of tires to meet your needs. Whether you’re looking for used or new tires, we’ve got a varied selection for cars, light trucks, and SUVs alike. Call us now at (905) 393-8474 to order the tires your car needs.