Fuel economy is a hot buzzword in the media these days, with gas prices fluctuating and the economy making people more conscious of how they spend their hard earned dollars. Short of buying a new hybrid or electric vehicle, there are ways to increase the gas mileage of your current vehicle without much effort.
Don’t drive so much!
Cut back on the amount of miles you drive. There are a number of ways to do this, such as moving closer to your job, carpooling, using public transportation, and riding your bicycle or walking rather than driving.
Become a smoother driver
Quick starts and stops are enemies of gas mileage. Be a less aggressive driver, gradually easing onto the gas and brakes instead.
Obey the law
Driving the speed limit burns less gas. Most newer vehicles operate at optimum gas consumption at around 60 miles per hour. Every five miles per hour you drive over 60 mph reduces your gas economy.
Use your cruise
Use your cruise control as much as possible. Maintaining a constant speed on the freeway increases your fuel economy. Travel in the slow lane on the freeway so won’t have to change your speed or take your car off of cruise control.
Idling your engine burns gas needlessly. Don’t run your car’s engine while doing things like sitting in the driveway waiting to pick up a friend. An idling car gets 0 miles per gallon and ruins your gas mileage. Avoid driving during peak traffic hours like rush hour that will keep you sitting in your car at a stand still.
Jettison the extra weight
You remember those movies where the airplane is running out of gas and the crew has to throw out things so the plane will use less fuel? Do the same thing with your car. Take the unnecessary junk out of your trunk. A hundred extra pounds of weight can reduce your gas mileage by up to 2 percent.
Fix your ride
Take care of repair issues with your vehicle promptly and keep your car tuned up. One mechanical problem like a faulty oxygen sensor can seriously reduce your gas mileage — sometimes by up to 40 percent.
Find other ways to keep cool
Minimize the use of your air conditioning. A/C decreases fuel efficiency. Often rolling down your windows will keep you cool enough. Beaded seat covers help to circulate air to your sweaty back and will help too. Sometimes using your vents on the highway will cool you sufficiently without abusing the air conditioning.
Be a better trip planner
Plan your driving routes. When running multiple errands, plan your trip so each stop is close to the next one to eliminate excessive driving. Combine your errands. Turn three trips per week to the grocery store into one big trip. Walk between driving stops. Instead of driving from store to store during errands, park your car in one central location and walk to all of the stores on your list.