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Tips for Better Gas Mileage MPG


Here are some tips to improve your fuel economy


David Williams - May 9th, 2007



As I write this article gas prices at our local stations hit $3.13 per gallon for regular unleaded gas (89 octane). With analysts speaking in terms of $4.00 per gallon by July 4th we're all looking for ways to stretch our dollar at the gas pumps.


Save Gas - Save Money


Here are some tips for better gas mileage that will help you save gas and money.


Driving more efficiently and maintaining our cars will help us improve the fuel economy of our cars or trucks by up to 10%.

All figures below are calculated at my current gas price of $3.15 per gallon.


Drive Sensibly


Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 40 percent driving at highway speeds and by 5 percent driving around town.


Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.

MotorWeek Video about driving habits and fuel economy. In one comparison aggressive driving costs one driver 140 miles in range per tank full (for a 19 gallon tank).

Fuel Economy Benefit: 5-40%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.16 - $1.26 per gallon!


Slow Down


While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage efficiency usually peaks between 50 - 60 mph and usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.


Typically, you can assume that for each 5 mph that you drive in excess of 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.22 per gallon for gas.

Observing the speed limit is also safer, so - again, you may save more than gas money.

Fuel Economy Benefit: 7-23%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.22 - $0.73 per gallon!


Reduce the Load


Relax, nobody said anything about dieting - we're talking about excess weight in the car. Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2%. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle's weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.

Fuel Economy Benefit: 1-2%/100 lbs
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.03 - $0.06 per gallon!

Avoid Idling

Think about it... Idling your car means you are getting zero (0) mpg / miles per gallon. Vehicles with larger engines typically waste even more gas at idle than do cars with smaller engines.


The current recommendation is that you should turn the car off if you will be idling more than two minutes.


Fuel Economy Benefit: 100%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $3.15 per gallon!


Watch the Dash Lights


Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done.

Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.

Fuel Economy Benefit: 4%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.13 per gallon!

Check & Replace Your Air Filter


Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car's gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. Your car's air filter keeps impurities from damaging the inside of your engine. Not only will replacing a dirty air filter save gas, it will protect your engine.

Fuel Economy Benefit: up to 10%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: up to $0.32 per gallon!


Keep Tires Properly Inflated


Check for a door placard similar to this one just inside the driver's door for important information about the proper tire size and inflation (psi) for your vehicle. Be sure to check the tire pressure before you drive - while the tires are cold.



You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires.


Properly inflated tires are also much safer and they will last longer.

Fuel Economy Benefit: up to 3.3%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: up to $0.10 per gallon!

Regular Oil Changes and Correct Grade


Change your motor oil every 3,000 miles or every 3 months (whichever comes first. You should also use the recommended Grade of Motor Oil indicated by the manufacturer (usually printed on your oil fill cap under the hood).


You can improve your gas mileage by 1-2 percent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by 1-2 percent. Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by 1-1.5 percent. Also, look for motor oil that says "Energy Conserving" on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.

Fuel Economy Benefit: 1-2%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.03 - $0.06 per gallon!


Plan Your Trips


You can also save money by planning your trips more carefully. For example; if you can run several errands in one trip with one vehicle you can save a significant amount of money by saving steps.


Further, longer journeys are great fun for the family but try to economize the way you pack. Luggage & Cargo racks can reduce your fuel economy by 5 to 10 percent.


Fuel Economy Benefit: 5-10%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.16 - $0.32 per gallon!


By following these few simple steps you can save a significant amount of money at the gas pumps and keep your car running efficiently.


Source: www.fueleconomy.gov

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