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15 Tip For Improving Fuel Efficiency In Your Car

Thankfully most of us are not seeing gas prices that are $5 or $6 per gallon anymore. But, that does not mean you should ignore fuel efficiency issues. The tips below will help you self-diagnose issues that may be reducing your gas efficiency in your car. Some may be obvious, some might not – but all can have an impact on your bottom line.

And, who could not use more money in their pocket these days?

Improve Driving Habits

driving car on a highway
Tenasan / Wikimedia

Controlling how you drive and improving your habits can directly affect your gas consumption. When you tailgate, brake too hard and accelerate too rapidly, your fuel efficiency is reduced. By minimizing these actions and driving less aggressively you can reduce fuel economy by up to 31%.

Observe Speed Limits

speed limit sign with plane

It has been shown that the gas mileage of a car will decrease quite a bit when cars travel above 50 mph. A study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory estimates that for every 5 mph over 50 mph you drive, you are adding an additional 24 cents per gallon to the cost of gas. 

Limit Air Conditioning Use

car ac button

Using air conditioning requires using your gas reserve. If saving money on gas is your goal, roll down those windows instead (although those have a small negative impact too as shown further down on this list) of using the AC. Studies have shown that AC can reduce fuel economy on short trips as much as 25%. 

Ensure Exhaust Systems Are Working Properly

tailpipe on a car

An exhaust system can play a part in your fuel efficiency. Tailpipes, mufflers and catalytic converters all work together to create an exhaust system. When these are not in proper working order, it can reduce fuel economy. There are also option to improve gas use by implementing better performing exhaust systems. 

Remove Roof Cargo Carriers

cargo box on roof of car
chrisrt / Depositphotos

Having cargo on your roof changes the wind resistance of your car. This can lower fuel economy. It is estimated that a roof top cargo box can reduce gas economy anywhere from 2% – 25% depending on the type of driving you are doing. City driving will have a lesser impact than highways.

Limit Excess Weight

car filled with too much stuf
ChiccoDodiFC / Depositphotos

Long trips, moving and storing excessive “stuff” in your car requires more gas. Minimize how hard your car needs to work by lightening the load and only carry around what you really need. This is especially true on small cars!

Monitor Tire Pressure

stack of car tires
Hopson Road / Wikimedia

If your tires are under or over-inflated it can directly affect fuel efficiency. Check the manufacturer requirements to ensure you are using the right psi levels for your tires. It is estimated that every 1 psi drop can lower gas mileage about .2%. Keeping them properly inflated can also increase the longevity of your tires which is an added cost savings.

Use Cruise Control

gear for cruise control

Cruise control can help save quite a bit of money on those long road trips. When you set the cruise control for a set speed and let it hold at that speed you are saving money on gas. When you are constantly accelerating, de-accelerating and braking it is wasting gas.

Minimize Engine Idling

classic car at gas station

When your car is idling, it can use approximately a quarter to a half gallon of gas per hour (source). Whenever you are going to be sitting for more than 10 or 15 seconds it makes more financial sense to turn your car off and restart it. That consumes less gas than idling.  

Use The Proper Oil Type

car oil being poured into engine
Dvortygirl / Wikimedia

Using the manufacturer recommended motor oil can improve your gas mileage roughly 1%-2%. Using the wrong oil can negatively affect your gas mileage. It is also recommended to use an oil that has the “energy conserving” symbol which shows the oil has a friction-reducing additive. 

Check Spark Plugs

spark plugs in mechanics hand

Properly working spark plugs can minimize gas mileage reductions. If they are misfiring or not performing well, they will directly impact your fuel usage. Some reports state that a misfiring spark plug can negatively impact fuel efficiency by up to 30%. 

Keep Car Windows Closed

car window rolled down with woman driving

Of course air conditioning reduces fuel economy, but sadly so does opening windows. When windows are opened, but that can also impact fuel use. It causes a drag on the vehicle and inhibits performance on the roads. The impact will be less in cities than on highways. The best option may be air recycling to keep the air flowing throughout the car. 

Combine and Plan For Trips

map with pins in it

Whether you are doing some local errands or long trips, planning is key. Planning out your trip can reduce time on the road, help you avoid traffic and allow your engine time to warm up to its more efficient temperature range.

Coast To Slowdown

car accelerator and brake

An underrated tactic to reduce fuel waste is to take your foot off the acceleration pedal to slow down. Doing this instead of jamming on the brakes at the last minute can reduce gas waste. When you see a red light or traffic down the road, just ease off the accelerator and let it drift to a stop, or to a point where you only need a light tap on the break to stop.

Use Your Fuel Tank Pressure Sensor

car being filled with gas
maxsaf / Depositphotos

Fuel tank pressure sensors can help to detect fuel system pressure, evaporation leaks, faulty gas caps and more. It is connected to a computer that will show you a light if there are issues happening. 


11 Vehicle Transformations That Make Amazing Limousines

Limousines are definitely not boring anymore. Move over Chrysler and Lincoln, there are more exciting limousines out there! From sleek sedans to extravagant stretch limousines, the world of car transformations has been taking some creative turns over the years. Buckle up as we take a thrilling ride through the most unique and jaw-dropping vehicle to limo conversions that are sure to leave you in awe.

11 Vehicle Transformations That Make Amazing Limousines

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