In 2019, the average American spent between $400 and $1,300 on fuel annually.
With this taking such a massive chunk out of the budget, it’s wise to investigate some ways to boost fuel economy so that you can use some of that money for other things.
While there are comprehensive ways to stretch the gas budget, we wanted to show you the simplest solutions.
1. Align the Front End
When you travel over potholes, your car’s alignment can be altered. Not only does this lead to an uncomfortable ride and prematurely worn tires, but it also affects the fuel economy. Estimates conclude that a misaligned front end could lead to a reduction in gas mileage by up to ten percent.
If your vehicle seems to pull to one side or your steering wheel isn’t centered, it’s time to schedule a tire service.
2. Perform a Tune-Up
When you allow the spark plugs to wear out or the filters in your car to become clogged, you inhibit your vehicle’s performance. Making the engine work harder causes decreased gas mileage. Not only should you regularly replace the spark plugs and air filters, but consider changing faulty oxygen sensors immediately. Autozone claims this can improve fuel mileage by forty percent.
3. Change the Oil
Read your car owner’s manual to determine the thinnest viscosity oil you can run. If you run 10W-30 regularly, but can use 5W-30, you could drastically reduce the fuel consumption. Ideally, you want to use synthetic oil as that also protects the engine.
Additionally, changing the oil, as per the maintenance schedule, you can improve your vehicle’s fuel economy by up to 2%.
4. Examine the Gas Cap
Have you ever left your gas cap behind at the fuel pump? It happens to the best of us. Even if your gas cap isn’t missing, it could simply be cracked. If you get a Check Engine Light, it could also mean that something is wrong with the gas cap. Not only will this hurt the environment by allowing toxic fumes into the atmosphere, but you can also reduce fuel economy by 2%.
Thankfully, this fix is simple, doesn’t cost much, and won’t require any expertise to install.
5. Don’t Idle
When you are sitting at the curb or waiting in a parking lot, turn off the engine. You are getting zero miles per gallon when the car idles. Newer vehicles come with an engine stop/start system that helps accomplish this task. If your car doesn’t contain this system, you could be wasting nearly a gallon of fuel per hour, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.
6. Tire Pressure Affects Fuel Economy
Driving on underinflated tires doesn’t just pose a safety concern, but it can also damage the gas mileage. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can improve fuel economy by up to three percent by just maintaining the proper tire inflation.
You will find the recommended tire pressure on the sticker inside the driver’s side door frame.
7. Keep the Trunk Clean
By reducing the weight in your trunk, you can improve the gas mileage. The EPA states that carrying an extra 100 pounds can reduce consumption by one percent. Clean out your trunk regularly and don’t haul cargo on your roof unless necessary.
8. Stay Off the Brakes
Learning simple driving techniques can help you save more fuel. Some people allow their left foot to rest on the brake pedal. This practice wears out the brakes quickly, but can also reduce fuel consumption. Leave your foot on the floor and brake only when necessary.
9. Use Cruise Control
Slowing down your speed can help you save money at the fuel pump, but you don’t want to be driving like your grandma either. Instead, set your cruise control at a reasonable speed that will reduce consumption. Reducing speed by five mph can boost up to seven percent fuel savings.
10. Be Smooth
Sure, it’s fun to launch your sports car to sixty mph as fast as possible, but you are wasting unnecessary fuel. Save your stunt driving for special occasions and stick to maintaining a smooth, controlled pace. Watch ahead of you to see what traffic is doing, so you can prepare your next move.
Try Out Our Fuel Economy Tips
Track your gas mileage for one week to see what you average. Then, implement some of our helpful mpg tips to see how much of a difference you can make. Even saving a few dollars a week means you can purchase one more drink at Starbucks.
If you know someone that needs to save money, please share this article by clicking your favorite social media platform to the right. Also, leave a comment below with some of your best tips. Thanks for reading!