Gas Savings starts with properly inflated tires
What do tires that aren’t inflated properly and driving with the parking brake on have in common? They both can waste a mile or two of fuel efficiency per gallon of gas. Maintaining the correct tire pressure, can lead to a 10 percent improvement in fuel economy. Check your owner’s manual for the proper air pressure for your vehicle’s tires. (source: American Automobile Association www.aaa.com)
Go with the right gas
You can find the correct octane level for a vehicle’s engine, in your owner’s manual. Less than 5 percent of the cars on the road require the use of premium fuel, yet more than 20 percent of all the fuel sold in the United States is premium. (source: American Automobile Association www.aaa.com)
Drive slower, save more
Gradually accelerating and gently applying the brakes leads to more gas savings, than slamming on the brakes and gunning it. Also slowing down on the highway and using cruise control will help you get more out of each gallon of gas. Driving at 55 mph rather than 65 mph, can improve your gas mileage by about 15 percent. Don’t forget to check the gas cap. Damaged, loose or missing gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year. (source: Car Care Council www.carcare.org)
Use the correct motor oil grade
Following the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil can improve your gas mileage by 1-2 percent. 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. (source: www.fueleconomy.org)
When you’re not moving, don’t let your car idle
Turn your engine off if you expect to be stopped in your vehicle for an extended period of time. This can be as easy as, going into an establishment instead of going through the drive-up, or limiting warm up time for your vehicle in the winter.
Take the junk out of your trunk
As extra weight is added, gas mileage decreases. Do you really need everything you’ve been carrying around in your trunk? Take out the non essentials to improve your gas savings. Making your vehicle more aerodynamic by removing ski or bike racks and rooftop cargo carriers when not in use. Items placed on the roof racks create drag. Consider putting the items inside the car or trunk instead. Keep your vehicle washed and waxed, and roll up the windows on the highway. The more aerodynamic your vehicle is, the more fuel efficient it is.
Only use A/C when necessary
Roll down the windows or open the air vents to keep your car comfortable. If it’s a super hot day or you live in the south, don’t sweat it, turn the A/C on, but keep it at a reasonable level. The less often you turn on the a/c the more you’ll save.
Vent your windows and park in the shade when it’s warm out; this will help to keep your car cool, when you get back in. Enjoy the breeze when driving at lower speeds. Roll those windows back up, and set you’re a/c to a reasonable level once you hit the highway. (source: Consumer Federation of America)
Shift into overdrive
5-speed manual transmissions and 4-speed automatic transmissions are equipped with overdrive gearing, be sure to make use of the overdrive gear as soon as you are going fast enough. Lower your shift speed on a manual transmission, for better the fuel economy. Consult your owner’s manual for more information. (source: Consumer Federation of America)
Remember tune-ups and maintenance check-ups
Regular tune-ups are one of the best ways to gain fuel economy. Tune-ups will help maximize gas mileage and help you get the maximum performance of your vehicle. Following your vehicle’s maintenance schedule will help, avoid fuel economy problems caused by worn spark plugs, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, or the transmission going into high gear. Your maintenance schedule can be found in your owner’s manual, or look up your vehicle’s scheduled maintenance now.