With gas prices reaching record highs, it is helpful to practice a few simple approaches to conserving your vehicle’s gasoline intake.
• Observe the speed limit – Gas mileage decreases significantly when travelling above 60-65 mph. Each 10 mph increase over this will result in a 10-15% increase in gas consumption.
• Replace your air filter regularly – This is often overlooked, but when replaced on a regular basis, can be an effective way to conserve gas.
• Maintain properly inflated tires – Tires that are not fully inflated to the recommended pressure require more gas.
• Service your car – Components such as old spark plugs, old belts, and old oil cause your fuel economy to drop.
• Take the route with the fewest stops – When feasible, plan to take a route that has less traffic and the least amount of stops.
• Keep your car lightweight – Avoid overly heavy loads when possible, as weighed-down loads use more gas.
• Use air conditioner sparingly – Roll down your windows instead of using the air conditioning in the summer. Running the air conditioner lowers your vehicle’s fuel economy.
• Use the correct octane fuel for your car – Use the type of fuel your vehicle’s owner manual calls for.
• Tighten the gas cap – Gasoline can evaporate out of your tank if the cap is not tightly sealed. The Car Care Council estimates 147 million gallons of gas per year are lost to evaporation.
• Evenly accelerate – By avoiding heavy braking and acceleration, you can avoid wasting gas unnecessarily.
• Use cruise control – Maintaining a constant speed typically saves gas, so use cruise control when on the highway.
• Avoid unnecessary idling – Idling wastes gas, as it gets 0 miles per gallon.
• Use overdrive gears – Cars’ engine speed goes down when using overdrive gearing, which saves gas and also reduces engine wear.
For further information, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s website.