Gas prices are at record highs. People are asking, “what can I do to get better gas mileage when I drive?”. These are some of the things you can do to ensure improved gas mileage for your car:
Driving & Purchasing Habits
- Buy your gas when it’s cool. Gas is more dense the colder the weather, so you get more for your money.
- Keep your car clean. Mud on the undercarriage can weigh a significant amount and slow you down.
- Consolidate your daily trips and errands. This will also save you the cost of restarting your engine, which uses a lot of gas.
- Avoid air conditioning when possible. However, when driving at higher speeds, having your windows open also creates drag.
- Don’t throttle the gas or brake! Sudden starts or stops use more gas than gradual changes of speed.
- Don’t idle for too long. Turn off the engine if you anticipate a lengthy wait.
- Limit car warm-ups in winter (often not applicable in Los Angeles).
- Clear out the trunk. More weight, more drag.
- Avoid high speeds. We know this is almost impossible for L.A. drivers when traffic breaks, but you can improve your gas mileage about 15 percent by driving at 55 mph rather than 65 mph.
- Use overdrive. If your car is equipped with overdrive gearing use it as soon as your speed is high enough.
- Use cruise control. Keeping a constant speed is ideal for improving your gas mileage.
Servicing Your Vehicle
- Improve the spark to your engine. This way, the air and fuel mixture will be burnt better.
- Improve your intake/output system. Helping gas get in and exhaust out of your vehicle will improve overall performance and gas mileage.
- Reduce friction. Use high-quality or synthetic motor oil.
- Check your oil! Low oil makes your engine work harder.
- Change your filters. Dirty filters can sometimes increase the amount of fuel your vehicle is using by 10 percent.
- Keep tires properly inflated and aligned. Check regularly to ensure your wheels are fully inflated and your alignment is good.
- Get regular engine tuneups and car maintenance checks. A lot can go wrong with a car. Damaged spark plugs or transmission problems can also contribute to poor gas mileage.