How To Improve Gas Mileage? (14 Easy Ways)

Gas Mileage
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How can gas mileage be increased? Since inflation is out of control, gas prices are already high, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine is raising them even further. Every state now charges more than $4 per gallon on average, and the national average has surpassed $4.50. Naturally, all of this means that fuel efficiency is more important than ever. By getting more miles per gallon, you’ll save money on fuel while preserving a finite natural resource and lowering emissions. Here are a few back-to-basics tips for drivers who want to get more miles per gallon.

Keep Tires At The Right Pressure

According to surveys, 60 to 80 percent of the vehicles on the road have underinflated tires. Each year, the wasted fuel can cost hundreds of dollars. Additionally, low air pressure shortens the life of the tires by causing premature tire wear. For best results, use a digital pressure gauge to check the air pressure in your tires and fill them to the level indicated on the decal inside the driver’s door or on the driver’s door pillar.

Replace Your Air Filter Often

Every year, the air filter in your engine draws in 14 million gallons of air. A clogged air filter results in a nearly 10% increase in fuel consumption in older vehicles (pre-1999). The computer in newer cars can recognize the decreased airflow and uses less fuel as a result. As a result, your engine won’t have enough power or pickup. When you change your oil, check your filter, and replace it at least once a year—or more frequently if you drive in a dirty, dusty environment.

Replace Spark Plugs Early And Save A Lot

Your 100,000-mile spark plugs are 80% worn if they have 80,000 miles on them. Over the last 20,000 miles, there are more misfires and incomplete burns. Spark plug replacement is a necessity, so replace them early and save money. Over the course of your car’s life, you won’t lose out even if you have to replace the plugs one extra time. Don’t assume your plugs are warrantied for 100,000 miles either. Many four-cylinder engines need to replace their spark plugs every 30,000 or 60,000 miles.

Keep Your Car Aligned

If your tires are just.017 inches out of alignment,, it’s the equivalent of dragging your tire sideways for 102 miles for every 20,000 you drive. Here is a quick and simple method to check your alignment without having to take your car to the shop. Purchase a tread depth gauge, and check the tread depth on the front and rear tires of each tire. Your vehicle needs to be aligned if one tire wears out more than the other.

An Air Dam Reduces Fuel Costs

The broken or missing plastic air dam, also known as a “spoiler,” wasn’t just for show. Your gas mileage may suffer if your car had an air dam and you were driving with it broken or missing. Airflow to your car’s undercarriage is literally “dammed off” by the air dam, which forces air up and over the hood. This makes it easier for your car to move through the air with less resistance. The load on your car’s electrical system is decreased as a result of increased airflow to the radiator and A/C condenser.

Accelerate Slower

You lose 20% more gas mileage when you accelerate quickly in stop-and-go traffic. Spend all your extra time at the next stoplight considering how you could have spent the hundreds of dollars each year you’re wasting if you spend your days in rush hour traffic and enjoy driving aggressively.

Gas Mileage

Drive 55

Your wallet and your gas mileage suffer from speed. Yes, you’ve heard it before, but how about some actual data to, er, emphasize the point? In city driving, aerodynamic drag is a minor issue, but at speeds over 55 mph, it seriously reduces gas mileage. In actuality, accelerating to 65 mph causes a 36% increase in drag! Getting to your destination a few minutes earlier could cost you an extra $510 per year if you drive a lot of highway miles. Use your cruise control and keep your speed closer to 55 mph. You know what else will pay off, these 36 car detailing secrets that professionals don’t want you to know.

Check For Brake Drag

Brake drag can significantly reduce your mileage. Your car’s gas mileage will suffer when your brake calipers rust, stick, and bind. Without having your brakes inspected at a shop, how can you tell if they are dragging? Simple: after a drive, take off the wheel cover (if equipped), purchase a cheap noncontact infrared laser thermometer (about $20 at any home center), and point the laser at the wheel hub. Right and left readings should be compared. Take it in for repairs if they differ by more than 20% because you most likely have a dragging brake or a wheel bearing issue. Be aware of common repair shop scams the next time you need to bring your car in for brake repairs.

Reduce Drag

Yes, you’ve heard it before, but how about some concrete statistics to make the point? In urban driving, aerodynamic drag is only a minor issue, but at speeds over 90 km/h, it seriously reduces your gas mileage. Drag actually increases by 36% when you reach 105 km/h! A few minutes earlier arrival at your destination could cost you hundreds of dollars more annually if you drive a lot of highway miles. Use your cruise control and keep the speed closer to 90 km/h. It will pay off.

Replace Your Oxygen Sensor(s) Before The Light Goes On

By keeping track of how much oxygen is still present in the exhaust, oxygen sensors keep an eye on the effectiveness of combustion. But as time passes, they deteriorate, which can reduce your gas mileage by up to 15%. When they break down, the computer turns on your “service engine soon” light and makes you pay a diagnostic fee. To maintain the best possible mileage on pre-1996 vehicles, have your oxygen sensor replaced every 60,000 miles. Sensors should be changed every 100,000 miles on cars manufactured in 1996 and later. There are as many as four in some vehicles, but they rarely malfunction.

Replace A Failing Thermostat

A thermostat that opens too quickly or stays open can significantly lower the coolant temperature and reduce your gas mileage. A cheap infrared laser thermometer is all that is required to check it. Simply direct it toward the thermostat housing. It’s time to change the thermostat if the thermometer indicates a temperature of less than 160 degrees Fahrenheit after the engine has warmed up. (Spray the thermostat housing with black paint before testing to minimize reflection errors.) A replacement thermostat is inexpensive—about $10—and simple. Save money on gas by learning here how to replace your car’s thermostat.

Replace A Broken Or Missing Spoiler

The plastic air dam, also known as a “spoiler,” that is broken or missing wasn’t just added for a sporty appearance. If your car had an air dam, driving without it or with a damaged one can lower your gas mileage. Airflow to your car’s undercarriage is literally “dammed off” by the air dam, which forces air up and over the hood. This reduces drag and helps your car cut through the air. Additionally, it improves airflow to the radiator and A/C condenser, which lightens the load on the electrical system of your car.

Replace Your Cabin Air Filter

Your car’s blower motor may be harmed by a clogged cabin air filter, which will also make your air conditioner work harder and longer in the summer. You can easily access and replace the cabin air filters, and you’ll save $30 if you do it yourself. You can perform at least 100 car maintenance tasks on your own. Any auto parts store employee can print out the installation instructions for you if you purchase a replacement cabin air filter there. In modern vehicles, cabin air filters are typically found in the air ducts behind the glove box. However, some auto manufacturers place them in the console or cowling region. Simply take off the access covers and slide the old filter out. In order to install the new filter in the right orientation, take note of the airflow arrows’ direction. You’re finished when you replace the covers. View the instructions for removing and replacing your cabin air filter here.

Keep An Eye On Warning Lights

Pay attention to your warning lights. Because a glowing check engine light only indicates an “emissions problem,” auto owners disregard it.” You won’t be getting the most value for your money because incomplete burns are almost always the root cause of emissions issues. In other words, a check light indicates gas wastage. Even worse, the extra gas directly damages your costly catalytic converter by causing an early failure. Even after spending upwards of $1,000 to replace a catalytic converter, you will still need to address the underlying issue that caused the check engine light to come on in the first place. A bad sensor or vacuum leak frequently causes the check engine light to illuminate. More money can be saved by replacing a sensor or repairing a vacuum leak than you’ll lose in lost MPG. Learn how to interpret those warning lights and stop seeing them as hieroglyphs.

Conclusion

The most practical way to reduce our gas mileage and extend the time between fill-ups at the gas station is probably to carpool or to skip an unnecessary trip. By identifying and altering gas-guzzling driving behaviors as well as adhering to a vehicle’s maintenance schedule, proactive measures can be taken to increase fuel efficiency. You, your car, and the environment all benefit from increased gas mileage.

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