Over the last few years, the price of fuel for our cars really influences many of the decisions we make. Not only does it enter into what kind of car we buy, but even how often and how far we drive that car.
You may not be aware of it, but there are many more ways to save gas than just to purchase a car that gets good mpg. That’s not to say that buying an economical car isn’t a good decision. It is. It’s just that there are more ways you can save even more on gas.
Here are a few tips to improve MPG:
* Keep Your Car Tuned Up
Keeping your car well maintained will increase your mpg. For instance, did you know that just a dirty air filter and bad spark plugs can decrease your mpg by a whopping 32%? It’s true. So, be sure to keep up with your car’s maintenance schedule.
* Fill Up Your Tires
Shocked? It’s a fact, under-inflated tires will decrease your gas mileage. By as much as 25%! Not to mention, tires that aren’t properly inflated can be dangerous. While you’re at it, keep your tires balanced too.
* Do Your Research
Don’t let yourself be caught unawares. Rather than stopping at the first gas station you come to once you’re fuel light comes on, try to plan ahead. Go online and find the cheapest gas station in your area, or the area you’ll be in. There are plenty of websites that will let you type in your zip code and give you gas prices. Google “cheapest gas prices.”
* Avoid Holidays
Gas prices tend to skyrocket right before a holiday, in anticipation of the increased amount of drivers on the road. Fill up your tank well before.
* Avoid Traffic
If at all possible, try to plan trips to the doctor, grocery store, etc, during the times when the traffic is at its lightest. Constant stopping and starting is a great way to burn extra fuel.
* Change How You Drive
In addition to planning trips at times when traffic is light, try to consolidate your trips. If you have an appointment, leave a little early so you have time to go to the drug store to pick up that prescription. You’ve just eliminated one whole trip in the car.
* Empty Your Car
Of unnecessary junk, that it. You know that box of old stuff that you’re never going to use again that’s been living in your trunk? It’s stopping you from getting the best mpg you can. Did you know that for every 250 lbs. that’s in your car, it loses 1 mile per gallon?
* Turn It Off
If you’ll be parked for longer than 30 seconds, turn the car off, rather than sitting at an idle. You’ll save more gas, over all.
If you have it, use your cruise control. Consistent, steady speed is one of the best ways to improve mpg.
And there you have it. Some ideas, other than buying the highest mpg cars, to decrease your fuel consumption.