Gas prices are reaching record highs across the United States. As summer begins and fuel prices continue to climb, gas mileage becomes more important than ever. In tandem with this trend, fuel-saving additives are appearing on shelves everywhere. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, however, warns that most of these gas-saving products are a sham. Unfortunately, there’s no magic potion that will provide better fuel economy. Don’t waste your money on products that make empty promises to increase your vehicle’s mpg. If you’re wondering how to get better gas mileage, follow these simple fuel-saving tips instead.
Get a fuel-efficient car.
First and foremost, purchase a fuel-efficient car. Even with the best gas saving tips, a bulky SUV or old clunker will still siphon the funds from your wallet at the fuel pump. It might not be practical to replace your current car just yet, but if you’re in the market for a new vehicle, make fuel economy a priority.
Maintain your vehicle.
Cars in poor condition will consume more fuel than those that are tuned up regularly. A dirty air filter can reduce gas mileage up to 20%. Additionally, spark plugs in poor condition can reduce gas mileage up to 12%. Be sure to service your car regularly in accordance with the recommended maintenance schedule in order to increase both fuel economy as well as the life of your vehicle.
Check your tire pressure.
Under-inflated tires are dangerous. If that’s not reason enough to keep them inflated, they also devour fuel economy by as much as 25%! Be sure to monitor and adjust your tire pressure accordingly on a regular basis for better mpg and safety.
Shop around for the best deal.
You strive to find the best price on everything else, so why not shop around for gasoline? Plan ahead the next time you intend to gas up so that you know where to get a good deal. Research gas prices online using the site GasBuddy.com which allows you to find the lowest gasoline prices in your area.
Optimize your travel.
Organize the most efficient route when running errands to better your gas mileage. Also, try to get all of your errands done in one outing so that you’re not returning to the same area repeatedly. For instance, if your grocery store is close to your dry cleaner, plan to pick up groceries and drop off clothing during one outing.
Lighten your load.
This knowledge is particularly valuable if you plan on taking any road trips this summer. The more your vehicle has to transport, the harder it has to work to accelerate. In fact, for every extra 250 pounds you haul, your car loses about one mile per gallon in fuel economy.
Overcoming air resistance (drag) forces your vehicle to work harder. Remove anything that might cause drag. This might be unavoidable if you’re traveling this summer but otherwise, if your luggage racks aren’t in use, take them off!