As gas prices soar higher and higher each year, many people begin to gain a solid perspective on how making their vehicle more fuel efficient can impact their budget. Regardless of the price of gas, fuel efficient practices are important to both the economy and the environment.
Obviously the best thing you could do would be to buy a new, more fuel efficient vehicle, such as a hybrid, but that’s not particularly practical advice for many. When you can't afford to buy a new car, there are several measures you can take to make the vehicle you currently drive more fuel efficient.
Regular and proper routine maintenance is one way to make your vehicle use fuel more efficiently. Start by keeping your tires properly inflated. Tire inflation can affect fuel efficiency. Improperly inflated tires, as well as incorrect wheel alignment, can cause a rolling resistance, which can cause a vehicle to loose as much as one or two miles per gallon of fuel. Check your tire inflation regularly and keep them within the range specified by your vehicle’s owners manual.
A vehicle is also more fuel efficient with a clean air filter. Clogged and dirty air filters allow too much gas to be burned for the amount air and causes the engine to loose power. A clean air filter can improve gas mileage by up to 10 percent. You should consider changing your air filter with every oil change or simply learn to do it yourself.
Other routine maintenance measures that can improve fuel efficiency include changing dirty spark plugs, regular tune-ups, and using a properly fitting gas cap. If you are unfamiliar with routine vehicle maintenance, refer to your vehicle’s owners manual and find a mechanic you can trust.
Good driving habits can also help improve fuel efficiency. Avoid quick starts and stops and eliminate aggressive driving or driving over the speed limit. Gas mileage begins to decrease above 60 miles per hour. Using cruise control on highways can also make your commute more fuel efficient. Additional suggestions that improve fuel efficiency when driving include avoiding hauling unnecessary weight and reducing A/C use when possible.