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Tips to Maintain Your Vehicle’s Fuel Efficiency

It’s a sunny day outside, you’re cruising around in your car, your wallet’s full of money, you’re living the good life. But you quickly realize that your gas light is on… 5 minutes later you’re at a gas station, crying, as your wallet falls victim to high gas prices. I should know, this has happened to me. (Well… all except the crying part… okay, maybe I cried a little). As gas prices are creeping up to an average of $4.00 a gallon, you want to get the most use out of what  you’re paying for. Here are some ways that can help you make fewer visits to the dreaded gas pump.

Tips to Maintain Your Vehicle’s Fuel Efficiency

  • Regularly get your car tuned up so that it is running at its best.
  • Make sure that your tires are fully inflated. Driving while the tires are not fully inflated can lower your fuel economy, not to mention adding unnecessary wear to your tires.
  • If you have snow tires on your vehicle, remove them and get low resistance tires. This will increase the fuel economy in your vehicle.
  • After filling up at the pump (And emptying your wallet I might add) make sure that your gas cap is on properly. If it’s not, gas can evaporate from the tank if the gas cap is not securely on.
  • Try not to make fast starts & sudden stops, this burns more fuel.  Also try coasting as often as possible.  This means taking your foot off the gas if you’re headed towards a red light or some traffic.  Let your momentum take you as far as possible and you’ll use less gas.
  • While on the highway, use cruise control, (Using cruise control keeps your car running at a constant speed rather than speeding up and slowing down which causes you to burn more fuel.)
  • Also, while on the highway in hot weather, use your air conditioner rather than the windows. Extensive testing has been done confirming that the added drag of open windows decreases fuel efficiency more than using the air conditioner in most vehicles at highway speeds. Rule of thumb – Around town, windows down. On the highway, AC ? OK.
  • Try to plan ahead when running errands.  Combining errands will prevent you from wasting gas from driving back and forth
  • Some gas stations offer gas at a cheaper price if you pay cash instead of credit card
  • If you have a lot of extra weight in the trunk of your car, it’s costing you gas mileage. Take out anything in your car that is carrying excess weight and get it out of your car.
  • Use the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended grade motor oil. This will help your engine run more efficiently. (To check which motor oil is best for your vehicle, consult your operating manual.)
  • Here is a great widget that can show you just how much gas you can save (per gallon) by just making a few modifications to the way you drive and maintain your vehicle. Fuel Economy Optimizer

  • If you have a gas guzzler, you may want to consider trading it in for a more fuel efficient vehicle. You can check out our other blog post that talks more in depth about trading in your gas guzzling vehicle: Rising Gas Prices: Trade in the Gas Guzzler?

You will be surprised how much gas you will save by implementing some of these tips. If you have any other ways to avoid the gas pump share them by  posting  a comment.

ABOUT AUTHOR / Andi

Andi is a Marketing Assistant at ACCC. He is passionate about supporting financial literacy efforts and helping to educate people on the Talking Cents blog!

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