Miles per gallon, also known as MPG, is the most important metric to measure if you want to determine how fuel-efficient your vehicle really is. Improving your vehicle’s fuel efficiency is important for various reasons, from saving you money to decreasing your negative impact on the environment. As gas prices have continued to rise, it’s become more important than ever to find new and creative ways to improve your car’s MPG and save a few bucks at the pump in the process.
Our team at Huffines CJDR Plano has put together this guide to help you find ways to improve your car’s MPG, no matter what model or year you own. Read on to discover five simple ways to maximize your fuel economy.
Lighten Your Load
One of the biggest factors contributing to a reduction in fuel efficiency is unnecessary weight in your car. The heavier your vehicle is, the more energy it exerts to get moving on the road. Heavier vehicles exert greater inertia, which can contribute to increased fuel consumption. Extra pounds, especially on your roof, can adversely impact your mileage.
Before removing the extra pounds, it’s important to consider what you really need to keep in your car and what you could store elsewhere. If you have extra books, magazines, equipment, backpacks, old luggage, or other items, remove them from your vehicle and you may be surprised at just how much lighter your load becomes. You may also notice a gain in MPG.
It’s also important to consider removing the items on the outside of your car as well. If you bike frequently and attach your bike to a roof rack, think about removing the rack when you’re not biking. If you also store cargo boxes or other, heavier items on your roof, make sure you remove what you don’t need. While some things are good to keep in your car, such as jump cables, flares, water, and non-perishable snacks, many things do little more than add extra weight and drag down your MPG from where it should really be.
Maintain a Steady Speed
Image via AutoExpert
When you’re in a hurry to get somewhere, it can be tempting to speed up a bit on the way. After about 50 MPH, your car begins to lose fuel efficiency quicker, and the faster you go, the less fuel-efficient your vehicle becomes. That’s why it’s important to resist driving at a higher speed just to get to where you need to go a few minutes earlier. Make sure you’re always following the speed limit, whether you’re on the highway or on an urban road.
Cruise control can help you maintain your speed and prevent your car from using fuel faster. Also, try to avoid braking hard or accelerating rapidly. The more rapidly you accelerate, the more fuel you end up using. Don’t forget to pay close attention to your surroundings as you’re driving, so you can keep from being caught off guard by the flow of traffic and have an easier time maintaining your speed.
Check Your Tire Pressure Regularly
Tire pressure is a big factor in fuel consumption, and under-inflated tires can lead to a decrease in MPG. By making sure your tires are properly inflated, you can increase your mileage by 0.6%. Keeping your tires inflated can also keep your tire tread from wearing down too quickly and help you optimize performance. If your tires are under-inflated, you might also have a more difficult time braking quickly, which can indirectly impact your fuel consumption.
It’s good to get into the habit of checking your tire pressure on your own, using a pressure gauge. Tire pressure is measured in PSI, which stands for pounds per square inch. You can typically find the PSI for your specific model by either checking the sticker on the inside of your car door or looking through the tire section of your owner’s manual.
Monitoring the tread on your tires can also help maintain tire pressure and get better mileage. You can also use a penny to check your tire depth. Simply insert the penny headfirst into your tread grooves. If you can see the top of the head, it’s likely time for new tires.
Turn Off Your Car When You’re Not Driving
Frequently idling can adversely impact your MPG by burning off a lot of fuel. An idling vehicle can burn an entire gallon of gas each hour, so making sure your car is turned off when you’re not actually driving it can prevent you from having to refuel as often. The next time you have to pick someone up, try to shut off your engine as you wait, so you’re not using as much fuel. If you know you’ll be waiting for longer than a minute or two, it’s best to keep your car off if you can do so safely.
Perform Regular Maintenance
There are a number of things that can adversely impact your car’s MPG, from dirty air filters to faulty spark plugs to leaks in your car’s fuel injector. Taking your car in for regular maintenance can help you uncover any issues that might cause you to burn extra fuel. When you take your car in for service on a regular basis, you can increase your fuel efficiency by making sure that everything’s in good working condition.
When you schedule service, you can get your oil changed, your tires rotated, and your vehicle inspected in one go. Doing so can reduce worries about a misaligned or improperly inflated tire or some other issue that might reduce your fuel economy and affect your performance.
At Huffines CJDR Plano, we pride ourselves on providing consistent, reliable service to the Plano area. We want to help you keep your vehicle in the best possible condition, and that includes helping you improve your MPG to reduce your emissions and save money. If you have additional ideas on how to improve MPG, we’d love for you to contact us today, and we can add them to this guide.