5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Gas Mileage

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in Defensive Driving Tips

gasmileagephoto

Driving. You drive to work, you drive your kids to school, and you drive to the grocery store. Most of us drive every single day. Gas prices change daily, but the fact that we still need to get to work and go about our daily activities won’t likely change any time soon. Defensive driving courses will teach you how to deal with dangers on the road, but rarely do they teach you to defend your wallet through improving your gas mileage. While there’s little you can do to change the price at the pump, there are some simple tweaks you can make in order to improve your gas mileage and save money.

1. Don’t Splurge On Gas

Unless you have a high performance vehicle, it’s likely your car will do just fine on regular gas. Don’t spend unnecessary amounts of money on the premium stuff when the advantages to your engine are minimal. It’s also smart to check around for the best gas prices near you. Occasionally you can find large differences in gas prices within just a few miles of your home. Consider using an app like Gas Buddy.

2. Ensure Your Tires Are Properly Inflated

It’s a simple fix, but having your tires inflated sufficiently will make a bigger difference than you might think. The lower your tire pressure, the more your tire is in contact with the road. This means greater resistance which means you’ll need more gas to keep moving. Tire pressure gauges are very inexpensive, so a minuscule investment could pay dividends. Many gas stations allow you to fill your tires for free. Make checking your tires part of your weekly routine. It only takes a few minutes, and your wallet will be thanking you.  

3. Watch your speed

It takes your car more energy to travel at faster speeds. So naturally, the faster you go, the more gas you use. Little tweaks to your driving habits can make all the difference here. Though speeding will get you to your destination faster, it’ll cost you in gas. Consider slowing down a bit. Another practice you might consider implementing is slowing down gradually well before a red light. It may turn green before you get to the intersection, and if you have slowed gradually, you won’t have to accelerate quickly from a full stop. You’ll use less gas because your car will already be moving at a decent speed.

4. Eliminate Drag

That bike rack on the top of your car, though it claims to be aerodynamic, can still take a hit on your gas mileage. The more drag your car has, the more gas it will take to keep it going fast. Remove racks or any other items attached to your car that could increase drag, and you’ll see small, but significant improvements in your gas mileage.

5. Reduce Weight

Do you have extra junk in your car that you never use? While it’s good to be prepared for an emergency, there may be a lot of extra cargo in your vehicle that you could get rid of to improve your gas mileage. The lighter your car, the less gas is required to get it to move. Maybe it’s time to get rid of that old blown-out tire. And do you really need an entire toolbox? Make some small changes and see the results. Your car will be less cluttered and you’ll also get better gas mileage.

Remember

Though the money you’ll save on gas using these tips won’t seem like much at first, the money you save over time will begin to add up. Every little tweak helps. Little changes when put together make a big difference. So don’t get too radical, but see if you can implement some small changes to keep more money in your pocket and lose less of it at the pump.

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