How to improve your gas mileage

By Matt Williamson
Info Guru,

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Improving gas mileage just takes a little common sense
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With the price of gas increasing on what seems like a daily basis, getting the most gas mileage for your money is important. Here a few pointers to help you improve your gas mileage.


Keeping your car in optimum shape is a key element in improving fuel efficiency. Check air filters regularly. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car's gas mileage by up to 10 percent as well as protect your engine from impurities in the air. Keeping your tires inflated will also help improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent. Low tires can lower gas mileage by .04 percent for every 1-psi drop in air pressure of all four tires. In addition, properly inflated tires last longer and are safer to drive on.

Another tip to improve your gas mileage by 1-2 percent is to change your oil regularly and use quality motor oil or "energy efficient" motor oil in the recommended grade for your vehicle's engine.

Try to purchase gasoline at the octane level that is recommended for your car. Using premium gas offers little benefit and, unless your engine is knocking, is a waste of money.


Sensible driving helps improve gas mileage. Aggressive driving, speeding, stomping on the gas pedal and sudden braking all cause your vehicle to use fuel at a higher rate. These types of driving habits can lower your fuel efficiency by 33 percent at highway speeds and 5 percent in town. While different vehicles reach optimal fuel economy at different speeds, gas mileage usually decreases after 60 mph. As a rule of thumb, every 5 mph over 60 mph is equivalent to paying 20 cents more per gallon. Whenever possible, use the cruise control to help maintain the legal speed limit and improve gas mileage by keeping the vehicle at a constant speed. In addition, make sure the transmission overdrive switch is on. This gear slows down the engine speed, saving gas and reducing engine wear.

Consider lightening the load. Carrying excess weight in your car can lower gas mileage. The effect of weight on fuel efficiency is determined by the weight of the car. Weight affects smaller cars more than larger vehicles.

Carrying items in rooftop car carriers affects gas mileage by creating wind resistance, which can reduce your fuel efficiency by 5 percent.

Excess idling wastes fuel. Vehicles with larger engines waste more than those with smaller engines.


One of simplest ways to save fuel is to drive less. Combine errands into one trip for all your weekly necessities. Car pool to work. Try not to drive during rush hour to reduce idling in traffic. Consider using public transportation.


Many new vehicles, such as hybrids or alternative fuel vehicles are manufactured with gas mileage and environmental awareness in mind. These vehicles can greatly improve fuel efficiency. If a hybrid is not your style or simply out of your price range, downsizing can make a great difference in your gas mileage. Not only will it save you money at the pump, but it will also improve your gas mileage as smaller vehicles use fuel at a much more conservative pace.

Following the above tips will help improve gas mileage while putting more of your hard-earned money into your pocket instead of the gas tank.

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