How To Get the Best Fuel Economy Possible

May 18th, 2022 by

It seems like everyone’s talking about gas prices right now. Some people are driving many miles out of their way to save a few cents at the pump. The extra driving wastes time and burns more gas. That’s not an efficient way to save money on gasoline. It’s better to improve your vehicle’s fuel economy. Here are some ways to do that.

What’s Your MPG Now?

Before you begin trying to improve your fuel efficiency, determine what MPG (miles per gallon) your car is getting now. Most newer cars have a built-in fuel MPG calculator but yours might not. When you buy gas, fill up the tank and reset your tripometer. The next time you fill your tank, write down the amount of gallons you purchased. Divide the trip mileage by the number of gallons you just bought. That’s how many miles per gallon you got in the process of burning a full tank. (Hopefully you’ve been doing your usual mix of highway and city driving, so that this measure will tell you your typical fuel efficiency. If you’re on a long road trip, your MPG will be elevated and you won’t get a clear measure.) For instance, if you bought 20 gallons and your tripometer says you drove 600 miles, you got 30 miles per gallon on that tank. It’s good to make a note of this number to compare to later numbers. Also, look up the listed MPG for the year, make and model of your car. If you’re getting a number significantly lower than that number, you may want to bring your car to a mechanic.

fuel economyReduce Excess Weight

The more weight your car has to carry, the lower its fuel economy will be. Most of the things in your car probably won’t matter very much, but if you’ve been keeping heavy stuff in your trunk for a delayed home improvement project (bricks, tile, paint cans, pavers, etc) take them out. Containers of water, cat litter and detergent are pretty heavy too, so bring them inside.

Keep Up With Auto Maintenance

If you tend to put off routine automotive maintenance, delay no longer. Old air filters, oil filters and motor oil will make your car less fuel efficient. If your engine is sounding rough or driving strangely, take it to a mechanic. There may be a problem that hurts your car’s efficiency. It may also affect its longevity, and that’s costly too.

Maintain Your Tires

Keep a tire gauge in your car. Every other time you fill up your tank, check the tire pressure to make sure all your tires are properly inflated. Overinflated tires are more prone to pop, and underinflated tires reduce fuel efficiency. Many gas stations have an air pump you can use for free or a small charge. Also be sure to check your tire’s tread now and then. Worn tires aren’t good for fuel efficiency or safety.

Drive Smoothly

Every time you hit the brake you’re destroying the momentum that your car created by burning fuel. Drive at a reasonable speed at all times, with gradual acceleration. Don’t race up to stop signs or red lights so that you have to slam on the brakes. This sort of herky-jerky driving also quickly wears down your brakes, suspension, and other car components. Avoid distractions while driving, and keep an eye on traffic ahead to avoid having to stop suddenly. This sort of defensive driving reduces the risk of auto accidents and scary situations as well as fuel waste.

Use Your GPS

You may think you know the most efficient route to your destination, but you could be wrong. Navigation systems are programmed to send you the most efficient way possible. It’s great to have live traffic as well, to avoid burning fuel (and wasting time) stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic behind a wreck or in a construction zone. All these slowdowns will lower your fuel efficiency.

Combine Trips

Many of us go out and do errands when they occur to us. So we drive to the grocery store and back home. The hardware store and back home. The carwash and back home. The bank and back. Unless these places are in opposite directions from your home, it’s much more fuel efficient to combine errands whenever possible.

Carpool

Carpooling to work or school is a great way for both of you to save on fuel. It also saves on vehicle wear and tear, and gives you someone to talk to and share music with. If it’s a kid carpool, it means you can stay home some days and not drive at all.

Consider an Upgrade

If you have a car with bad gas mileage, the best way to get great fuel efficiency is to get a more fuel efficient car. Many newer models get over 40 miles per gallon. With today’s high gas prices, that’s a big savings over most cars on the road. And don’t forget electric cars which require no gasoline at all, and have lower maintenance costs.

If you need a car to carry you on your journey, stop by the new and used car dealership Floridians have trusted for more than 85 years. At Dixie Buick GMC, we’ve been serving the community of Fort Myers, Florida since 1934. With an extensive online inventory and welcoming showroom, we work with customers to help them find the right new or used vehicle to meet their needs and fit their budgets. Buying a car can be an overwhelming process because there are so many options out there, but we’re here for you, from the trade in process, through working with your credit, to providing excellent service, performed by certified factory-trained technicians, after you’ve purchased your vehicle. Whether you’re looking for a new or used car, we’ve got you covered. To learn more about what our award-winning sales and service team can do for you, visit our showroom, browse vehicles on our website, give us a call at 239-330-9918, or contact us online.

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