How To Get A Better Gas Mileage

how to improve a car's gas mileage

I was born and raised in New York City which is notorious for its population and traffic. There are about 8.6 million people living there.

As of 2017, there were almost 2 million privately registered vehicles in the city. That estimate does not include taxis, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, 18-wheel trucks, farm vehicles, or motorcycles.

So, there are arguably several more million vehicles that can be added to the 2 million private vehicles estimate. There may be just as many vehicles in New York City as people.

One thing I noticed living there is that people own one or two vehicles and then take mass transit to save on expenses.

No matter how convenient it is to own a car, there is no such thing as a free ride. While the average cost of a new car is about $30,000, the maintenance costs add up annually. Especially gas mileage costs.

Annual Car Maintenance Expenses

After buying a car, you will pay thousands per year for maintenance, repairs, and fuel. The value of a new car depreciates rapidly once sold.

It’s costs $6,300 annually to maintain a small sedan. A minivan, large sedan, and medium-sized SUV costs anywhere from $9,100 to $9,400 annually to maintain.

Not counting small-sized vehicles, most medium and large-sized vehicles depreciate by about $3,000 annually.
Maintenance and repairs add on about $1,200 annually. Most drivers spend about $1,500 annually to gas up their cars, the equivalent of 10 cents per mile.

Some drivers spend as much as $3,000 annually for gas. However, bad maintenance and planning habits can steadily increase gas costs appreciably.

What is Gas Mileage?

The average car or truck gets 25 miles per gallon when it comes to fuel economy. Gas mileage refers to how much gas is consumed per mile during operation.

Efficiently burned gas means less wasted gas. Also, with good fuel economy, you’ll buy less gas. So, here’s some tips on how to improve a car’s gas mileage.

Gas Mileage Optimization Tips

Keep these tips in mind when you’re behind the wheel:

Don’t Be a Leadfoot on the Brakes and Accelerator

When you speed, you’re asking your car’s engine to burn more fuel than needed. Abrupt and sudden stops require a lot of energy from your car to accomplish, especially at speed.

This also burns a lot of fuel. When approaching a yellow light, responsibly let your vehicle roll to a stop and gently touch the brake, a necessary, before coming to the crosswalk.

Observe GVWR

The gross vehicle weight rating is the maximum weight that your car must weigh for optimal operation. You can find the GVWR in your owner’s manual.

If you overload your car with excess weight, then the engine is strained and works harder. Fuel is wasted.

Inflate Tires to Manufacturers Specifications

If your tires are under-inflated, then they have greater frictional contact with the road. Your engine will strain itself and consume more fuel for operation.

If tires are over-inflated, fuel efficiency is improved but frictional road grip will be sacrificed.

Shut the Windows

If you drive at 55MPH with the windows open, then you are creating intense aerodynamic drag on your car. It’s akin to maneuvering a large sail to slow a boat.

This drag strains your engine and consumes more fuel. You’ll burn less fuel closing the windows and cranking the air conditioner.

Cruise Control

Utilize cruise control responsibly on highways to negate unnecessary acceleration or braking on highways. It will keep you from matching the speeds of other cars and save fuel.

Operation Maintenance is Key

Here’s a few more tips on how to improve a car’s gas mileage. Have your engine tuned regularly.

Plot and plan driving routes before departing to calculate the shortest distances.

Carpool if you can. To assess your MPG progress, you can divide the miles you’ve driven by the number of gallons you purchased at your last refill.

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Posted in: Auto

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