When we’re looking for newer cars, there’s a question that seems to be ubiquitous across all makes and models. “What kind of mileage does it get?” While what we consider to be ‘good mileage’ differs by vehicle class, we can all agree that the more miles per gallon, the merrier. While you can start looking for vehicles that get the best mpg, cars have a few quirks that can increase the mileage of the vehicle you already own. Or help you justify buying a car with less-than-awesome gas mileage, whatever.
Align the front-end
If your front-end isn’t aligned, you’ll see increased wear-and-tear on your tires along with worsening fuel consumption: up to 10% worse, as a matter of fact. Since the engine is working harder, it’ll take more fuel to get to where you’re going. Getting your front-end aligned can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Keep your tires inflated
Keeping your tires inflated to the proper PSI is another way to get the best fuel economy for your car. According to Fueleconomy.gov, your fuel efficiency decreases by 0.2 percent for every PSI below recommendation. Not only can you expect better mileage, but properly inflated tires are safer and last longer, too.
Replace the gas cap
For the best mpg, cars need a proper seal when it comes to the fuel system. The threads of your gas cap wear down with time, and with that comes an improper seal to the gas tank. Turns out this is also an incredibly common cause for a check engine light, so spend the small amount of money to replace your gas cap periodically.
Use the right oil
In order to get the best mpg, cars need to use the manufacturer’s recommended type of oil. Using the incorrect oil type can lower your gas mileage by as much as 2 percent, as well as contribute to faster engine component degradation and reduced performance.
Clean out your trunk
Here’s one that’ll save you both money and space in your car. It’s pretty common knowledge that more weight means more work for the engine, but a lot of us have a habit of letting junk accumulate in the trunk (heh). An extra one-hundred pounds can reduce your fuel economy by as much as an additional 2%.
Keep your foot off the brake pedal
Some rather astonishing research shows us that a much larger number of people than we’d hoped drive with their left foot resting on the brake pedal. While we hoped that number would be zero, it isn’t, so if you do this sort of thing: stop. You’ll wear out your brakes incredibly fast. You’ll also reduce your fuel economy by 35%, and if you’re reading this article, you probably don’t want that.
Slow down a bit
This applies to both accelerating from a dead-stop and your cruising speed on the highway. If you’re accelerating quicker than you actually need to, you’re probably not saving much time but you definitely are wasting gas. Quick acceleration requires more energy to move the car forward, hence, more gas. The same goes for driving on the highway: you won’t get wherever you’re going much faster by driving 70 mph instead of 65, but you definitely will consume more fuel. For the best mpg, cars need to be treated like what they are: hunks of metal that weigh thousands of pounds and take energy to propel forward. Keep that in mind.
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