From monthly financing and insurance payments to regular maintenance, costs can quickly add up over a vehicle’s lifetime. This makes it especially important to find ways to reduce costs where you can when it comes to car ownership.
One of the best ways to do this is to spend less time and money at the pump. Recovering and maintaining your car’s greatest possible gas mileage is not only better for your bank account, but it also promotes a longer life for your car by preserving its condition and resulting in safer driving.
In terms of how to maximize your gas mileage, it generally comes down to how you drive and how well you take care of your car throughout the course of its lifetime. Here are 8 tips to help you get better gas mileage on the road while keeping extra dollars in your wallet at the pump.
1. Ease up on the gas.
It’s tempting – especially when we’re in a hurry – to want to push down on the pedal in an attempt to reach our destination as quickly as possible. But doing so has a negative impact on fuel economy, and usually only saves a minute or two at most.
Pressing down on the accelerator leads to more work being done by the engine, which in turn leads to more fuel being burned. The same goes for braking. The more often you press down on the accelerator to speed up and the brake to slow down, the more fuel and energy you are going to end up using to reach your destination.
It’s smarter to coast when you can, as smooth driving will improve your car’s gas mileage and is generally better for the long-term condition of every component of your car.
2. Reduce drag.
Your car’s aerodynamic drag also has a big impact on gas mileage – especially on the highway. Carrying unnecessary items on the roof rack or tail-hitch rack can cause your MPG to take a hit. Even if you’re not carrying items like bikes or camping gear, the very presence of these racks can create unneeded drag.
This isn’t as big of an issue during city driving, but if you’re getting ready to head out on a longer road trip, you might consider detaching any attachments you can that you won’t be using.
3. Avoid prolonged idling.
It’s common when waiting to pick someone up or when running back into the house for a couple minutes to want to leave the engine running. However, idling a gas engine consumes roughly half a gallon to a gallon of fuel every hour, so it’s much more economical to simply turn the car off and start it back up when you’re ready to drive.
4. Use cruise control when you can.
This isn’t to say you should feel the need to use cruise control every time you’re on the highway in the city, but when on longer trips where you’re able to achieve a steady speed, it is definitely recommended for fuel efficiency. Properly utilizing cruise control reduces the need to accelerate and brake, which can save a lot of fuel on even an hourlong drive.
5. Put the right fuel in your car.
There are several different options at the pump these days, and you might think premium or super unleaded will always be better for your car – but this is often not the case. Your car has a recommended fuel type (and for most cars, it’s regular unleaded).
Vehicle manufacturers test their vehicles thoroughly to determine the type of fuel that will perform the best. Taking a look at your car’s manual and trusting the manufacturer recommendation will generally have the best impact on fuel efficiency and overall performance.
6. Watch your tire pressure.
Tire pressure can fluctuate pretty frequently – especially during seasonal temperature changes – and can affect how far you can make it on a tank of gas. This is because low tire pressure increases the rolling resistance of your tires on the ground, which burns more fuel.
The tread pattern also affects the rolling distance and fuel economy, so make sure your tires are filled to the proper PSI and that their tread isn’t slowing you down more than it should.
7. Use the recommended oil.
As with fuel type, vehicle manufacturers always test their cars to determine the type of oil that will lead to the best overall performance for the engine. Trying to get creative with different types of oil that promise better results might seem like a good idea, but your car’s manufacturer will know what’s best. Take a look at the manual once again and go with the type of oil they recommend.
8. Clean your fuel injectors.
Fuel injectors are critical to the proper operation of your engine, and if they become dirty or clogged, they can lead to:
- Reduced fuel economy
- Rough idling
- Increased emissions
- Difficult starts
- And more
Adding a fuel injector cleaner to your fuel helps restore spray patterns, lubricates your engine’s upper cylinders, and can help prevent all of the issues listed above.
When choosing the right fuel injector cleaner for your car, there is no better choice than IC5 Fuel Injector Cleaner from Sea Foam.
Adding IC5 Fuel Injector Cleaner to your fuel is an easy and effective way to ensure better performance and a longer life for your engine. The concentrated formula treats up to 25 gallons and comes in an easy-to-pour bottle that also works for capless tanks. IC5 is safe for all types of gasoline fuel injection engines and can help overcome or prevent hard starts, rough idling, poor fuel efficiency, and more.
For best results, add when the tank is low and at every fill-up to maximize cleaning concentration and maintain clean engine performance.
Sea Foam creates safe and effective products to help vehicles, engines, and equipment run cleaner and last longer. Whether you’re a mechanic, a vehicle enthusiast, or you simply depend on your engine, Sea Foam products are proven to work and keep everything running its best.
Shop our products today to see why mechanics have been trusting Sea Foam since 1942.