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According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of gas is $4.27 and it doesn’t look like it’s coming down anytime soon. And while many Americans are ditching their gas-guzzling SUVs for more economical transportation, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to. Here are five really easy ways to improve your current car’s gas mileage and performance.

1. Plan your trips

iPad And iPhone Location - London
A man using Google Maps on an iPhone. | Kevin Nixon/Future via Getty Images

One way to save on fuel is to plan out your trips accordingly. Whether you have to make one trip, or multiple trips, planning out the route beforehand can ensure that you get to where you’re going in the most efficient way possible. Fortunately, that handy Google Maps app that you likely always use on your phone can do most, if not all, of the planning for you.

2. Make sure your car’s tires are in good condition and properly inflated

A Saudi woman mechanic fills up the air in a vehicle tire
A Saudi woman mechanic fills up a tire with air. | Amer HILABI / AFP

According to the folks at, a car’s underinflated tires can equate to a 3% drop in overall fuel economy. On top of that, underinflated tires can also lead to unnecessary wear and tear, which means that you may need to replace the tires sooner than expected. In order to save money on gas and an inevitable tire replacement, make sure to check your car’s tire pressures once a month.

3. Car maintenance can help your car go a long way

Cars line up for an oil change at a Jiffy Lube
Cars line up for an oil change at a Jiffy Lube. | Getty Images/Bob Riha, Jr.

If you want to not only maintain your car’s fuel economy but also its overall performance, then it’s a good idea to keep up with its maintenance. That means making sure that the oil is changed routinely, the air filter is clean, and the tires are in good shape. In fact, those three things alone could help a lot, but if your car is in need of any other repairs, make sure to tend to them to get the best out of your vehicle.

4. Clean your car

A man cleans his car.
A man cleans his car. | Leon Neal/Getty Images

Do you have a bunch of junk laying around in your car? Well, all of that stuff not only leaves an unsightly mess, but it also adds unnecessary weight. By removing any clutter like boxes, tools, or even a gym bag full of sweaty clothes, you can lighten up your car’s load and get more miles per gallon – even if it’s just a couple of miles.

5. Keep idling to a minimum

Chevrolet Volt sitting in driveway
Chevrolet Volt electric car parked on the driveway. | Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Are you the type of driver that likes to sit in the car and let it warm up for a minute before driving? First of all, you don’t need to do that. Second, your car is technically getting 0 mpg when it’s sitting idle. In that case, keep the car moving and don’t let it sit idle for too long. Instead, shut the engine off whenever you need to hang out and wait somewhere. Your car and your wallet will thank you later.

Improving your car’s fuel efficiency is easy

It’s bad enough that we have to pay a lot for gas nowadays, but with these simple and free steps, you can ensure that your car won’t need to visit the gas station more often. What’s even better is that you won’t need to necessarily downsize to a smaller car either to save fuel either. But of course, if you want to, then check out these fuel-saving sedans.


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