How to Maximize the Fuel Economy of Your Car to Save Money

We all like to save money. That’s proven anytime you talk to a friend, relative, or neighbor about a purchase and brag about how much you didn’t have to pay. Unfortunately, gas prices are going up, making us feel like we can’t save money without the most efficient vehicles in the market. Thankfully, you can improve your gas mileage by taking advantage of some important tips to increase your overall fuel economy while driving.

What does fuel economy mean?

One of the most common terms we understand when shopping for or talking about cars is miles per gallon or MPG. The formula for calculating this number is simple. How many miles can you drive on a gallon of gas? We usually understand this number in two different ways, city and highway. Typically, gas mileage is higher on the highway than in the city due to the city’s stop-and-go driving conditions.

What is Good fuel economy?

Filling up a gas tank. Are you driving in a way that increases your fuel economy?
Filling Up a Gas Tank | Getty Images

RELATED: Some Large SUVs Have Way Better Fuel Economy Than Others

This term is relative to the type of vehicle driven and the powertrain used. If you have a small hatchback with a tiny engine, you will have better gas mileage than if you drive a large pickup truck with a massive V8 under the hood. Compare your vehicle to similar models to see if you’re getting good fuel mileage in your car.

How can you improve your fuel economy?

This is what you came to this article to learn. You want to understand how to get the most out of your gas tank. Even if the price of gas drops, you’ll want to keep these tips in mind and drive as far as you can on each tank of gas.

Lighten your foot on the pedals

Driving in Heavy Traffic is a sure way to decrease your gas mileage
Driving in Heavy Traffic | Getty Images

According to Review Geek, one of the best ways to improve gas mileage is to drive less aggressively. This could be a paradigm shift for some, while others might have to leave a little more room for braking and accelerating. Do both of these things more slowly, and you’ll drive farther on the same amount of gas as before.

Maintenance is key to good gas mileage

Gasoline is only one part of the combustion that takes place in your engine. You need to keep your car properly maintained to get the most out of your fuel. This means:

  • Timely oil and filter changes
  • Checking and replacing air filters
  • Checking the brakes
  • Replacing the spark plugs as needed

If you’re driving around with a check engine light on, you aren’t getting the best fuel economy from your vehicle. In fact, you might be down 20-40% compared to where your vehicle should be. Let a professional take a look and start squeezing that tank of gas again.

Tire pressure is important to your fuel mileage

Adding Air to Tires - Monthly air pressure checks are key to good fuel economy
Adding Air to Tires | Getty Images

You should check your tire pressure at least once a month. This is something you could put in your phone as a reminder. One of the many times you stop for gas is when you need to check the pressure. Under or over-inflated tires directly impact your fuel consumption by as much as 5-7%, which can cost a lot in the long run.

Combine trips to save gas and improve fuel economy

The fewer miles you drive, the more gas you’ll save. That’s a pretty straightforward plan to fill up less often. TO do this, you’ve got to plan your route, combine trips, and avoid extra driving when it’s not necessary. If possible, combine some of these trips on days when fewer cars are on the road, which can reduce idling and stopping in traffic.

Are you carrying too much junk in the trunk?

Too Much Cargo in this Car, reduce the weight and save on fuel
Too Much Cargo in this Car | Shutterstock Images

The more weight that’s in your vehicle, the lower your fuel mileage numbers will be. If you don’t need to take it with you, take it out of your car. The only time you might need some extra weight is during the winter when a couple of sandbags might help give you better traction in an RWD vehicle. Otherwise, you’re only hurting your fuel economy numbers with the extra junk.

Turn down the A/C or heater to improve gas mileage

Summer is coming, and it’s going to be hot. You need to be comfortable while driving but turning the A/C to its maximum temperature can use up to 25% more fuel than opening a window. If you’re driving in town, open windows make the most sense. Roll up the windows to improve aerodynamics and use the A/C, but not at the coldest temperature hen on the highway. The same is true when the winter months arrive, and you want to turn on the heater.

Keep more green in your pocket by using these tips to get more out of every tank of gas.

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