Do you want to squeeze as many miles as you can from every gallon of gas you purchase? Rising fuel costs are a major concern to car owners, who try various ways to tackle this problem. Although automakers are producing more energy-efficient vehicles, many drivers don’t have the capacity to own one.
So, Consumer Reports took to the roads in different vehicles to discover the best way to improve your gas mileage. Here’s what they found:
Take your foot off the gas
You may not be able to spend money on a high-end electric car. But you can cut down on your fuel consumption by doing one simple thing: Slow down! Your driving habits are likely draining your fuel tank. Speeding on the highway, breaking abruptly at sharp bends, and stepping on the gas hurt your car’s fuel efficiency. Here’s how:
The effect of speeding on fuel economy
Consumer Reports made a shocking discovery. They drove a Honda Accord, Toyota RAV4, Ford Fusion, and even a hybrid at steady speeds of 55, 65, and 75 miles per hour. Accelerating from 55 to 65 miles per hour increased fuel consumption by 4 to 8 MPG. Speeding up to 75 miles per hour increased consumption by an additional 5 to 7 MPG.
The takeaway: Speeding is not only dangerous, but it also drains your fuel tank by shocking margins. You need to slow down to save your fuel. The following tips can help curb your speeding and improve gas mileage.
1. Stay in the right lane
Once you’re on the highway, it’s possible to maintain a steady pace in the right lane. You won’t have to switch between lanes or abruptly brake as much. Of course, sometimes you’re in a hurry. But Consumer Reports proves you can extend your gas mileage by driving at a consistent speed of 55 miles per hour.
If you give yourself a little extra time to get places, you can use this method. Accelerate once to the right lane of the highway. Then, you can maintain a steady speed for as long as possible.
2. Use cruise control
Cruise control can save a lot of gas if you use it correctly. This setting works by feeding more power to the car while uphill and releasing it when the vehicle descends. However, cruise control works best on flat roads. Try it next time you drive a farther distance on the highway.
3. Avoid hard acceleration and sudden braking
You can go a long way in extending your gas mileage by avoiding needless braking. In slow traffic, it’s not necessary to hug the bumper of the car in front of you because you’ll be forced to brake more often.
Cars require more energy to move from a complete stop, hence, consuming more fuel. To avoid excessive stops, some drivers coast their vehicles toward red lights. Keeping your car at a slow roll is more efficient.
4. Keep calm and plan ahead
Does driving stress you out? Are you constantly running late? Certain feelings and habits can take a toll on your fuel. Instead, take a deep breath and slow your vehicle to a manageable speed. Plan ahead so you aren’t tempted to stressfully speed to your next appointment. And avoid driving when upset. Consider taking a bus, cab, or carpooling with a friend.