Gas prices are unpredictable, but getting good fuel economy is always in season. Whether you drive a small car, minivan, SUV, or pickup truck, knowing how to increase fuel economy can help you save money, reduce trips to the gas station, and even extend the life of your vehicle.
A vehicle’s fuel economy is the relationship between the distance driven and the volume of fuel expended. It is most commonly expressed in miles per gallon, but can also be calculated as gallons of fuel necessary to travel a set distance.
You can figure out how many miles your vehicle gets per gallon of fuel in several ways. One way is the odometer method:
You can also calculate fuel economy by resetting your vehicle’s trip odometer, filling the tank to capacity, and writing down the mileage and gallons the next time you refuel. Then, simply divide the two numbers to arrive at your vehicle’s fuel economy.
Aside from saving you time and money, boosting your automobile’s fuel economy has many benefits including:
Aggressive driving habits such as sudden braking, rapid acceleration, and speeding can increase your fuel consumption by up to a third on the highway and increase your risk of getting into an accident. It can also greatly shorten the life of your vehicle. Observe speed limits and accelerate and decelerate gradually. You’ll help keep yourself and others safe while saving money. When driving on the highway, consider switching on cruise control to help you keep a steady speed.
Clean out your vehicle regularly. Remove unnecessary items that add weight, which causes your vehicle to burn more fuel. The lighter the vehicle, the greater the impact each additional pound has on its fuel economy. Don’t Idle Even when your vehicle isn’t moving, if the engine is on, it’s using fuel. Sitting in an idle car, especially with the air conditioner or heater on, can waste up to a half gallon of gas every hour. At the same time, avoid starting and shutting off the engine too often in a short period of time, as this can wear out the starter and reduce your vehicle’s longevity.
When driving to multiple destinations, map out the most efficient route to avoid backtracking. If possible, carpool with family members, neighbors or coworkers. This can cut your weekly fuel costs down by half.
Cold temperatures can reduce your vehicle’s fuel economy by over 20 percent, especially if you make lots of short trips. Decreased tire pressure, differences in cold weather fuel, and slow-moving traffic on slick or snowy roads all cause your vehicle to burn more fuel than it would in warmer conditions. Here are some tips to help you conserve fuel economy from winter’s wrath:
Hot weather is actually conducive to better fuel economy. The engine warms up quicker, and vehicles move more aerodynamically in warm air. However, there are more ways you can take advantage of the warmer months:
Keeping your vehicle in top shape can help improve or maintain its fuel economy. As parts age and wear out, your car has to work harder to get you from place to place. That’s where Meineke comes in. Your local Meineke Car Care Center can perform routine inspections, repairs, engine tune-ups, oil changes, and tire replacements to help you make every gallon go further. Meineke car care professionals can also answer your questions and help you find more ways to boost fuel economy.