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Maximize Your Fuel Efficiency

Many people are unaware of how to get the best gas mileage out of a vehicle and believe the answer to better fuel economy is to purchase a new or hybrid automobile. There are, however, easier and less expensive methods to ensure your vehicle gets the most miles per gallon possible. Here are some tips to help you maximize your gas mileage.

Efficient Driving

The key to driving efficiently is to avoid aggressive driving. Speeding, rapid acceleration, and excessive braking can significantly reduce fuel economy. The faster you drive, the more fuel your vehicle consumes. Accelerating rapidly, then braking suddenly, common in rush hour traffic situations, makes your engine work harder and burn more fuel. Decrease speed and slow down by taking your foot off the accelerator instead of by hitting the brakes. Engines are most efficient when driven between 2,000 to 2,500 RPMs at a steady speed.

Vehicle Maintenance

Regular vehicle maintenance will also ensure you’re getting the best gas mileage possible. For example, having the engine tuned can result in up to a four percent increase in fuel economy and fuel savings of around eight cents per gallon. Check the label on the driver’s side door jamb for tire inflation levels, as properly inflated tires can result in higher fuel efficiency as well. Additionally, replacing a faulty mass air flow sensor or oxygen sensor, bad spark plugs, dirty air and fuel filters, and worn tires also goes a long way toward maximizing fuel efficiency.

Temperature Extremes

In addition to driving more efficiently and regular vehicle maintenance, there are things that can be done to increase gas mileage in specific weather conditions. Both hot and cold weather require unique considerations when it comes to fuel economy.

  • Hot Weather tips:
    • Park in the shade whenever possible. If no shade is available, place a sunshade over the windshield to help lower the interior temperature.
    • Instead of idling with the air conditioner on, drive with the windows down for five to ten minutes to release hot air from the vehicle.
  • Cold Weather Tips:
    • Park in a garage to increase the initial engine and cabin temperature.
    • Idle less and drive off sooner, as the vehicle will warm up faster while being driven.

Regardless of the season or the outdoor temperature, learning how to get the best gas mileage out of a vehicle is as simple as following these helpful tips for maximizing your fuel efficiency.