Gas is once again very expensive. You can easily cut your driving and gasoline costs by getting into the habit of following these simple tips.
Go Easy on the Pedal
While this is the most obvious tip, it is one that is least likely to be followed consistently. Always try to accelerate slowly and plan for your stops by easing off of the gas earlier than you normally would when you anticipate a stop light or stop sign.
There is a technique called hypermiling that that can improve gas mileage by 35% or more over the EPA estimates, but it takes practice and discipline to learn how to do it just right. Some hypermiling enthusiasts have achieved over 100 miles to a gallon of fuel. It can be done.
Keep Your Tires Inflated Slightly More Than the Auto Manufacturer’s Recommendation
Check the air pressure in the tires at least once per month. Tires should be checked when they are cold, such as when the car has been sitting for a while. While adhering to the auto manufacturer’s tire pressure recommendations helps to maximize the comfort of the ride, you can reduce the rolling resistance of the tires by inflating them slightly above the recommended pressure. Gas mileage in improved with harder tires because there is less resistance to movement. The vehicle basically rolls easier.
Check the maximum air pressure specification stamped on the side of the tires. Many auto tires manufactured today indicate a maximum pressure of around 44 PSI. Most auto manufacturers recommend a pressure of around 32 PSI. You can safely split the difference and inflate the tires up to the midpoint between the two numbers. In the case of a max pressure of 44 PSI and a recommended pressure of 32 PSI, the difference is 12 and the midpoint is 32 PSI + 6 PSI, which is 38 PSI. If you find the ride to be a little hard, you can drop it down to 35 to 36 PSI. I have checked with tire retailers and was told that slightly over-inflating the tires using this formula will not affect the tire warranty. Never inflate the tires up to the maximum pressure indicated on the tire sidewalls, because this can put too much stress on the tires when they pick up heat from driving long distances.
Use the Air Conditioner on Hot Days
A lot of people think that using an auto air conditioner consumes more fuel and it is therefore more efficient to simply roll down the windows, rather than using the air conditioner. Several studies have proven that this theory is wrong. When you roll down the car window, the open gap turns the vehicle into a scoop, which increases the resistance to forward movement. This is similar to trying to scoop a bucket that is submerged under water. You are basically screwing up the aerodynamics of the vehicle. While gas mileage is slightly reduced when running the air conditioner, the negative effects on fuel mileage are greater when a window is rolled down.
Do Not Overload Vehicles
Everything that adds weight to a vehicle also reduces the gas mileage. Do not load the trunk up with junk that you do not need to carry.