How Can I Get Better Gas Mileage?

No matter what your financial situation is, none of us want to be spending money we don’t have to.  If you can get an equal result for less money, it seems like a no-brainer to save the money!  It is possible that you are spending more money than you need to every time you start your vehicles engine.  In this article we will look at some different ways you can use less gas while you’re driving so you can go further in between fill ups.

Better Gas MileageGetting better gas mileage is all about efficiency.  Unless you plan on buying a different vehicle, you need to think about how to use fuel as efficiently as possible in the vehicle you currently have.  Being efficient all starts by getting a base line, or checking your current fuel mileage.  If your vehicle doesn’t have an onboard computer that calculates fuel mileage automatically, you still have a few options.  If you have a smart phone, look on your apps store to see if there is a program you can use.  You likely will have to input a few things like how many gallons you filled up with, or distance traveled but they can be a great tool.

There is always the old fashioned way of calculating it manually.  Next time you fill up your gas tank, fill it all the way until the gas pump automatically shuts off.  Don’t top it off or add any more fuel.  Hop in and reset your trip odometer.  Drive your usually routes in your usual way for at least half a tank of fuel, but preferable until your almost empty.  Go back to the gas pump and fill up, again until the pump shuts off automatically.  Look on the fuel pump display and write down the number of gallons you just pumped.  Then hop in and read your odometer reading.  Divide the miles you went by the gallons you pumped and you will get your average fuel mileage for that tank of gas.  Your average mileage should always be calculated using similar routes and conditions, like a route you take to work or a friend’s house.

It’s smart to regularly check your fuel mileage because changing fuel mileage can often be an indicator of future problems or maintenance issues.

Now that you know where you are starting, let’s look at some things that can rob your vehicle of good mileage.  Anything that makes your engine work harder to move your vehicle will lower your gas mileage.  Things like:

Gas mileage robbers:

  • Poor aerodynamics
  • Low tire pressure
  • Sticking brakes
  • Aggressive driving
  • Poor maintenance
  • Dirty engine

Overloaded CarAerodynamics play a huge roll in how good of gas mileage your vehicle will get.  As you are driving your car is pushing a large amount of air out of its way to move down the road.  If you don’t think that’s a difficult task, put your hand out the window palm forward on the highway next time you are a passenger and see how long you can hold it up before you get tired.  Trucks and SUVs get poor gas mileage because of their shape and how much air they have to move, no because they have larger engines than cars do.  You can do a few things to help make your car more aerodynamic.  Try removing the roof top carrier if you aren’t using it, or take down roof rack rails.  Also, leave the sports team flags at home and keep the load in your pickup truck bellow the cab line.  If your car has an adjustable ride height, use the lowest setting and make sure any under body paneling is secured and not catching the wind as you drive.

Low tire pressure can also greatly affect your fuel mileage.  Similar to poor aero dynamics, low tire pressure increases the amount of work your vehicle’s engine must do to move the car down the road.  The more a tire deforms or gets pudgy as it rolls the more work it takes for it to continue to roll.  Not all will this reduce your fuel mileage, it may make your car handle poorly and your tires wear out more quickly.  Do not over inflate your tires in an attempt for better fuel mileage as this will wear them out prematurely also.  Ask your tire manufacturer for the recommended air pressure for your vehicle.

As long as our brakes work and work quietly, we often don’t give them a second thought.  Depending on the age of your vehicle and the conditions you drive, one or more of your brakes may be sticking in a slightly engaged position.  A sticking brake caliper will often cause your vehicle to pull to one side of the road, even with a proper alignment.  Also since it’s like driving with the brakes one, one wheel will be significantly warmer than the other after a normal drive.  If you suspect a sticking brake it is best to have it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible as it could cause other damage to your braking system in addition to reducing your fuel mileage.

Aggressive driving is one of the easiest gas mileage robbers to avoid.  Accelerating quickly takes more fuel than accelerating at a slower rate.  Think about sprinting vs. jogging.  Also, the faster you drive, the more wind resistance there is and the more fuel you will use.  The most efficient driving speed is the slowest comfortable speed your car can go in the highest gear.  The higher your engine revs, the worse gas mileage you will get because your engine loses efficiency in extremely high RPMs.  Besides saving fuel, driving less aggressively also has the added benefit of being safer and more relaxing for the driver.

Fuel MileageLastly, poor maintenance and a dirty engine can easily rob your vehicle of its best fuel mileage.  Old oil and clogged filters can make it difficult for the moving parts in an engine to do their job increasing resistance and using more gas.  You might even consider using synthetic oils to reduce engine drag and increase fuel mileage.  Also, make sure your spark plugs have been changed as recommended.  An old eroded spark plug will produce a low quality spark and poor combustion making your engine work harder to produce the same power.  In the same way a dirty intake and combustion chamber can rob your vehicle of power making it work harder and use more fuel.  Use BlueDevil Fuel MD in your fuel tank after every oil change to clean anyway any harmful intake or combustion chamber deposits to ensure you are getting the highest efficiency out of your vehicle’s engine.

Stop wasting money on poor gas mileage and purchase BlueDevil Fuel MD online, or at any of these stores.

  • NAPA
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts
  • Prime Automotive
  • CarQuest Auto Parts
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • AutoZone
  • Pep Boys
  • Bennett Auto Supply
  • Don’t forget to re-test your vehicle’s fuel mileage after using BlueDevil Fuel MD to see the improvement!

    Pictures courtesy of: www.hqracing.nl, www.jokeroo.com and www.digitaltrends.com

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