Ways to Save Money on Gas and Improve Your Fuel Economy
Whether your vehicle is a small economy car or a large SUV, everyone can benefit from improving their fuel economy. If you’re concerned with saving the environment by reducing the amount of fuel you use or just want to make filling up your tank a bit easier on your wallet, read on to learn more about some simple ways to save money on gas and improve your gas mileage.
Before You Hit the Road:
Reduce the number of unnecessary, heavy items that are inside or on top of your car. Even if you have an empty bike, kayak or canoe rack on your vehicle, removing the extra weight can help improve your fuel economy, especially on the highway.
Remember to have your vehicle regularly serviced. Even if you don’t put many miles on your vehicle, regular service can ensure that you have the best possible fuel economy, in addition to improving performance and extending the life of your vehicle.
If your car’s “check engine” light comes on, get to a repair shop as soon as possible. Chances are that the issue with your engine will increase fuel emissions and reduce your fuel economy, and it’s best to get these issues dealt with as soon as possible.
Check your tire pressure, and make sure that your tires are always properly inflated. Underinflated tires increase the rolling resistance on the ground surface, which decreases your fuel efficiency.
Be sure to use the motor oil recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle. Vehicles go through a series of rigorous tests to determine the most efficient type of motor oil for your engine, and using a different weight or type from what is recommended can create increased friction on your engine’s mechanical parts, which pushes your engine to work harder.
Keep your gas cap sealed tightly. Over time, the rubber seal on your gas cap can begin to deteriorate, forming cracks that allow oxygen to pass through your gas tank. Increased air entering the gas tank and engine increases your fuel consumption. Replace these seals regularly, especially if you live in extremely hot or cold climates.
Regularly replace your air filter. It might seem simple, but replacing your vehicle’s air filter as recommended by the manufacturer improves your engine’s ability to draw air from the environment, which in turn makes your engine work less hard and increases your gas mileage.
While You’re Driving:
Avoid speeding up and slowing down when driving. Overall, it’s much more economical to drive the speed limit, as accelerating quickly greatly increases your fuel consumption.
If possible, avoid leaving your engine idling. If your car will be stopped for more than 60 seconds, it’s better to just shut off your engine.
When you’re approaching a stop sign or red light, take your foot off the gas pedal early and allow your car to slow down gradually until it’s time to brake.
When you begin to accelerate from a stop, accelerate smoothly and gradually. This allows vehicles with automatic transmissions to shift into higher gears sooner, reducing strain on your engine and saving fuel.
If you’re driving on the highway, consider using cruise control when it’s safe to do so. It will help you to maintain a constant speed, reducing fuel use.
During the summer months, try to minimize your use of air conditioning. The engine power required to operate the air conditioner compressor can have a serious impact on your fuel economy. Similarly, when it’s hot outside, park in the shade or use a windshield sunscreen to decrease heat buildup in your car. This will reduce the strain on the air conditioner to cool the car after it’s been sitting.
Whether you’re headed on a long trip or just your daily commute, keep your vehicle protected on the road with the right insurance coverage. If you have questions about your current coverage or want to know how to get additional protection to help you feel safe, reach out to your local agent. They’re here to help you get answers to all of your insurance-related questions.