When it comes to the overall amount of money you spend to drive your car, from purchase, to maintenance to filling up the gas tank, the last one on the list is certainly one you can be proactive about reducing. Fuel efficiency, measured and advertised in miles per gallon, is definitely something to consider when you purchase a vehicle, and there are many ways to maximize your car’s mileage capabilities.
With all the things we have going on in our lives, we rarely think more than a few minutes into the future and when driving it’s easy to forget about all of the little things we can do for long term savings. One way to save on gas is to use the cruise control function to maintain a consistent speed when driving any reasonably long distance. By doing so, your engine, transmission and vehicle electronic components will handle keeping to a specific speed, all of which are a lot more sophisticated than your right foot (sorry, your foot hasn’t evolved too much over the last few thousand years especially compared to 21st century automobile technology).
It’s amazing how few miles per gallon you get when you’re sitting still and your car is just idling; in fact, you get zero miles per gallon in this situation. Just like when you were back in school and forgot to hand in an assignment, every time you average in a zero to a grade or your miles per gallon your grade goes down. So if it’s your turn in the car pool rotation for soccer practice, don’t sit outside that one kid’s house for more than a minute with your car running. No matter what their record is at the end of the season, you’ll end up a winner at the gas pump. While you’re at it, it’s time to give up your addiction to the drive through. Technically you’re not sitting still, but you might as well be. Park it and walk inside; you’ll save enough to upgrade from a medium to a large latte in the process.
There are a few things you can do to your car that are either free or inexpensive that will all improve your gas mileage. First, a tire gauge is a great stocking gift and a lot more useful than yet another pair of socks when it comes to saving on gas. Check your tire pressure regularly and you’ll be rewarded with better gas mileage. Second, and in the same area, get your alignment checked. Tires meeting unevenly with the road surface add to drag and drag lowers the amount of miles you’ll get to a gallon. Most tire retailers and of course your dealership service department can help you out. Last, change your spark plugs; especially if you’ve seen a drop in fuel efficiency and you know they haven’t been changed in a while.
In the big scheme of things gas prices are likely to go down in the future but by getting better gas mileage you can make it seem that way.