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How to Maximize Your Car's Fuel Economy

Published:
by , Auto Protection Specialist

By driving efficiently, you can save a substantial amount of money in fuel costs over the life of your vehicle. Further, following these suggestions is easy and won’t require much change on your part.

Make sure your vehicle is in great condition

One of the best ways to help your vehicle achieve great fuel efficiency is by making sure it’s running in top condition. You can do this by taking your car in for regular service as well as inspecting key areas such as your vehicle’s tires and its air filter. A dirty filter or under inflated tires can add as much as 13% in fuel costs according to the Consumer Energy Center.

Alter your driving habits

This is easy to do and can help your vehicle run more efficiently. Here are some tips to keep in mind before going on the road:

  1. Eliminate aggressive driving behaviors such as accelerating rapidly or driving over the speed limit. When you drive aggressively, you can reduce your highway gas mileage by as much as 33%, according to the Energy and Environmental Analysis Inc.
  2. Don’t place items on the top of your roof even if you have roof rails, as this will weigh the vehicle down and cause your engine to work harder. When this occurs, it reduces the efficiency of your vehicle.
  3. You should also reduce the amount of time your engine idles. Obviously, in certain situations this may seem impractical if you drive in an area with heavy traffic. A good solution for you in this situation would be to buy a vehicle with stop start technology. This will shut off the engine when your vehicle idles and turns it back on when you take your foot off the brake pedal.
  4. Use cruise control when you can, as this will help your car maintain the same speed and will help you save in fuel costs.
  5. If possible try to reduce the use of the air conditioner in summer. Using an A/C in summer can increase your vehicle's fuels consumption as much as 10%. However, if you are driving at higher speeds, it is more efficient to use your vehicle's A/C rather than opening the windows. The wind resistance makes car's engine to work harder.
  6. Try to find shady areas for parking. It will not only prevent gas from evaporating but also will keep the car cooler which will reduce the need to use the A/C.
  7. Perform regular maintenance on your car and have it serviced as instructed by the manufacturer. This will prevent your engine from being poorly tuned and will reduce fuel consumption.

Along with these, you should consider other alternatives to driving such as carpooling, biking or using public transportation if these options are available to you.

Lastly, you can buy a vehicle that delivers better fuel efficiency. There are many options available now that include hybrid and diesel offerings. You can also compare different models in each class to determine which vehicle offers you the best in fuel efficiency. FuelEconomy.gov is a great resource of side-by-side gas mileage comparison.

Ultimately, by following these tips it can help your vehicle receive better fuel efficiency. Best of all, in most instances they are simple to do and you will notice a difference in the amount of times you’ll visit the gas station.

Here is an infographic that displays fuel economy standards and historical improvements

Originally published in 2012 by Energy.gov (click to enlarge).

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