Driving Tips: Get the Most Miles On Your Gas

Man and woman driving a convertible under a sunny weather

Inflation is causing gas prices to rise higher by the day. Each time you fill your gas tank, you are paying more money to drive the same amount of miles as usual. Each car has a certain number of miles per gallon that it can drive, which is also called its gas mileage. Your car’s gas mileage is largely set by factors you can’t change, like the size of your engine and the weight of your vehicle.

There are, however, small steps you can take to maximize your gas mileage. Here are some easy driving tips you can follow: 

1. Roll down the window

Blasting your air conditioning nonstop may help you stay cool, but it makes your car work harder. To use less gas, consider using your air conditioner a little less.

2. Keep the ride smooth

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests using your car’s cruise control to keep your speed more constant, which will lessen your engine’s demand for gas.

Aggressively accelerating and braking also require more gas for every sudden start and stop. Try and keep your driving as smooth as possible.

3. Check that tire pressure

Keeping your car’s tires at their optimal pressure helps you optimize gas usage. Being properly inflated also increases the traction of your tires and keeps you safer on the road. The recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) of pressure for your tires can often be found in your car’s owner’s manual or printed on the door jamb of your driver’s side door.

Car tires lose more pressure in cold weather, so you may need to check your car’s tires more often during the winter months.

4. Don’t carry around things you don’t need

In general, the heavier your car is, the more gas it will use. If there is a period of time when you know you won’t be using the bike or other storage rack on your vehicle’s roof, consider removing it. Also, unpack any unnecessary cargo from the trunk or car’s interior.

5. Leave the car off

This is one of the driving tips that are easy and the most common: leave your car off until you’re ready to drive.

Idling, or leaving your car running while it’s parked or while you are stopped for longer lengths of time, also uses unnecessary gas. Although remote starters have made it easy, especially in colder climates, to start a car early in order to warm up its interior, making a habit of doing so can mean you’ll have to fill your car up more often.

It’s now much more common for drivers to pick up items and food they’ve ordered online by waiting for them to be delivered to your car in the parking lot. If you’re going to be waiting for your order for more than a minute or so, and you can get by without the heating or air conditioning, consider turning the car off.

6. Keep the oil changed and the car maintained

Including in this driving tips list is changing your oil.

Driving for too long between oil changes can mean you’re driving with old oil. Your engine has to work harder when it’s working with old oil, and that can decrease your fuel efficiency.

As gas prices increase, it can be important to take tiny, personal steps to maximize your vehicle’s gas mileage. The longer you can go between trips to the gas station will translate to bigger money savings for you.

You can also read more about driving here.

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