With the summer months rolling in many of us will be taking more and more road trips. We found a top 10 list of things you can do on your own to improve your gas mileage and save you cash at the pump!
1. Check Your Air Filter: A clean air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%, and nearly one in four cars needs an air filter replacement. Changing a dirty air filter can save the equivalent of 39 cents a gallon or carry you 23 more miles on a typical tank of gas.
2. Straighten Out: Poor alignment not only causes tires to wear out more quickly, but also forces your engine to work harder, which can reduce gas mileage by as much as 10%. Fixing improper alignment would be like saving 39 cents per gallon.
3. Tune Up: A properly tuned engine can improve mileage by 4% which is like saving 15 cents a gallon.
4. Pump ’em Up: More than one-quarter of vehicles have improperly inflated tires. The average under-inflation of 7.5 lbs. causes a loss of 2.8% in fuel efficiency. Properly inflating problem tires is like knocking 11 cents off a gallon of gas.
5. Check Your Cap: It is estimated that nearly 17% of cars on the road have broken or missing gas caps, which reduce gas mileage as well as possibly harming the environment. Fixing or replacing a faulty gas cap is like saving 3 cents per gallon.
6. Lose Weight: For every 100 extra pounds carried around, your vehicle loses 1-2% in fuel efficiency. For every 100 lbs you unload, you’re saving the equivalent of 6 cents per gallon.
7. Don’t Speed: For every 5 mph you reduce highway speed, you can reduce fuel consumption by 7%. If you typically drive 70 on the highway and slow down to 65, it’s the equivalent of saving 27 cents a gallon.
8. Drive Smoother: The smoother you accelerate and decelerate, the better your gas mileage, with potential gas savings of 33% on the highway and 5% around town. Consumers who currently drive erratically can pocket the equivalent 68 cents a gallon by driving more smoothly.
9. Foot Off: Riding with your foot on the brake not only wears out brakes but can also reduce gas consumption by as much as 35%. If you kick the habit of driving with your foot on the brake, you’ll get the equivalent of 1.35 cents per gallon in savings.
10. Don’t Idle: If stopped off the road for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine. Don’t “warm up” your car before driving — it is not necessary. For every two minutes that you don’t idle, you’ll save the equivalent of nearly 1 cent per gallon.