REPAIRING MY CAR > Good Gas Mileage

Good Gas Mileage

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As I have stated a hundred times before, I am not a mechanic. I am a car fanatic. I share some common sense advice on car repairs and maintenance.

We all want good gas mileage. Those ancient fossil fuels aren’t getting less expensive. Early in my driving career I was pouring money down the drain. Who knew that flooring the gas would use more? After owning over 40 cars I can see how driving style and upkeep changes everything.

It seems like gas prices go up and down like a yo-yo. Squeezing every mile out of a tank of gas has become very important. This is especially true for those of us who haven’t bought an electric or hybrid car. There are some simple things we can all do to help in this area. The following are steps to improve your gas mileage and save big money at the gas station.

Simple Ways to Improve Gas Mileage

Let’s face it: The price it costs to fill up the tank isn’t going to change much, and there’s not a lot your car can do about how much gas it requires. That said, there is something you can do about how often you have to visit the gas station. These easy tips will help your tank last longer and make your visits to the pump fewer.

Tire Pressure: An often-overlooked thing to keep up on is your tire pressure. This is an important tip for getting good gas mileage. You can buy a simple tire pressure gauge and check the pressure at home. Then, take a quick trip to a gas station and add some air. Note: This method can be a little dirty on the hands. Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended pressure. If you don’t have the manual, not to worry – this information is also printed on the tire itself. Always follow the manufacturer’s and the factory’s instructions. An even easier way to check tire pressure is to simply drop in at one of the large-chain tire stores. Just about all of these companies will do an air check at no charge. These days, quite a few car models have built-in tire pressure monitors. Just keep an eye out for the indicator light and take the appropriate action.

Air Filters: Another thing that can help increase your mileage is to replace a dirty engine air filter.  This can be done at home but is sometimes a little tricky. Some of them are hard to get at under the hood. Refer to your owner’s manual on this topic. Usually, there is a diagram showing where the air filter is and how to replace it. One thing to keep in mind is that there are a few sources for the filters. They can be purchased at the dealership, at an auto parts store, or even at a quick lube outlet while you are getting your oil changed.

Liquid Fuel Injector Cleaner: Use some liquid fuel injector cleaner to keep your car’s fuel mileage up. Simply swing in to your local auto parts store and pick up a bottle. The next time you go to fill up your car with gas, pour this stuff into your tank. I like to do this every three months, but be sure to read the label on the brand you choose and follow their recommendations. It is also a good idea to check your owner’s manual on this subject. This step helps keep your fuel injectors clean. The fuel injector is a part of the system that injects gas into the engine. If these injectors become clogged and dirty, they won’t spray the fuel evenly and efficiently into the combustion chamber. When the injectors are clean they spray an even mixture into each of the engine’s cylinders so that your car is burning the proper amount of fuel. This saves gas. Also, consider purchasing high quality gasoline. Sometimes the cheapest isn’t the best. You want to prevent clogged and dirty injectors that poor quality gas may cause.

Lighten The Load: This may sound simple, but don’t carry around a bunch of extra weight in your car. Don’t load up the trunk and inside of your car with a bunch of junk. The lighter your car is the further it will go on a tank of gas. Plus, in addition to dropping the excess weight to help save gas, it keeps your car from looking like a dorm room closet!

Driving Tactics That Can Improve Your Gas Mileage

The last thing to consider to improve gas mileage is your driving style. You don’t need to drive like a race car driver. Go easy on the gas pedal. When you start off from a complete stop, accelerate gently. Ease up to the speed limit. Flooring the gas is just like pouring the gas down the drain. Try easing up on the gas a bit as you approach a red light – coast a bit to slow down. Just make sure you are not impeding traffic and that you are driving in a safe manner. Driving steadily can improve your gas mileage quite a bit.

Also, think about using your car’s cruise control on the open road. Only do this when it is safe and the traffic is very well-spaced. The cruise control helps your car maintain an even and consistent speed. This is a very efficient way to cruise along on the freeway.

As a review: Drive gently and evenly, follow your car’s service schedule, keep up on your air pressure, keep the injectors clean, keep the air filter clean, drive and accelerate evenly, and don’t load up the car with junk. All of this adds up to help maximize your fuel economy. Most of these tips can improve your gas mileage, and all of them can add up to some real savings at the pump.

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