Make sure not to rev up the engine
When you push on the gas to climb a hill or start out at an intersection, your RPM gauge goes up. If your RPMs go too high, you’re not only jetting forward – the MPH gauge will start to climb – you’re losing gas too. I’ve personally noticed how much revving has taken a toll on my gas mileage. I’ve taken drives up steep hills, and pushed down hard on the gas to get over those nasty inclines. When it was all over with, when I was cruising down the other side of the hills, my gas dial showed that I went from a little over ½ of a full tank to a little bit under.
How could I lose almost a full gallon of gas by revving the car you ask? Well, it’s easy. Most of the fuel the engine uses is when you rev it up. So, take it easy on the gas pedal.
Full tires make all the difference
If your tires are the slightest bit low, they will start creating resistance. Resistance is devastating to your gas mileage. I’ve recently taken a long trip in my car. I hadn’t realized it before, but my tires were dangerously low. I’d had to stop in for a quick refill at the gas station more times than I could count. I should’ve realized something was wrong by now. Then I filled the tires full of air and away I went. In the 18 hours I was on the road, I noticed that I went from spending a whopping $300 to $150 in gas. When I reached my destination, I had ¼ of a full tank to spare. Think about it in terms of a ball bouncing, and a ball that lands on the ground and stays there. How many bounces will you get out of a ball full of air as opposed to a ball that isn’t full? Imagine trying to roll that ball with less air compared to that ball with the most air. It’s not going to get very far very fast is it?
Full tires will not only get you where you want to go faster, they’ll also keep you’re gas mileage up. If you don’t believe me, let the air out of one or two tires down to 5 to 10 psi. Try to push your vehicle the old-fashion way. You will learn fast.
You can save up to 10 cents per gallon and around 3.3% of your gas mileage by keeping up the air pressure in your tires.
Changing elevation can be bad
With prices as high as they are, I’m not sure if I can recommend doing a lot of highway travel. A full tank of gas can cost upwards of 50 or 100 dollars, depending on the size of the fuel tank. But people will always need to drive to different places at different elevations for any and all reasons. Who am I to criticize, I just did it. Here’s where the trouble is. Changes in elevation can take as much of a toll on a motor vehicle as it does on a human body. If you’ve ever traveled lower or higher in elevation, you have to hold your nose shut and pop your ears don’t you? This is caused by pressure. At high enough pressure, it won’t be just your ears that pop. If pressure does that much to a person, it’s got to be doing something to a vehicle.
This applies to older cars mostly. The carburetor pulls air. At high elevations, air is thinner. Your car can’t get enough air to pull gasoline and you’re left having to rev up the engine. Newer vehicles will have trouble with sensors reading how much gasoline the engine can use. If the sensor isn’t working properly in high altitudes, your engine might not get the fuel it needs and or too much gas will be run off through the fuel injectors.
Buying new is the easiest and simplest way
Newer cars are built to be more fuel efficient. Car companies are trying to battle gas companies by actually trying to make their customers happy. If you can afford the more fuel efficient vehicles on the market, what’s stopping you? Go pick one up. Don’t just go to the car dealership, and buy the snazziest, spiffiest, coolest-looking vehicle on the lot. Ask the salesperson specific questions; about, fuel intake, miles to the gallon, weight, and even the engine and transmission’s efficiency. All of these are factors that can affect your vehicle’s gas mileage for better or worse. I would tell them that I want to be the next Mario Andretti. You want to know if this $50,000 to $500,000 car will give you the most mileage for your buck. Just don’t let the salesperson get around the subjects listed above. Be smarter than the average car dealer. Make sure the right questions are answered.
“If you can’t answer my questions, I’ll just take my business elsewhere” – YOU
Make sure the “gearing” or “transmission chasse” or differential’s gear ratios are low. If they’re high, you’re RPMs stay high and you burn more by doing nothing.
Don’t rev up the engine unless it’s absolutely necessary. For example, don’t press on the gas while you’re traveling downhill. Allow the car to coast. Gravity will keep your vehicle rolling and keep you from raising those RPMs. Just keep your foot over the brake pedal. You could be saving upwards of around $1.06 in gas money and up to 33% on your mileage by watching how much you use the gas.
Throw out the barbells, dumbbells, bowling balls and try to keep your car as light as possible. Weight can cause resistance as easily if not moreso than anything else. Save upwards of 6 cents, and up to 2% per every hundred pounds.
Keep your windows rolled up. Wind can be just as much of a resistance as deflated tires. Besides, who wants to freeze to death in the winter or overheat in the summer?
Use other means of transportation. Take a bus, the subway or a commuter train. Call for a taxi. Carpool, pitch in a couple of bucks and use someone else’s vehicle like a taxi. Walk. Ride a bicycle.
Make sure you keep your engine tuned up to standards. If you can’t pass the emissions test, you can’t conserve money on gas mileage. You could be saving up to 13 cents per gallon and around 4% on your gas mileage.
Take it from my own personal experience on the highway, one of the smoothest ways to save on your gas mileage is by using cruise control as much as possible. Your car should remain at a steady pace and save you money. It’s like the vehicle itself is deciding what’s best for it.
Keep supplying your car with fresh air filters. Clogged air filters can have a significant effect on your overall gas mileage. You can save 32 cents person and 10% in gas mileage by continually replacing air filters with new ones.
Stay away from supercharged cars. These vehicles get boosts of RPMs from the turbochargers or superchargers. This is when your vehicle’s mix of air and gas is compressed, and ignites in a much more powerful explosion than an average vehicle. Ultimately, such a reaction can take a toll on the engine, and your overall fuel efficiency. You might as well be in a race car and traveling 35 MPH. Compression ratios have to stay high to keep your gas mileage high. And, factories keep the compression ratios low to protect the engines.
Using your overdrive gears is also a great idea. Speeds and RPMs will go down, and your mileage per gallon will go up.
Good oil helps you keep good gas mileage. Use the recommended brand of oil. Save up to 6 cents and 1 to 2 percent on your overall fuel efficiency by using the right engine lube.
Other Associated Content to check out
Purchasing a Fuel-Efficient Automobile written by The Knowledge Bearer. It’s extremely techical but also extremely informative.
All Kinds of Ways to Save Money written by T Wann. This article offers great advice for saving money, period. It’s not just about the gas mileage but it’s well-worth your time to read.
Pumping Out Your Pocket by Kali Chondra. This article discuss the problem with gas prices from a technical and opinionated point of view. It’s really a great read if nothing else.
Gas-Saving Tips and Myths by crystal evans. Another great read and well worth your time to check out. I don’t know if it’s essential reading, but you be the judge.
Federal Trade Commission or FTC.com