How To Improve Your Car’s Fuel Efficiency
As gas prices continue to climb, the importance of maximizing your vehicle’s fuel efficiency is more critical now than ever before. Learning the tips and tricks for improved fuel life and efficiency can help you keep your car running smoother, decrease your trips to the pump, and support your eco-conscious goals. If you’ve noticed that over time your car is losing gas as it ages, we have some tips and tricks that could help. Read on to learn more.
What Is Fuel Efficiency?
Fuel efficiency is how well your vehicle can convert fuel, like gas, into energy. One way to measure the fuel efficiency of a vehicle is to determine its average fuel economy. Typically, you can assess fuel economy using miles per gallon (mpg), which is how many miles your vehicle can travel on one gallon of gas. The more efficient your vehicle and driving practices, the better fuel economy you might see.
Many factors can affect fuel efficiency. The weight of your vehicle is one consideration. You might notice that if you’re pulling a heavy trailer or have a full trunk, your car’s fuel efficiency seems to decrease. Road conditions can also play a role. Hilly areas that require greater acceleration and power can burn through gas faster than highway driving. Similarly, while driving through a town with lots of stoplights, you might notice decreased fuel efficiency.
Many newer models of vehicles boast high fuel efficiency, with advertisements showing an average mpg rating for the vehicle. This number often refers to a vehicle’s fuel economy on the highway, which is the time when the automobile is most likely to experience its best fuel efficiency. Usually, 50 to 55 miles per hour is the gold standard for fuel efficiency. So, if you’re driving your car through town to get to and from work or run errands, you might notice your vehicle doesn’t perform as well as advertised.
How To Improve Fuel Efficiency
Here are some of the top ways you can improve your car’s fuel efficiency:
When you push the gas pedal of your vehicle, you deliver air and fuel to your car’s engine, telling it to go. The harder you press the pedal, the more air you let into the system. Your car reacts by delivering more fuel so it can maintain the proper ratio of air and fuel.
To reduce the amount of fuel going to your engine when you speed up, try to accelerate slowly, especially when going after a full stop, like when you start moving forward after stopping for a stoplight or stop sign. By being gentle on the acceleration, your car will use less fuel, increasing your efficiency while driving.
Keep Your Speed Consistent
Every time you press the brake pedal on your vehicle, you sacrifice your fuel. For example, if you’re driving through town and you accelerate quickly at a green light only to stop again in one block, you’re effectively wasting all the gas you just released. Instead, try to be as consistent as possible when you drive your vehicle. If you’re on the highway and it’s safe to do so, use your cruise control to maintain a set speed. Around town, accelerate gently and let your car coast to a stop rather than gaining speed and then stopping suddenly.
Remember that you typically achieve the best fuel economy at around 50 mph. While it’s important to follow posted speed limits and signs, avoiding speeding and trying to maintain consistent speeds of about 50 mph can greatly increase your fuel efficiency.
Remove Excess Weight From Your Vehicle
A heavier vehicle can also affect your fuel efficiency. Keep your car clean, with only essentials and an emergency preparedness kit. Keeping lots of heavy, needless items in your car can slow your vehicle unnecessarily and require more gas to get moving. Similarly, you might notice when carrying lots of passengers that your vehicle’s fuel efficiency decreases. The lighter the load, the greater efficiency you can achieve with your vehicle.
Perform Regular Maintenance
It’s almost always a good idea to schedule regular car maintenance. Keeping your vehicle well maintained is important for having a vehicle that runs smoothly, but it’s also valuable because you can learn of any issues that might affect your fuel economy as soon as possible.
If you notice your car is having a challenging time accelerating or is losing fuel efficiency noticeably, then you might have a problem with your fuel injector system. When a vehicle doesn’t get the right amount of fuel, it can lead to a loss of power and economy. Catching issues like these quickly can mean an easy fix, like simply cleaning the injectors. Waiting to address these problems can lead to more expensive services for your vehicle, like having to replace the injectors entirely. Regular maintenance helps you catch these common occurrences quickly.
Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated
Tire inflation can also affect fuel efficiency, and using the right tires for your vehicle and the season is important too. Reduced tire pressure can affect fuel economy. A study by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory revealed that partially deflated tires reduced fuel economy by two to three percent. Of course, improperly inflated tires can pose safety risks too. Most gas stations have air stations where you can check your pressure and fill up. Keeping a pressure gauge in your vehicle to measure your tires’ pound-force per square inch (PSI) is also a good practice.
Follow the PSI recommendations on your vehicle’s tires or in your owner’s manual. If you deflate your tires to increase your traction, remember to re-inflate them quickly as soon as you’re on regular roads again. You may notice that larger tires, which can be much heavier, also decrease your efficiency. Similarly, tires with more rolling resistance, like large tires or snow tires, can take more energy to begin rolling. When safe to do so and appropriate for your vehicle, choose tires that are lighter weight with less resistance. You can learn more at our tire center.
These tips and tricks can help you reduce your time at the pump and increase your time enjoying the open road If you think we missed an important tip or want to share more about your personal driving practices, we’d love to hear from you. You can drop us a line anytime or stop by to say hello. Be sure to check out our fuel-efficient lineup of hybrid and electric vehicles, too, to maximize your fuel economy and efficiency.