Ways to Improve Your Fuel Economy

Updated: March 21, 2011

With the prices of fuel hitting such high prices, every car owner need to be cautious. Here are ways to help you cut down on fuel usage.


Make sure your tire pressure is always optimal based on your owners manual requirements. Proper tire inflation may improve your fuel economy by 3%. Purchase a tire pressure gauge (roughly $6 at your local auto parts store). Tire pressure can change 1 lb. every 10 degrees change in ambient temperature. So check your tire pressure often. Uneven tires will create more work for the lower pressure tires and in-turn, you press the accelerator more frequently. Even tire pressure will lower your rolling resistance, which I will discuss next.


Consider investing in some new LRR (low rolling resistance) tires. Rolling Resistance accounts for 4 percent of a vehicle’s fuel use in the city and about 7 percent on the highway, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Please keep in mind to select tires which will also accomodate for your style of driving, handling, dry, wet, cold or warm conditions, etc. DO NOT solely select the tire with the lowest rolling resistance as it may not be suitable for you or your vehicle.


Your driving mode is one of the most important things contributing to your reduced gas mileage. Constant acceleration and pressing of the brakes wastes gas. This can lower your fuel economy by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city. So drive smart, safe and avoid the road rage. It’s just better for everyone.


I know sometimes it may be close to impossible to maintain the speed limit, but believe it or not, when these speed limits were put in place, they were intended to save lives as well as fuel economy.

Fuel economy typically decreases past 60 mph. A good rule of thumb is every 5 mph over 60, add $0.25 per gallon of gas.


A common misconception of when you are trying to reduce the number of trips to the pump, is to open your windows and stay away from your A/C. There is a threshold of how valid this is.

If you are driving on the highway, opening your windows may be less efficient due to increase in drag (wind resistance) than turning on your A/C. If you are driving in a city, I would suggest to crack the window and turn off the A/C since your top speed is so limited, wind resistance may be negligible.

The quantification of this has yet to be studied as there are many factors which can play a role in the changes of efficiency.


Get rid of any unnecessary weight in your vehicle. A good rule is every 100 lbs. of weight in your vehicle wil reduce your fuel economy by roughly 2 percent. The weight is relative to the weight of the vehicle as well. The percentage increases as the vehicle weight decreases.


If it is not a must to drive, then avoid it. Take public transportation, carpool, bike or walk if the weather permits. Put your heart and soul into the decision of driving before you make your trip.

Safe travels and stay tuned for more tips!

Article source: http://www.carbuyingmojo.com/2011_03_01_archive.html

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