Tips to help increase your fuel mileage.
1. Weight reduction. Carrying unnecessary weight in your car will increase fuel consumption, so it’s time to loose the junk in the trunk. Don’t use your trunk as a storage locker. Only Carrie the minimal items like a jack and spare tire. Leave the bowling ball collection at home.
2. Reduce aerodynamic drag. Have an unused roof rack or bike rack on your car? Time to toss it in the garage, wail your at it clean and wax your car, that will help it slip through the air better. Is you car missing it’s front air dam? Many cars have these below the front bumper to help direct air flow into the radiator and keep it out from under the car where it can cause more drag on the uneven surfaces found there. Many times they are damaged of missing from hitting road obstacles. Repair or replace as needed. Flying the flag of your favorite team may seem like a great idea to show your support, but not so much for your fuel mileage. Turn on your AC in hot weather. This my seem counter productive to good fuel mileage, but studies have shown the reduced drag with your windows up at higher speeds will decrease fuel consumption.
3. One of the easiest things you can do is keep your tires inflated to the proper manufactures recommended pressure. Low tire pressure increases the rolling resistance of your tires, causes excessive heat build up and also can lead to tire failure. More is not better, do not exceed the recommended pressures thinking this will help. This will cause poor handling and accelerated tire wear.
4. Maintenance. Proper maintenance of your engine, brakes and suspension will keep your car in top condition for a long life and top fuel economy. For instance a sticking brake caliper that does not completely release will greatly increase fuel consumption as well as causing a safety issue. A car that is not properly aligned can cause more rolling resistance. Improper oil viscosity can cause high internal mechanical engine resistance. Make sure you are using the correct type and grade for your car. Check the owner’s manual for what your engine requires. Many think a dirty air filter will cause poor fuel mileage. On todays computer controlled engines this is not the case. The fuel system simply adjusts fuel trim to compensate for the dirty filter. It will however reduce the power you will get from the engine, so keep it clean for top performance.
5. Driving habits. If you are the type of person that floors it as soon as the light changes and normally does 80 mph on the highway, slow it down and take it easy. This will go a long way in increasing your mileage as well as reducing wear on your car. It may even save you a few bucks on tickets too!
6. Don’t warm it up in cold weather. Todays cars can be started a driven without any warm up. Remember to take it easy until the engine reaches proper operating temp. Also avoid idling the engine if you can. Park and go inside to get that Big Mac. Waiting in line at drive up windows for fast food and banks may be convenient for you, but is a huge waste of fuel. We all can use the exercise too!