The best way to increase your miles per gallon in your vehicle is to keep it healthy. Don't neglect oil changes, coolant flushes, and other vital services. Also, if something isn't functioning mechanically on your car, either fix it yourself or take it to a reputable mechanic.
Putting off routine maintenance will certainly cost you more down the road. Many modern cars have features that remind you when services are due. A clean engine with a functional transmission will go a long way in making your vehicle more fuel efficient.
The added weight makes your engine work harder, thus increasing your fuel consumption. Trucks and SUVs are notorious for carrying around extra unnecessary items. Only keep the bare essentials in your vehicle, anything else just adds to the clutter and increases fuel consumption.
Here is a list of items you definitely should NOT remove from your trunk.
Anything outside of this list might just be weighing your vehicle down.
Your vehicle likely came with a paper air filter and a long, curvy, restrictive air intake. The air intake on your car is responsible for bringing in air from the outside into your engine. This air is mixed with fuel inside your engine to keep your car moving.
A cold air intake comes equipped with a much higher quality air filter. The filter is much more porous allowing more air to flow. In addition, the intake tubing will have fewer bends, allowing the air a straight shot to your engine, with minimal delay.
The name "cold air intake" is a misnomer. The air coming into your engine will not actually be cold. Heat shields surrounding the air filter on the cold air intake will ensure the air is cooler than the surrounding temperatures under the hood.
Cooler air contains more oxygen than warmer air. The introduction of more oxygen to your engine will increase your vehicle's performance and reduce gas consumption. Now, your vehicle will likely be much louder when you swap your stock intake out. Your stock intake has silencers which are not present in most cold air intakes.
Proper maintenance and upgraded intake systems will only help you reduce fuel consumption if you engage in better driving habits. Try not to stomp your accelerator into the ground as much. If you are heading to a red light, coast there instead of flooring it.
Also, there is little reason to slam on the gas when going downhill. Gravity is already doing most of the work for you. Accelerating fast when going downhill is dangerous for you and other motorists!
In addition, after you come to a complete stop and are about to resume driving, accelerate gradually to your desired speed. Stop and go driving, aka city driving, is already very hard on your engine. Incrementally building up speed until you have hit your cruising speed helps reduce engine wear while reducing fuel consumption.
Miles per gallon estimates for vehicles are normally presented with two numbers. One for city driving and one for highway driving. Highway MPG numbers are normally substantially higher than it' city.
This is due to your vehicle requiring less energy and gas to maintain the speeds you travel on the highway. Constantly having to move from a complete stop to cruising speed requires your car to expound an enormous amount of energy. To make matters worse, you will find yourself idling a lot more in the city than you do on the highway.
At idle, your car gets 0 miles per gallon. You will be burning gas still, but not going anywhere. Even if your local highway charges a toll, the cost savings you get from the increased MPG will likely offset the toll fees.
In hot climates, cutting off your air conditioner during the day is nigh impossible. However, you may be able to do so at night. When you run your AC, your vehicle has to work harder.
Your vehicle has an AC compressor that is powered by your engine. It is responsible for using freon to cool the air being pumped through your air vents in the cabin.
To keep your car cool, your engine has to power your compressor enough to run a constant stream of freon. It has to do this while engaging in other crucial functions like pumping oil, moving fuel, etc. The less work your vehicle has to do, the more gas you will save.
When you are driving at high speeds, your vehicle will experience a great deal of wind resistance. Having to propel a 3 or 4 thousand point machine at 70mph requires a tremendous amount of energy. Having your windows down allows a lot of air to come into the cabin.
This makes your vehicle much less aerodynamic and will result in a decrease in MPG. It also makes it harder to hear what's going on around you, which is a safety hazard.
Under inflated tires make your engine work harder, which kills your MPG. Without proper grip on the road, your vehicle will not accelerate or stop efficiently. This leads to pre-mature wear and increases the likelihood of a blowout.
A lot of vehicles come equipped with tire pressure warning systems that alert you of under inflation. Do not ignore these! If your vehicle does not have one, an inexpensive tire guage can be purchased from most auto parts stores or Amazon.
To determine the proper amount of tire pressure your vehicle needs consult your owner's manual or look on the sidewall of your tires.
You don't have to spend a ton of money to increase the MPG on your vehicle. Keep these tips and tricks in mind, and you'll be well on your way to reducing the number of trips you take to the gas station.
Posted by: Matt Irving on 03/13/2022
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