With gas prices currently at all-time highs, gas consumption is a primary concern among drivers. The average household annual transportation costs are nearly as much as what’s spent on rent or mortgage payments. Let’s go over several efficient auto driving habits and maintenance tips that can increase your vehicle’s gas mileage and help save you money.
One of the most effective ways to increase fuel efficiency is by making adjustments to your driving habits. Here are some main factors to consider:
Ease Up on Accelerating
Gas mileage is heavily influenced by how your vehicle is accelerated. The key is smooth acceleration by gently pressing the throttle pedal down while keeping the RPMs below 2000 before shifting. Stomping on the throttle pedal will spike the RPMs and reduce gas efficiency.
Once you’re up to speed, the focus should be to drive as smoothly as possible. Keep your eyes peeled on the road ahead so you can anticipate any upcoming hazards and avoid sudden braking or rushed acceleration. When approaching a red light, ease off the accelerator early and let the vehicle slowly coast to a stop; there should be no rush to wait at a red light. Additionally, avoid tailgating as it can easily lead to sudden stops or acceleration, and is both dangerous and illegal.
Stay in the Sweet Spot
Another approach to increase auto efficiency is by driving between 55-60mph whenever it is possible and safe. This speed range has been found to be the sweet spot for the best gas mileage and is conveniently also the speed limit of most highways.
Vehicle maintenance plays a significant role in preserving an efficient auto. Here are several different elements that can impact your gas mileage:
Keeping your tires at the correct tire pressure helps decrease gas consumption and keeps your tires healthy. Under-inflated tires have more surface area in contact with the road, which creates drag on the wheels and tires and can increase gas consumption by 4% while shortening the life of the tires. Find out what the correct tire pressure is for your specific vehicle (this can be found in your owner’s manual or online) and check monthly to confirm your tires are maintaining optimal pressure.
Ensuring that your spark plugs are healthy and being replaced according to your vehicle’s maintenance guidelines is a major, but often overlooked, factor when it comes to efficient auto gas mileage. The job of a spark plug is to provide the spark necessary to ignite gasoline in the combustion chamber of your engine. This allows the engine to start and then operate at optimal efficiency levels. It was recently discovered by The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence that old and bad spark plugs can decrease a vehicle’s fuel mileage by as much as 30%.
Weight & Aero
Don’t use your vehicle as a storage unit, as any extra weight added to a vehicle is going to negatively affect gas mileage. Anything that is considered unnecessary should be removed from your vehicle.
Additionally, modifications done to the exterior of the vehicle can also hamper auto efficiency by creating drag or adding weight with no benefits. Examples of this include tires that are too wide or too thin, or aero modifications that create drag – such as rear spoilers.
Additional Pro Tips
- Know the right time to use your A/C or roll your windows down. Above 50mph, keeping your windows rolled down can hurt your gas efficiency worse than using the A/C, due to the drag it creates. However, using your A/C in bumper-to-bumper traffic will use far more gas than rolling your windows down, since the air conditioner uses your engine and gas to operate and generate cold air.
- Use cruise control on flat roads whenever it’s safe and possible. Cruising at a constant speed without large RPM fluctuations Is key to efficient auto driving.
- Plan your trips ahead and combine journeys. Instead of making multiple trips to accomplish different tasks, try to combine them whenever possible for better auto efficiency. Additionally, plan your route ahead so you can center your trip around fuel efficient roads, such as highways with a 60mph speed limit and less stop signs and traffic signals.
Not only does practicing gas efficient auto driving habits and vehicle maintenance save you money at the pump, but it also reduces wear and tear on your vehicle. Not to mention, fuel efficient driving habits such as accelerating and decelerating smooth and early, driving the speed limit, and not tailgating keeps you safe on the road with other drivers. The average driver in America would save $1000 annually with just a 10% decrease in gas consumption by integrating these efficient auto driving habits and vehicle maintenance.
EloGPS with CarRx can easily track all the maintenance done to your vehicle, so you know exactly when a part like spark plugs are ready to be replaced, keeping your gas efficiency at an optimal level. Plus, you can schedule your service appointments directly from your phone. Contact our expert group of specialists today to get started.