Spending less on fuel is something that we all need. An average US family spends about $2,000 per year on fuel and motor oil. It turns out there are quite a few simple tricks, apart from driving less, that will help you save money on fuel and improve your car mileage.
Here at Bright Side we’ve collected a few useful tricks that will help you improve your fuel economy.
1. Monitor tire pressure and alignment.
Underinflated tires wear down fast and cause high fuel consumption. Properly inflated tires, on the contrary, reduce friction and improve fuel economy. Remember, however, that temperature changes (especially between seasons) may cause tire pressure to change as well. So be sure you monitor it regularly.
You may also want to check your tire alignment. Improperly aligned tires cause drag, which reduces fuel efficiency by 10-31% per gallon.
2. Accelerate and break smoothly.
Strange as it may seem, steady and smooth driving can help you save up to 20% of fuel. Try to avoid quick acceleration from the stop light and fast breaking. Experts advise you to imagine you have an egg under your foot when accelerating, to maintain light and steady pressure.
3. Avoid idling for long periods of time.
Idling for a long time wastes the fuel that could be saved by shutting off the engine. When you are at a railroad crossing or if you pull off the road to make a call, turn off the engine. Restarting needs about the same amount of fuel as 30 seconds of idling, so it makes sense to shut off the engine when your stop lasts longer. Remember, however, that turning off the engine can disable some crucial security functions of your car (including airbags), so be careful.
4. Don’t buy premium fuel if your car doesn’t require it.
Many drivers believe that higher-octane fuel guarantees better fuel economy and performance in general, but that’s not exactly true. In fact, octane is not directly connected to performance, it only tells us how much the fuel can be compressed before it spontaneously ignites. Experts are sure it doesn’t make sense to spend more on premium fuel if your car manufacturer doesn’t specify it in the manual.
5. Keep the trunk empty.
Extra weight you carry in the trunk increases the drag and consequently, the amount of fuel you spend. According to experts, an additional 100 pounds in your car can reduce fuel mileage by up to 2%. What’s more, is fuel mileage of smaller cars is more affected by extra weight in the trunk compared to larger cars. Check the trunk and get rid of all the items that add unnecessary weight.
6. Improve your car aerodynamics.
Wind drag is one of the main causes for increased fuel consumption. To reduce the drag, keep your windows closed. An open window at high speed will drastically increase the drag, which may result in a 10% decrease in fuel economy. You might also want to get rid of the roof rack to improve your car aerodynamics.
7. Park in the shade.
When you park in the shade, you keep the air inside your car cool enough to not use air conditioning. This alone will save fuel, as air conditioning increases fuel consumption. What is more, all liquids evaporate in the heat, and the fuel in the tank of your car is not an exception.
8. Replace the spark plugs.
Bad spark plugs can decrease the fuel economy by up to 30%. If you car’s fuel efficiency suddenly drops, you might want to think about replacing the spark plugs. If you are not confident enough to replace the spark plugs yourself, consult your mechanic for help. If you feel like trying to do it on your own, see this detailed guide that will tell you when it’s time to change the spark plugs and how to do it.
9. Buy fuel early in the morning.
During hot seasons, fuel is cooler and denser in the early morning. As the temperature rises during the day, the fuel expands, its density decreases, and you get less of it for the money you pay.
10. Don’t wait until your tank is empty to fill it.
If your fuel tank is almost empty, there’s a chance you’ll end up buying expensive fuel at the nearest gas station, with no opportunity to choose a better option.
Do you feel like trying any of these hacks? Can you think of any other tricks that help you spend less on fuel? Feel free to share your ideas with other readers in the comments!
Preview photo credit itravelround / Instagram