How to improve gas mileage

Some people might not know, but proper tire and vehicle maintenance plays a big role in achieving optimal gas mileage. A vehicle can burn more fuel if you don’t regularly maintain your vehicle and tires. If you want to learn a few ways to save gas, you’ve come to the right place.

Check your tire inflation pressure

Underinflated tires burn more fuel, plain and simple. If your tires are underinflated by 8 psi, their rolling resistance will increase by 5%. Here are a few more facts about tires and fuel consumption:

  • According to the U.S. Department of energy, 1.25 billion gallons of gas are wasted annually on underinflated tires.
  • Tires can lose about 2 pounds per square inch (psi) per month.

Follow the tire inflation pressure guidelines in your vehicle owner’s manual or the placard on the driver’s side door jamb to help minimize your fuel consumption. While tire inflation pressure has a lot to do with gas mileage, there’s more you can do to get the most out of your tank. Here’s a list:

  • Have your engine serviced regularly as directed in your vehicle owners manual.
  • Lighten the load when possible, taking only what you need on each drive. Carrying less weight on the road can lower fuel consumption and emissions.
  • Use the manufacturer recommended motor oil and change your oil as directed in your vehicles owners manual.
  • Keep it steady on the road. Driving at erratic and high speeds wastes fuel and is dangerous.
  • Check your vehicle’s suspension and chassis for misalignment. Bent wheels, axles, worn shocks and brake springs can contribute to drivetrain drag.
  • Change your air filter. Follow the guidelines in your vehicle owner’s manual, and consider having it checked more regularly than recommended, if you drive in dusty conditions.
  • Drive smoothly, applying light throttle and avoiding heavy braking to reduce fuel consumption and wear/tear on your vehicle and your tires.
  • Combine errands into as few trips as possible. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer trip of the same distance.
  • Choose the right octane gas for your vehicle. You can find this information in your owner’s manual.
  • Avoid rough roads when possible. Dirt and gravel roads can rob you of fuel efficiency.