First things first! Buy a smaller car, one that will get you 30 miles to the gallon or more. Better yet, buy a hybrid vehicle so that you only use gasoline at certain times. That’s the basic way to get rid of poor gas mileage. Trucks with larger engines, sport-utility vehicles and sports/leisure cars designed for speed and style will generally have lower mileage ratings. Avoid these if gas mileage is your number one priority.

If purchasing a new vehicle isn’t a realistic option for you there may be some ways to improve gas mileage with your current vehicle. The first thing you can do to improve mileage with your current vehicle is drive more efficiently. Change your driving habits in ways that will keep you from using so much gasoline. Most cars have a speed range at which they operate most efficiently. Find out what that is and drive at that speed when on the highway.

Maintenance, Patience
Make sure the required/necessary maintenance is taken care of on your vehicle. If you perform routine oil changes, lubrication and change parts that wear out you should be able to increase your mileage a bit, or at least maintain a consistent, comfortable mileage figure. Routine/required maintenance includes oil changes and lubrication, of course.

CarBut you should always maintain proper tire pressure so the car rolls with as little friction as possible. Keep the car’s air filter clean and replace the old filter often. The engine must mix air and fuel properly to operating efficiently. Make sure the air intake path is clear so the engine can work as it should.

If a family member or friend has commented on your “lead foot” it may be time to take a close look at your driving habits. If you are one of those drivers that hits the gas pedal hard when taking off from a stop sign and keeps the pedal down until it’s time to “stomp” on the brakes, you are probably using more gasoline than you need to.

Driving long distance with the cruise control is a great way to conserve gasoline. Steady speeds in the “comfort” range for your engine will help you use less gasoline. Coast when you can, though this may only be an option when you are on the open road and are on a long, downhill stretch in light traffic. You might find an opportunity to coast or let the engine idle when in heavy urban traffic. This might help as well.

Outside Help
Several companies make additive products that are designed to improve gas mileage. Higher-octane fuels might help with certain vehicles. Talk with a knowledgeable mechanic about additives that might help you. If you are using your car’s air conditioner on days that are just a bit warm but not really uncomfortable, try doing without air conditioning on a few of those days. This could improve your gas mileage slightly. Keep in mind that there are a number of small things a car owner/driver can do to improve gas mileage.


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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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