Saving on gas has probably never been more necessary than it is today. Amid global economic shake-ups that have included rising gas prices, motorists are looking for ways to keep their consumption to a minimum.
It's not always easy, especially if you believe you're doing everything you can to maximize each liter of gas. That said, there are both familiar and lesser-known ways to save on gas. Whether you drive a frugal subcompact sedan like the Kia Soluto or a diesel-powered mid-size SUV like the Nissan Terra, the following tips can help you save on gas. So, let's explore some of the ways you can squeeze out more bang for your buck.
Take care of your tires
Maintaining your car's tires may seem like a no-brainer, but doing so goes a long way toward keeping your gas costs down. Start by making sure you're not driving worn-out tires. Rubber with overly worn treads can wreak havoc on your car's mileage, so look to pick up a brand new set if needed. Do keep in mind that new tires can decrease fuel efficiency until they wear in.
If your tires are still in relatively good condition, you can check their alignment and rotation. Even one tire that's off-kilter could end up costing you money in the long run. Also, check your tire pressure regularly and adjust the levels accordingly. Keep the pressure around the PSI recommended in your owner's manual, or consult with other owners to find out what works best for them.
Check your driving habits
Good driving habits don't just keep you safe on the road, but they can also help you maximize your vehicle's gas consumption. Practice accelerating and braking slowly, as aggressive pedal use tends to consume more fuel. This is particularly crucial in traffic situations where you stop and start constantly. Heavy traffic is one of the enemies of fuel efficiency, so it's best to avoid it whenever you can.
On the contrary, most people see improved fuel economy when driving on the highway. That's obvious, but you can get your figures up further by enabling cruise control during long stretches. That's because keeping your car at a constant speed can improve mileage significantly.
If your car has adaptive cruise control, it will accelerate and decelerate according to set parameters. As it typically follows the vehicle in front, your vehicle will start and stop moving in line with it. This may not be the best for mileage, so make your best judgment for every situation. What's most important is you drive moderately whenever possible.
Sort out the little things
The little things add up. It's true for many things, including gas mileage. For example, weight plays a considerable role in fuel consumption, so keeping it as low as possible can increase efficiency.
So, check your vehicle for unnecessary weight. Is there stuff inside that you can do without? Is the trunk as empty as it can be? Or maybe you have heavy cargo sitting on the roof? Check them all and take out what you can. Remember, on average, every 4.5 kilograms of added weight can decrease a vehicle's fuel efficiency by one to two percent.
Apart from weight, you can try several other small activities to reduce gas consumption. These include replacing old spark plugs, installing a new air filter, and avoiding open parking spaces (to reduce gas evaporation).