Want to get better gas mileage? By using some easy to implement, common sense techniques, most drivers can save 10% on their monthly fuel cost with almost no effort. Assuming the average driver drives 1,200 miles per month, with gas at $3.00 per gallon and a car that averages 20 mpg, that is a monthly gas bill of $180. That comes out to $18 a month. Doesn't sound like a big deal but as you will see it will take minimal effort to get better gas mileage.
- Tires properly inflated - For every 3 pounds lower your tire pressure is under the recommended level for your vehicle you will lose approximately 1% off of your overall gas mileage. Many newer vehicles come with your tire pressure displayed on your dashboard screen. If not, make it a point to check your tire pressure every month.
- Air Filter - A dirty air filter can be responsible for up to a 10% reduction in gas mileage. Have your air filter checked each time your oil is changed.
- Spark Plugs and Tune Up - The good old fashioned tune up and spark plug change. Not talked about as much nowadays because today's modern spark plugs last so much longer but an out of tune engine and worn out spark plugs can easily cost you 5-10% in fuel economy.
- Purchase Gas Wisely - Let's just start with the premise that the quality of gas at all gas stations is equal. Maybe it is and maybe it isn't and if you find a station that you think sells low quality fuel, don't go there anymore. So find a couple of stations which consistently have the lowest prices and plan to purchase as much of your gas at these gas stations. ARCO, Sam's Club, Costco and Safeway in California consistently have the lowest prices. Proper planning can all but eliminate those emergency fill ups at stations that are priced at 20-30 cents higher than you should be paying.
- Lighten your Load - For every 300 extra pounds you are carrying, you will lose about 1 mile per gallon.
- Make sure your gas cap is secured tightly after each fill up.
- Cruise Control - Use it as much as possible
- Take it Easy - When done consistently smooth acceleration and taking advantage of opportunities to "coast" can result in fuel cost savings of 5% or more depending on your type of vehicle.
- Don't Drive as Much - A few less trips a month or consolidated and combining certain trips can make a decent impact each month.
- Idle Time - If you are going to idle for more than 60 seconds, turn your vehicle off. No, I'm not suggesting turning off your engine at stoplights but at other times, possibly when sitting and chatting with someone, etc.
As you can see, these are easy to implement items that can be done with very little effort. Implementing only one or two items in some cases will get you to the 10% fuel savings per month.