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The Need For Speed & The Rules of Fuel Economy

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Gas Fillup

You walk onto a car dealership lot. All of the cars are gleaming with hope for a new driver. They are a beacon of light and a source of excitement. You eagerly purchase one of the cars with its promised mileage, and continue on your merry way. Months or weeks down the road, you realize you aren’t getting the miles per gallon promised by the window sticker. You may be eager to blame the manufacturer. However, the problem may rest with you, the driver, and the way you are using your vehicle.

Slow Down

Did you know that speeding on highways impacts your fuel cost? By slowing down even by a smidgen, you can save more gas. Every five miles over 60 mph is comparable to the price of gasoline going up 24 cents a gallon, according the FTC. Additionally, traveling at accelerated speeds makes your car’s job harder. Air builds up in the front, with lower pressure around the back. This creates a suction that pulls you back the faster you drive. This process can reduce your fuel economy drastically over time.

Conscious Driving

Keep a calm demeanor while driving. Aggressive driving, such as rapidly accelerating and hard breaking, will increase your fuel consumption by as much as 40 percent. It’s been proven that quick acceleration and hard breaking reduces traveling time by four percent. The correct way to accelerate is to slowly and smoothly shift into a higher gear.

Proper PSI

Check your tires regularly for proper inflation. According to Car Talk, under-inflated tires can lower your mileage by .4 percent per pound of decreased pressure and become a safety hazard. By keeping your tires at their proper pressure, you can increase your mileage up to 3.3 percent. Check your tires once a month. When you start to notice your MPG dropping, check your tires, and make sure they are properly inflated. In addition, it’s not safe to over-inflate your tires, as this can cause poor handling and braking in inclement weather conditions. Tread is equally as important. If your tires are wearing down, check out a site like tirebuyer.com for great deals and savings.

Travel Lightly

Who knew that by cleaning out the junk in your car, you would be saving on gas? You will be surprised by how much it all adds up. Every item added to your car will decrease your mileage. Start by clearing out all the unused items stored away in the trunk. It’s easy to pass off, but it hurts your mileage over time. Did you know that as little as 100 pounds will reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent? Even that roof rack on the top of your car can be removed for an extra mileage boost. Loaded roof racks can reduce fuel economy by 5 percent, as the FTC reports. If you can, pack your belongings inside of your car on a trip instead of on the roof. This will also safeguard your belongings from damage or theft.

Tune-Ups

Keep your vehicle on a regular maintenance schedule. A car in poor condition will naturally use more gas than one that’s been kept in tune. By performing regular oil changes and tune-ups, and by keeping your air filters cleaned and replaced, you can improve your mileage greatly. When your engine’s air filter gets clogged with dust, bugs and dirt, it makes the engine work harder. This, in turn, makes your car become less fuel-efficient. As Michigan.gov highlights, replacing a clogged air filter can improve your gas mileage by 10 percent and save you up to 15 cents a gallon, so when you get your oil changed, have your air filter checked, as well.

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