Hybrid Vehicles: If you are looking to buy a new vehicle, consider a hybrid vehicle, which uses alternate fuels to help power the vehicle. Hybrid vehicles may cost a little more, but the savings in fuel will easily cover the additional cost. Plus, you will be driving a “green” vehicle, which helps the environment. Today, a hybrid vehicle performs as well as any gas-powered vehicle, and better if the majority of your driving is in town.
Smaller Vehicle: If you are not ready to buy a hybrid vehicle, consider buying a smaller vehicle. Avoid buying a SUV or a van, as they are the most inefficient vehicles on the road. Their “boxy” shape is less aerodynamic and they are heavier, thereby using far more gas. Visit www.fueleconomy.gov to check out different vehicle gas-mileage ratings. Make sure to check what grade of fuel the new car will use. A car that uses 87 octane compared to one that uses 91 octane will save you at least 10% of your gas cost.
Tires: Tire pressures play an important role in fuel economy. Under-inflated tires significantly lower your mileage and can result in poor or dangerous handling of your vehicle. Using the wrong replacement tires can do the same thing. Check your owner’s manual for the manufacturers recommended specifications – tire make and model.
Less Weight: No, you don’t have to go on a diet, just clean out your trunk of all nonessential item. The extra weight uses more gas. Accessories, such as luggage and ski racks and light bars add weight and increase wind resistance. If you have one and you’re not using it, remove it! Trailers and car-top carriers will also reduce your gas mileage – they present a large, flat surface that causes increased wind resistance.
Preventative Maintenance: The best way to get the best mileage from your vehicle is to keep your vehicle well-maintained. An engine that is not regularly serviced will burn more gas. Preventive maintenance saves you money in the long run, by maintaining your car’s fuel economy. Don’t wait for your vehicle to break down, keep it regularly maintained and save money. It’s important to remember that simply getting regular oil changes is NOT properly maintaining your vehicle. You need to get proper maintenance service to check brakes, wheels, suspension, etc.