Want to Improve Your Gas Mileage? Change Your Driving Habits

Improve your gas mileage with these tips from British American Auto Care:

  1. Lower Speeds: Lowering your speed on the highway will save a lot of gas. Today’s cars are manufactured to be most fuel efficient when driven at 55 mph.  Drive at 70 mph, and you will be getting at least 5 percent less, miles-per-gallon, than if you drive at 55 mph.  High speeds use more fuel.
  2. “Light Right”: Control your right foot!  Gentle acceleration and gentle braking can save you up to 10 percent of your gas used. At today’s prices this converts to over 40 cents a gallon. Vehicles are most inefficient when accelerating quickly away from rest. So, take it slowly and save gas. Judge your stopping distance and slow down early when approaching red stop lights; if you don’t have to come to a stop, you will save gas and money.
  3. Air-Conditioner: Using the air conditioner does burn more gas. However, at highway speeds, you’re better off with the windows closed and the air conditioner running – open windows at high speeds produce a lot of drag.  At lower speeds (such as in city traffic), opening the windows will not significantly increase the vehicle’s drag. 
  4. Avoid Stop and Go: Use routes with less traffic and fewer stop signs/stoplights (idling is an inefficient use of gasoline).  Keep a safe following distance from cars in front of you – avoid hard and regular braking. Less frequent braking makes it easier to maintain a steady speed.
  5. Drive Less: This seems obvious, but there are many ways to drive less. Consolidate your errands so that you make longer trips with shorter wait times between stops (a warm engine uses fuel more efficiently).  Have you considered carpooling to work? Check with work colleagues that live near you, post a message on the notice board at work, or even in your local grocery store or library. You probably have a neighbor who also works close to your office that wants to save money too! How about talking to your boss and working four 10-hour days instead of 5 eight-hour days?  That alone will save you 20 percent of your commuting cost. If everyone in the country did that, just think how much money would be saved and how well it would impact the environment!

Read more car care tips from Vehicles for Change.