Calculators, Tips, and More for Improving MPGs in Your Car
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UPDATED: Oct 1, 2020
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Gasoline—or gas— is traditionally defined as a type of refined petroleum that is used to power internal combustion engines. While gas may be used to power a number of products, it is most commonly associated with automobiles. Unfortunately, the cost of gas has risen dramatically over the past several years, making everyday travels within a vehicle quite costly. Though some individuals turn to the use of bicycles or public transportation in an attempt to reduce the costs associated with high-priced gasoline, others cannot manage without the use of their cars. Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which vehicles can be made more fuel efficient. Increasing the miles per gallon in a vehicle cannot only save money, but may also be an effective way decrease carbon emissions, which have been found to be quite detrimental to the environment. Individuals who are interested in learning more about improving fuel efficiency should first understand how the ways in which we drive can affect gasoline use. In addition, keeping one’s car in good shape and making smarter choices when it comes to planning vehicle use are other ways in which fuel efficiency can be increased. Finally, individuals who are interested in learning more about improving fuel efficiency may want to consider consultation with mechanical engineers or other experts in the field of motor vehicles.
Drive More Efficiently
Driving more efficiently is often considered to be of the utmost importance when it comes to improving fuel efficiency. Driving efficiently typically refers to avoiding aggressive driving trends, such as speeding, or rapid acceleration and braking, which can decrease fuel efficiency by as much as 33%. Speeding, for example, is especially detrimental when it comes to optimal fuel use—in fact, some research suggests that gas mileage decreases rapidly above speeds of 60 miles per hour. In addition, driving cars that are exceptionally heavy, idling for extended periods of time, and relying heavily on overdrive gears are also common ways in which fuel efficiency is decreased. While changing these behaviors can be challenging for some drivers, it is essential to ensuring optimal results when it comes to improving fuel efficiency in a car, truck, or SUV.
Keeping Your Car in Shape
Keeping one’s car in good working order is also important for individuals who hope to improve fuel efficiency. Research has shown that a car that is not well-maintained can experience as high as a 40% decrease in fuel efficiency rates. While there are a number of ways in which car owners can improve fuel efficiency through proper car maintenance, ensuring tires are kept at an appropriate pressure may be the simplest. Depending on the specific car, proper tire pressure may vary quite dramatically—however, all cars can experience significant decreases in performance and safety when pressure levels are below optimal levels. Using the right kind of motor oil is also important when attempting to improve fuel efficiency in a motor vehicle. For best results, car owners should use the specific type of oil recommended by the manufacturer of the vehicle. Failing to do this cannot only lead to serious damage to the car, truck, or SUV, but may also lower mileage rates of the vehicle by up to 1.5 percent.
Planning and Combining Trips
Finally, planning and combining trips in a car, truck, or SUV can significantly decrease the amount of fuel used while traveling—and subsequently, and lead to decreases in financial expenditure. Research has found that taking one long car trip instead of several short ones can dramatically decrease the amount of fuel used on a daily basis. In addition, commuting can be an effective way for a group of individuals who are all traveling to the same destination to lower fuel costs. Individuals who are especially fuel-conscious may choose to rely on forms of public transportation, such as city buses, subways, light rails, or other similar options. Finally, when traveling, car owners may be able to increase fuel efficiency by installing a roof rack on a smaller car for use in storing camping materials and other similar products. While the roof rack may provide some additional drag—thereby decreasing fuel efficiency slightly—these effects are likely to be significantly outweighed by differences in the weight and fuel efficiency of the smaller vehicle.
- Drive More Efficiently—Discusses ways that individuals can improve the efficiency of their vehicles to create a greener vehicle.
- Fuel Efficient Driving—Describes different ways in which drivers can drive more efficiently, on both city and highway roads.
- Bloom: Fuel-Efficient Driving—Discusses the habits that are used by individuals considered to be highly fuel efficient.
- What You Can Do—Explains how maintaining the quality of a vehicle can be an effective way to promote good fuel efficiency.
- Money Saving Gas Tips—Introduction to the different ways in which performing basic car upkeep can promote good fuel efficiency.
- Driving and Maintaining Your Vehicle—Recommendations for people interested in increasing fuel efficiency through vehicle maintenance.
- Tips for Improving Fuel Economy—Discusses how car maintenance can be an effective way to ensure optimal fuel efficiency in a vehicle.
- Fuel Efficiency: Top Tips to Save Gas and Money—Suggestions for vehicle maintenance and driving techniques to improve fuel efficiency.
- Planning and Combing Trips—Introduction to the concept of combining trips to ensure optimal fuel efficiency.
- Fuel Efficiency Factsheet—Tips and facts for individuals looking to increase the fuel efficiency of their cars, trucks, SUVs, or other motorized vehicles.
- 20 Tips for Improving Fuel Economy—Describes creative ways to improve fuel economy in a vehicle.
- How Will New Fuel Efficiency Rules Affect Consumers?—Discusses ways in which citizens may be affected by new rules regarding fuel efficiency.