improve used car gas mileage

Tips for Improving Gas Mileage For Your Used Car

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If there are three constants in life, they are death, taxes, and the fact that it seems to be impossible to find consistently low-priced gas.

While gas prices aren’t at the record highs of 2012 they are trending up from the lows we saw in 2016 into a steady, wallet-destroying climb. The bad news is, there isn’t much we can do about fluctuating oil prices.

The good news is that we can give you some solid tips on how you can get the most mileage from your used car on each fill-up.

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Avoid Having a Lead Foot

Going a little faster to get where you are going in the quickest possible time seems like a solid gas saving tip, but it doesn’t quite work like that.

The faster you go, the more you car experiences drag, or air resistance, the force acting opposite to the forward motion your engine produces. Because drag is relative to your speed, the faster you go, the more drag you experience and the more gas you have to burn to maintain that speed.

Quick acceleration comes with all the same problems. If you’ve got the pedal to the metal as soon as the lights turn green, you’ll be using more gas than someone who pulls away in a controlled manner.

Traveling 5 miles an hour faster over the course of an hour-long drive will only get you where you are going 5 minutes faster and will use around 10% additional fuel. Those 5 minutes could also easily be lost in traffic or at traffic lights.

On the other hand, the RAC suggests that you can save up to 25% on your fuel bills by reducing your speed by just 12mph when you are on the freeway.

Try to Cut Down on Drag

Since we’re talking about air resistance, you can save a fair amount on your fuel bill by making your car as aerodynamic as possible.

We don’t mean you need to add a front and rear spoiler to your minivan, we just mean that items like rooftop rocks, boxes, bike racks, etc, should be taken off as soon as they are not in use.

We know its a pain unbolting accessories only to have to bolt them back on a few weeks later, but that unused rooftop box is costing you extra at the pumps every time you fill-up.

Use the Recommended Fuel Type

Common sense says that using premium gas is probably best for your car, but that isn’t always the case. A lot of car manufacturers don’t build and test their cars on the assumption that their customers are going to purchasing premium fuel, especially for non-sports cars.

You car’s manual should have a recommended octane level for fuel, as long as the fuel you are putting into that car is within that suggested octane level, your car should run fine without you paying any extra at the pump.

Keep Your Tires Pumped

Under or over-inflated tires can have a surprisingly large effect on both the amount of fuel you use and the handling of your car.

Under-inflated tires mean your car experiences a higher rolling resistance, which in turn makes your engine work harder, burning more fuel as it tries to get you up to speed.

The good news is there there are plenty of Bluetooth enable gadgets out there that will alert your phone as soon as your tire pressure drops below the recommended amount and air is free at most gas stations.

Turn Your Engine Off

When stationary for more than a few minutes, just turn your engine off. Idling can consume up to half a gallon of fuel an hour or more, depending on the size of your engine.

There was a time when cars engines were inefficient enough that starting and stopping them used up as much fuel as keeping them running.

However, that time is well in the rearview mirror, and modern cars are efficient enough that just turning off you engine when you are at a standstill and turning it back on when you need to pull away will save you fuel.

Keep it in High Gear

The most fuel-efficient way to drive a manual car is to keep to the highest possible gear for your average speed. Driving at high speeds in a low gear can, in fact, increase your fuel consumption by as much as 45%, depending on the size of your engine.

Drive Carefully

Good car maintenance, the proper fuel and driving in a careful and controlled manner won’t just keep you safer out on the roads, they can also help to keep you bank balance healthier. By implementing our easy to follow tips, you can shake that impending sense of fiscal dread every time you pull up to fill up.

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