What You Should Know About Your Gas Mileage

So it's no surprise that people are always looking for ways to increase their fuel economy. Filling up your tank can be one of the most expensive parts of maintaining your vehicle, so you'll want to make sure you're doing everything you can to stretch your money and your gas as far as it will go.

There are things that affect gas mileage even more than driving. Air conditioning and heating systems can significantly affect gas mileage during the summer and winter months. Aerodynamics, the weight of the car, and the type of terrain can also decrease your gas mileage in ways you might not have expected. Read on to find out how the little things can affect your gas mileage, and how Mavis Tires and Brakes can help you increase your fuel efficiency.

LC Image - What to know about your gas mileage?
1. Drive efficiently

Driving at slower speeds, without fast stops or quick accelerations, will save you money on gas. Simply driving at 55 mph rather than 65 mph will greatly improve your fuel economy. Additionally, if you take a quick trip to the grocery store, come home, unload your car, and then take another trip to run additional errands, you're wasting gas. Try to run all of your errands in one round trip to maximize fuel efficiency.

2. Rolling the windows down.

Keeping the windows rolled down can reduce fuel efficiency, especially traveling at high speeds. Wind noise and drag can create resistance, and high speeds cause a car to use more energy.

The best speed for optimum fuel efficiency ranges from 40 to 55 miles per hour. Fuel economy starts to decline once you reach or travel faster than 60 miles per hour.

3. Excess weight.

Any excess weight, particularly heavy items, can weigh your car down and decrease gas mileage. Make sure to clean any unnecessary items out of your trunk and backseat to maximize your car's fuel economy. However, it's always a good idea to keep a spare tire in the trunk. And if you have a ski or luggage rack that isn’t being used, consider removing it to save on fuel.

4. Idling your car wastes gas

During frigid winter months, many people like to turn up the heat for a few minutes before making their morning commute. Idling your car in almost any instance will waste gas, but running the heat at the same time will cause your gas gauge to fall at a more dramatic rate. Put on a coat or extra layer on those cold winter mornings and turn up the heat after you've started driving.

5. Driving on hills, mountains, or uneven terrain.

If you're an avid adventurer or if you live out in the country, hills and dirt roads are steadily eating away at your gas mileage. They cause resistance, which will require the car to use more gasoline. On your next adventure, try parking at the bottom of the mountain and make your way on foot if you're concerned about gas mileage.

6. Traffic Jams

Being stuck in traffic takes a toll on your engine and your fuel economy. Constant braking and slow acceleration can drain your tank quicker than usual. Try taking a less populated route to and from work to avoid traffic congestion.

7. Check tire pressure and alignment

Regularly check your tire pressure - for many reasons - however, when you ensure you are driving on properly inflated tires, it helps the car's fuel economy as does a proper wheel alignment.

8. Change your air filter and oil

After a while, the air filter will become clogged with debris, which leads to your engine using more fuel to keep it running smoothly to compensate for the lack of air it's getting. Make sure to change the filter at least once a year for better fuel economy. Checking your oil regularly and performing routine oil changes can also save you money at the pump. 

How can Mavis Tires and Brakes help?

The experts at Mavis can assess your vehicle and make any necessary repairs and recommendations to help you increase your fuel economy. The Mavis team will also take into account your driving habits, how you like to travel in terms of being an assertive driver or one who tends to take it easier. They can suggest ways to adjust your driving habits, and in turn, save money. Visit your local Mavis to learn more.