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Fuel Mileage Tips - How to Gain Better Fuel Mileage
Save money on gas with these tips.


 These helpful hints are not in any particular order, and any one or all can help you attain better fuel mileage and longer life for you vehicle. It doesn't matter if you drive a high performance sports car, a family sedan, a pick-up truck, SUV, or anything else, whether it is powered by a gasoline or diesel engine. With the prices of fuel these days at such a high rate, it is important to know these simple things that you can do to increase your fuel mileage by a noticeable amount. Not only that but you will probably experience more power, and increased performance, besides extending the life of your vehicle. I'm posting tips to get the most for your money when driving.

1) Buy your fuel in the early morning hours. Fuel is more condensed when cold and you'll actually get more for your money. Stations have actually attempted to put inline heaters on the pumps but they do little or nothing in the early morning hours. These heaters also have the reverse affect whereas in warmer times of the day they actually expand the fuel and you get "legally" ripped off at the pumps. An important note: DO NOT TOP YOUR TANK TO THE BRIM!!! Doing so sends excess fuel to the expansion canister in most cars, it floods the canister and actually defeats the expansion factor and creates poor fuel mileage.

2) There are thousands of fuel additives available from under $1.00 to $30+ Use these sparingly and without endorsing any particular brand, I myself use and have used the .99 STP gas treatment for years. You only need to use it 3 - 4 times a year. I usually add prior to an oil change so my ride has a fresh start. Fuel additives will clean everything from the tank forward and keep all fuel related parts clean & functioning without "gumming" up. This keeps fuel & repair costs down. Keep in mind more is NOT better. You'll only be wasting your money & add more to your driving costs. You can also expect to beat manufactures posted gas mileage ratings.

3) Avoid buying fuel when the "larg
e tanker" is present. When he's filling their tanks, he's stirring up the years of dirt, condensation & sludge in the bottoms of the stations' tanks and guess where that goes? In your tank!

4) Avoid the cheapest & independent stations - they buy their fuel from "supplier of the week". Cheap fuel usually translates to old, watered down or below average fuel.

5) Make sure that the air filter in your vehicle is clean and replaced when used, an engine that can breath better will run more efficiently. That also goes for the fuel filter, spark plugs, and other related tune-up components. ie: distributor cap and rotor, PCV valve, sensors, spark plug wires, breather element, ect.

6) Make sure that the tires on your vehicle are inflated to the proper level as marked on the tires sidewall. Not enough air in your tires will create more drag on your vehicle and make it work harder to propel your car, hence using more fuel. Not only that, but you will be wearing the tires out prematurely. Over inflating the tires is not good either. Tire pressure, one of the most overlooked thoughts of 99% of car owners. It takes less time to check air pressure than it does to brush your teeth!

7) Excessive stuff in your vehicle (especially in the truck) will lessen your fuel mileage, because the car will have to work harder to carry the extra weight, believe it or not some people carry 100+ pounds of 'junk, or extra stuff' in their vehicles that is really not necessary to have all the time.

8) Make sure that your cars suspension is in good working condition. Like the brakes, if they were hanging or binding, they could be holding back the engine, worn suspension parts like tie-rods, ball-joints, shocks or struts, constant velocity joints, drive shaft(s) can all cause conditions that can be related to lower fuel mileage.

9) High octane gasoline doesn't necessarily mean better fuel economy. As a matter a fact most vehicles now-a-days recommend using regular grade gas. Most vehicles list in their manuals the octane requirements. Although a lot of high performance "Fast Cool Cars" do require high octane fuel for better performance.

10) Slamming on the gas or brake pedals wastes fuel. If you are planning a trip wherever it be, try to plan on going the most direct route, and avoid congested areas that require lots of stopping and starting. Using your cruise control if equipped, will keep your car at a steady speed, cruise control helps save gas.

11) Speeding - Driving at 55 MPH will generate better gas mileage by 17% as compared to driving 70 MPH, even at 65 MPH you'll still use 10% more.

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12) Air Conditioning - If you have to park your car in the hot sun, then when you first get in, roll down the windows to let a lot of the hot air escape, wait a minute or two until you are driving down the road before turning on the AC. The average air conditioning unit in a vehicle is about 10,000 BTU's, and uses approximately 35 horsepower to run it. That 35 horsepower cost you in average fuel mileage. Also when driving at highway speeds, 55+ mph you will actually get less fuel mileage with the windows down as compared to them being up with the AC on, because of the aerodynamic drag from having the windows down. Roof racks, and luggage racks that are loaded down instead of having the items inside the vehicle can cause a large aerodynamic drag and decrease fuel mileage by up to 5%.

13) Prior Planning - If you are planning a vacation or trip, try to include plans to your destination that will not require a lot of driving. Like a place that has lots of attractions near each other, walking is good and healthy, or a place with good public transportation.

14) Excessive Idling - Idling your vehicle gets zero miles per gallon. And cars with larger engines burn more fuel then cars with smaller engines while idling.

15) Overdrive - If your vehicle is equipped with an overdrive gear, use it. The overdrive gear  will slow the engine down while maintaining the same speed, and saving you fuel.

16) Motor Oil - You can improve your vehicles fuel mileage by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. An increase of 1-2% can be expected.

17) Commuting - If you can avoid getting into rush hour traffic situations, then avoid them so that you are not sitting in stop and go traffic where you will be getting lower fuel mileage. If you own more then one vehicle, take the one that gets the best fuel mileage whenever possible. Car pools and ride share can save you 50% on your weekly gasoline bill, and lots of time many places have a special lane that usually moves faster and is less congested for that going to work, and going home commute. Try using public transportation when possible, it's usually a lot more economical. Combine errands into one trip, rather then making a few trips, a warm motor will get better mileage compared to a lot of short cold trips to the store. Maybe stop at the store on the way home from work, rather then going back out after getting home. Simple, but it could save you mileage on your car, plus gasoline.

18) New Car Purchases - When comparing factors in your next car purchase, consider the mileage that the vehicle gets. The comparison between a car that gets 20 MPG and one that gets 30 MPG, is a difference in one year in fuel cost of $550 considering that they both drive 15k miles per year. (and that's at a $2.20 per gallon fuel cost, obviously more now.) In a four year period, you would save $2,200.

In summary, driving should be enjoyable & fun, and not cost you an arm and a leg. With a few minutes of  dedication to your ride, it can make it fun and affordable.

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