Want to make each tank of fuel carry you as far as possible? Of course, you do. The real question is, do you know the four ways to maximize the efficiency of your chosen type of vehicle fuel? If not, learn how those in the know stretch their gasoline dollars and cruise for miles and miles without breaking the bank.
Be Hill Wise
This little-known technique is one of the most powerful ways to squeeze extra miles out if every tank. And, it works especially well if you live and drive in a hilly area. The short version of the strategy is when you approach an uphill incline, ease off a bit on the accelerator pedal, even if it means going one or two miles below the speed limit. This is one situation where cruise control will hurt your MPG figure. Then, when you’re over the hill, simply return to your regular way of driving, but remembering to use gravity as you travel downhill to keep your speed no higher than the limit. Professional drivers call this technique leveling a hill, and it works like a charm.
Ditch the Junk in Your Trunk
Of the four methods for boosting MPG, this is the simplest. Look in your trunk. Remove anything you don’t need. That includes trash, tools you don’t need for road emergencies, boxes of junk that have accumulated over the years, and anything else that can go to the trash or garage. Carrying around unneeded weight only has a slight impact on MPG, but the cost adds up over the months. Plus, the exercise will force you to restock essential items that perhaps are not there, like jumper cables, first-aid kits, and hazard flares.
Are you proud of the fact that your hybrid or high-mileage vehicle gets in excess of 50 MPG? You should be. But be warned if you fill up a 14-gallon tank and only drive occasionally, it’s important to keep an eye on the age of your fuel. Why? Because most brands of gasoline begin to break down and go bad after about four months. Diesel is a little more and typically lasts for nearly a year before degrading. Mark your calendar when you fill up the tank so you’ll never be in the dark about how old your fuel is. In fact, you can review a guide that discusses how long does gasoline last in a car. That way, whether you have unleaded, organic ethanol, or some other blend, you’ll always know exactly how long it lasts before it starts to lose its power.
Learn the Tire Pressure Secret
Talk about easy; look at the max PSI listed on the side or your tires. Inflate them to whatever that number is. Maybe you’ve heard that it’s best to back off a few pounds from the listed max PSI. Well, if you want the most comfortable and smooth ride possible, it is indeed best to keep PSI lower than the max. But we’re talking about fuel efficiency here, so the goal is not smooth driving but higher MPG. Don’t forget to re-set and check every few weeks to see that your PSI numbers are at their max.