We will probably never see gasoline prices under $2.00 per gallon again, and it is extremely rare to find them under $3.00 per gallon. With a vehicle being a necessity for many people, whether they use their car to commute to work or school, or to drive their children back and forth to school and extracurricular activities, gas prices are naturally a primary concern for many people.
Vehicle manufacturers are coming out with more efficient cars every year, whether those cars are hybrid gasoline and electric vehicles, they run on biofuels or alternative fuels, or the fuel efficiency of standard gasoline-powered cars is being improved. It would be nice to own a new car straight off the showroom floor, but that is a luxury that quite a few people in America simply cannot afford. Other basic needs take precedences, such as food, clothing, and shelter, so the “family car” is often one that is at least a decade old, if not older, and has seen quite a bit of use.
The fuel efficiency, or miles per gallon, of a vehicle varies based on many different factors. Quite a few of these factors have to do with the car itself. The engine size, vehicle weight, and tire size can have an impact on the car’s fuel efficiency. For example, an older full-size domestic pick-up truck with oversized knobby tires will get less than ten miles per gallon, while a small foreign import with factory-issued tires will usually average between 22 and 30 miles per gallon if not more.
You can save money on your gasoline expenses without having to buy a new, fuel-efficient vehicle, by making small changes in the way drive and keeping your vehicle in the best possible condition. Here are several tips to help you increase the fuel efficiency of your vehicle and get more miles per gallon while on the road:
1. Plan your trips so you can accomplish several errands on one outing, rather than making several trips and taking unnecessary routes.
2. Always keep your tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Overinflated or underinflated tires can dramatically affect your fuel efficiency (and cause more wear and tear on the tires).
3. For 2WD/4WD vehicles, leave your car in two-wheel drive unless it’s necessary to engage the four-wheel drive.
4. Don’t leave your car idling for long periods of time, even if the weather is cold. In colder temperatures, warm up your engine by driving at a slower speed until the engine achieves normal operating temperature.
5. Leave your windows rolled up as much as possible because open windows increase wind drag and overwork the engine.
6. Avoid installing aesthetic parts to your vehicle that serve no purpose other than to “look nice.” These would include ground-effect packages, rear deck spoilers, and other components that increase wind drag.
7. Don’t use your vehicle as a storage unit. The more weight your car carries around, the more the engine has to work, which means it consumes more gasoline. Only keep in your car the things you have to have.