7 Tips for Better Gas Mileage

A car with the hood up exposing the engine.

Does it seem like every time you go to fill up the price of gas has gone up again? While there's not much any of us can do to control the price of gas, there are a number of things we can do to control how much gas we use. Here are some ways to increase your MPG and save money.

Maintain Your Vehicle

You hear this one all the time, but it's true, a well maintained vehicle uses less gas than a poorly maintained vehicle. Regular maintenance helps ensure you are getting the best mileage your vehicle can provide.

In addition to professional servicing there are some really simple things you can do

Check Your Engine Air Filter Every Three Months

A blocked air filter makes an engine work harder and costs you in miles per gallon. You can get replacement filters at auto parts stores as well as many hardware and even department stores, and they're easy to change. Usually all that's necessary is undoing a couple of clips and taking out the old filter before dropping in the new one.

Check Your Tire Pressure Every Month

Tire pressure gauges are inexpensive and easy to use, so buy one and keep it in your car. Under-inflated tires are harder to turn, so your engine needs to work more to go the same distance (while over inflated tires wear quickly and end up costing you in tire life). Inflate your tires to the proper pressure (it's usually marked on the inside of the glove box, on a sticker on the driver's side door post, or on the side of the tire).

Clear Out Your Car

Many of us carry hundreds of pounds of extra weight around in our cars all the time. Take out your golf clubs, tools, and whatever else you carry around in your trunk. You may be be amazed at how much your gas mileage improves.

Drive at the Speed Limit

Driving even 10 miles per hour over the limit will cost your gas. Experts estimate that driving at the speed limit will give most drivers 10 percent better gas mileage.

Don't Idle

Leaving your car idling while picking up your kids at school or getting your morning coffee at a drive through wastes gas. A study by the government of Canada says leaving a car idling for more than 30 seconds burns more gas than turning off the engine and starting it again. Remember, idling equals 0 MPG.

Do Use Your Air Conditioning

On the highway, a vehicle with the windows rolled up and the air conditioning turned on uses less gas than the same car with the windows down. Having the windows closed reduces drag on the car so it rolls easier and burns less gas.

They may seem small, but the seven tips will make a big difference in your overall gas mileage. This means you'll be saving big, and stopping less!