September 15th, 2014
After you've shopped around for the best priced auto insurance, the next thing you can do to save money on vehicle-related expenses is to focus on increasing the number of miles you drive for every gallon of gas you buy.
Get rid of dead weight
If you're the type of person who hauls your life around with you in your trunk, consider storing the extra items in your garage. Excess weight can drag your car down and if you have an extra 100 pounds in the trunk, you could be reducing your MPG up to 2 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Carrying additional weight because you're moving or going on a road trip can be harsh on mileage as well. Try and avoid putting your baggage on top of the vehicle because roof cargo increases wind resistance. Roof-mounted cargo boxes can reduce MPG by between 2 to 8 percent on roads in the city and 10 to 25 percent on the interstate.
A well-maintained car has better mileage
Always keep a tire gauge handy and check the pressure in your tires on a routine basis. By keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure, you reduce drag. You can also invest in a set of low rolling resistance tires, which can improve your gas mileage by 1 or 2 percent, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Don't slack on routine maintenance if you want good fuel mileage. Keeping your oil changed, air filters up to date and spark plugs in working order will help you get more bang for your buck at the gas pump. Additionally, updating a few auto parts will help you improve your MPG. For instance, if you replace your mass air flow sensor or other oxygen sensors, which help regulate fuel injection, you can ensure your vehicle's system is getting accurate information, Bankrate reported.
Bad news for speed demons
Once you've taken out any unnecessary weight, gotten your car a tune-up and double checked your tire pressure, it's time for you to keep watching your speed. Speeding up and slowing down often wastes gas. In fact, this type of aggressive driving can lower your MPG by 33 percent on the highway, according to the DOE.
Vehicles have different optimal speeds in terms of getting the best fuel mileage. However, after 50 mph, fuel economy begins to decrease. For every 5 mph over 50 mpg, you're paying about $0.24 more per gallon of gas. You might be in a hurry to get where you're going, but driving the speed limit is not only the safest option, it's better for your gas mileage as well.