Choosing a car that offers the best fuel economy is a smart way to save money at the pump. But aside from choosing a vehicle with great EPA mileage estimates, there are a few easy fuel economy tips that can also help you get more bang for your buck:
- Drive safely. According to FuelEconomy.gov, the official U.S. government source for fuel economy information, aggressive tactics like speeding and stop-and-go driving waste gas and can actually lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and 5% around town. Driving sensibly not only improves fuel economy; it also helps keep everyone safe on the road.
- Maintain your vehicle. By following your vehicle's recommended maintenance and tune-up schedule, you're helping to maximize efficiency. While many models vary, most major service intervals are every 12,000 miles for the first three years or 36,000 miles, and at 25,000-mile intervals after that. Check your driver's manual to find yours.
- Check your tires. Another easy way to improve your fuel economy is to keep your tires properly inflated. Use a pressure gauge regularly to check all four of your tires. (Your vehicle's recommended tire pressure information is usually located on the driver's-side doorjamb or in the glove box. If you can't find it there, check your Owner's Manual.) It's best to keep pressure slightly lower in hot weather, and slightly higher in colder weather. Properly inflated tires also keep you safe on the road.
- De-clutter. If you use your vehicle as a mobile storage unit, you may not be getting the best fuel economy. More weight requires more power and more gas, especially if you drive a smaller, lighter car.
Plan ahead. If you plan your day in advance, you can combine trips and errands for better gas mileage.