How to Get Better Gas Mileage

​Gas mileage refers to the fuel economy of your car. It is the amount of fuel that you spend within a certain distance. It could be in miles per gallon or kilometers per liter depending on your measuring units.

Every car owner wants to get the most out of each gallon of fuel. You do not want to be wasting money at the gas pump because you have to keep refilling your tank. Both in the short and in the long run, bad gas mileage will be expensive thus it is costly to run your car. Often, people automatically think that buying a new car, preferably a hybrid is the solution to their bad gas mileage problems. Before you decide to sell you car and make an investment on a new one, consider trying to rectify the solution first.

​How to ​Calculate ​Gas ​Mileage

It might seem simple but it is actually not that obvious. Some cars have provisions for the gas mileage. However, these readings become less and less accurate over time. In most cases, it has been noted that the readings are off by about 7%. If you want to be absolutely sure about your fuel economy, the process is pretty simple:

how to calculate gas mileage
how to calculate gas mileage
  1. ​Fill your fuel tank until it is full. You can tell that it is at full capacity when the pump cuts off. You will need to read the quantity that you have put in your tank from the pump.
  2. Next, check your trip reading and set off on your journey.
  3. Note the trip reading once the fuel runs out, check the trip reading again.
  4. Divide the distance covered by the amount of fuel spent.
  5. Repeat the process about five times.
  6. Take the five readings and get an average to get your final gallon per mile reading.

​With this information, you can then determine whether you have poor fuel economy for the type of car that you are driving. After you have established that you do have poor gas mileage, the next step is to rectify the problem. This can only be possible if you understand what is causing the poor fuel economy in the first place.

​What ​Causes ​Bad ​Gas ​Mileage

what causes bad gas mileage

​There are different causes of bad gas mileage. They include:

  • ​Low tire pressure;
  • ​Always having the air conditioner on causing the engine to use more fuel to power the vehicle;
  • ​Misfiring spark plugs;
  • ​Inefficient air filters and oxygen sensors;
  • ​Idling, that is, having your engine on without moving;
  • ​Bad driving habits such as unnecessarily quick acceleration;
  • ​Heavy loads and general vehicle weight;

​How to ​​Get Better ​Gas ​Mileage

how to improve gas mileage

​If you want to improve your gas mileage, then you need to find solutions to the factors affecting it in the first place. Getting a new car would seem like a foolproof solution but it is not the cheapest option. If you calculate the amount that you have to spend in order to get a new car, it far outweighs what you would need to spend if you rectified the problems in your current vehicle.

To ​get better gas mileage, you should:

​1. Have the Right Tire Pressure

​Once from time to time, ensure that your tires have the correct or recommended tire pressure. This is often found on the side of the car door and not on the tires. The latter refers to the maximum pressure that the tire can handle while the former is what the manufacturer recommends for the vehicle.

​2. Replace Some Car Parts

​If you want to improve on your gas mileage, you might have to replace a number of car parts. As explained in the causes of bad gas mileage, you would need to inspect and replace the following car parts if they are not working efficiently:

​Once these are working efficiently, then you car is going to have better fuel economy. If the problem persists even after these car parts have been changed out, then it is time to consider other solutions that are not tied to these car parts.

​3. Opting For Narrower Tires

​Narrower tires provide your wheels with less resistance. The reduced frontal area also reduces the aerodynamic drag which makes them move more easily. When buying or choosing narrower tires, you need to get approval from the manufacturer first since narrower tires are limited in speed and drag. 

Not only must the manufacturer approve but the tires must also be compatible with your wheels. If the tires that you currently have are the narrowest possible recommended by the manufacturer then this solution will not work for your car.

In place of this, you can therefore opt for low rolling resistance tires instead. Most people do not realize that manufacturers have come up with tires that require little resistance in order to roll for the car to move. These will help to improve your fuel economy.

​4. Improve Driving Habits

​One of the other more obvious options when it comes to finding a solution for your bad gas mileage is to improve on your driving habits. Some people accelerate too quickly or drive at high speeds. This automatically leads to more fuel consumption. The solution is not to be too heavy-footed. Lay off on the gas pedal and stick to the necessary speed for each journey to improve on your gas mileage.

​5. Travel Lighter

​Finally, always choose to travel lighter. Remove any unnecessary loads from your car unless you are moving them from one place to another. Any extra additions such as roof racks should also be removed if they are not necessary. Heavier vehicles increase the resistance on the wheels while rolling. This increases the amount of fuel required to power the vehicle and thus leads to poor gas mileage.

​If your vehicle is on the heavier side without additions, you can consider getting a lighter vehicle if you plan on using it in the long term. The savings from more efficient fuel use will help to recoup the investment over a period of time thus making it worthwhile.

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