What Causes Bad Gas Mileage?
What Causes Bad Gas Mileage?

What Causes Bad Gas Mileage?

Do you feel like you are pumping your entire paycheck into your car? As gas prices continue to rise, you might be searching for ways to save money at the pump. Some companies offer discounts, but there are other things you can do to increase your gas mileage and save money.

Maintenance

The most common thing that causes low gas mileage is poor vehicle maintenance. The first thing you can do to increase your gas mileage is change the oil in your automobile every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. By using the proper grade recommended for your car and using synthetic oil, you can make your gas mileage 12% better. Another recommendation is changing your spark plugs every 50,000 miles. Regularly replacing your air filters can improve your gas mileage by 10%. Also keep your tires properly inflated and change the engine coolant frequently.

At the Pump

Another cause of bad gas mileage occurs at the pump. After filling up your gas tank, turn the handle 180 degrees. This will dump into your tank another half cup of gas that is stuck in the hose. Also, do not top off your tank. Trying to get an exact round number could end up costing you more. Gas pumps do not calculate short bursts as well so you could pay more for a small amount of gas. Before leaving the pump, check your gas cap. It should be tightly closed to prevent gas from evaporating.

Get Rid of Resistance

You may love the feeling of wind rushing in through the window and blowing your hair, but driving with the windows down eats your gas. Although using the A/C also requires gas, driving with windows open uses more gas. Also do not pack objects on top of your car. Like open windows, objects strapped to the top of your vehicle causes wind resistance and messes up the aerodynamics. Another thing you can do is lose the extra pounds in the trunk of your car. Take out that bag of dog food or your tool box that you have been driving all over town.

Driving

Poor driving habits also cause bad gas mileage. Slowing down is the simplest way to improve your gas mileage. Driving 55 mph instead of 75 mph will save you 25%. If you spend a lot of time driving through town, you can improve your gas mileage by slowly stopping and starting at stoplights. Quick stops or peeling away from stoplights can decrease your miles per gallon by 5%. On the highway, use your cruise control whenever you can. Also, take it easy while you drive. Being a laid-back driver and avoiding road rage will keep more dollars in your wallet and gas in your tank longer.

In summary, the most common things that cause bad gas mileage are poor maintenance, resistance and bad driving habits. Following these simple tips will not only keep your car running smoothly but will also help you save money at the gas pump. If filling your gas tank is still taking a chunk out of your paycheck, consider carpooling or using public transportation.

Sources:

Auto Broker Magic: Improve Mileage

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