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Basics Steps To Improve Mileage


Good gas mileage can save you hundreds of dollars a year. Though gas mileage depends mainly on the type of car you drive, there are some things you can do to make sure that you get the best mileage possible for your car.

? Don?t skip scheduled maintenance: Your car?s manual has a section on scheduled maintenance, which lists the mileage intervals when your car requires certain tune-ups. If you follow this schedule will ensure that your car?s parts and operations stay in top shape. If you skip the suggested maintenance, the wear and tear that will make your engine work harder, reducing your gas mileage.

? Avoid stop-and-go traffic: The biggest amount of gas consumed comes from accelerating, so try to avoid traffic situations that involve lots of stopping and starting. You may have to plan alternate routes or change your schedule to avoid this type of driving, but it will save you some money at the pumps.

? Don?t idle: Always shut off the engine if you plan to stop for more than one minute. Idling the engine wastes gas.

? Limit winter warm-ups: During cold weather, warm up your car only until the temperature gauge indicates that your engine has reached its normal operating temperature. This should typically take no longer than five minutes.

? Reduce weight: Extra weight inside the car or trunk will cause the engine to work harder and reduces mileage, so keep only essentials on board. Remove roof racks whenever you are not using them, as they contribute additional weight and reduce aerodynamics, both of which will drag down mileage.

? Drive 55: Driving 55 mph on the highway gives you about 15% better gas mileage than if you drive at 65 mph and about 25% better than if you drive at 75 mph.

? Windows and A/C: Air conditioning reduces mileage because it uses engine power to run the cooling system?s compressor. At the same time, opening windows makes the car less aerodynamic by increasing drag, which also pulls down mileage. A compromise is to open only one window if possible and keep the A/C turned off as much as possible.

? Check tire pressure: Always inflate tires to the maximum suggested psi reading. Under inflated tires create increase friction, making the engine work harder.

? Use nitrogen instead of ?regular? air: This one is related to helping you maintain proper tire pressure. By filling up your tires with nitrogen, you get better tire pressure because nitrogen migrates through a tire 3 to 4 times slower than oxygen. It may take 6 months to lose 2 psi of tire pressure with nitrogen compared to less than a month with oxygen. Improved fuel economy is a result of having the proper air pressure which lessens the rolling resistance. Under-inflated tires have a greater rolling resistance. Further, with tires maintaining better pressure, tire life can be significantly extended.

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