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How to Improve the Gas Mileage for a Nissan Pathfinder

by Vanessa Padgalskas

A 4-by-2, V6 Nissan Pathfinder gets 15 miles-per-gallon in the city and 22 on the highway. The 4-by-4, V6 model gets 14 miles-per-gallon in city and 18 on the highway. The 4-by-4, V8 Nissan Pathfinder only gets 13 miles-per-gallon in the city and 18 on the highway. The Pathfinder is a large SUV, but altering your driving style and staying up-to-date on engine maintenance can improve your fuel economy.

Drive slower. Accelerating quickly can reduce fuel economy by 10 to 15 percent. Anticipate upcoming stops and let up on the gas pedal in advance to slow the car naturally, rather than slamming on the breaks. Altering your driving style is the best way to improve fuel economy.

Take your Pathfinder to a Nissan mechanic for regular maintenance. Consult the Nissan Maintenance Guide for information on regular maintenance plans (see Resources). Nissan recommends a maintenance check every 3,750 miles. Issues like low transmission fluid, a dirty air filter and sticky calipers can reduce your fuel economy. Get your oil changed every 3,000 miles, even if you use synthetic oil.

Remove excess weight and roof racks. Unnecessary loads weigh down the car, requiring more power to propel the vehicle. Roof racks make your Pathfinder less aerodynamic.

Check your tire pressure at least once a month, or before long trips. Low tire pressure makes the tires soft, and it takes more energy to rotate them. Keep the tires filled to their recommended level.

Avoid driving during peak traffic times. Idling in bumper-to-bumper traffic burns gas. If you are stuck in a traffic jam, and know you will not be moving for a few minutes, turn off your Pathfinder.

About the Author

Vanessa Padgalskas was born and raised in Spokane, Wash., and currently resides in Portland, Ore. Padgalskas graduated from American University in 2007 with degrees in international studies and economics. She holds a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School.

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