How to Improve Gas Mileage on a PT Cruiser

by Linda Emma

An automatic 2009 PT Cruiser gets an average of 21 miles to the gallon. To improve those numbers and save money on fuel, owners can employ several fuel-saving tricks that are available to most drivers, and a few which are specific to the Cruiser.

Cruising Efficiently

Step 1

If you do not already own a Cruiser, consider opting for one with a manual transmission, which goes slightly more miles per gallon. The turbo automatic fares the poorest among the Cruiser models.

Step 2

Follow the factory recommendations for service and maintenance. Keeping the Cruiser running well keeps its engine performing optimally, and ensures the most efficient fuel consumption possible.

Step 3

Use 87 octane fuel for standard Cruisers and 92 octane for Turbo Cruisers.

Step 4

Keep tires properly inflated: 34PSI for stock, 38PSI for turbo.

Step 5

Use air conditioning sparingly; when in use, opt away from "max." The engine runs the air-conditioning compressor, so the more you use the AC, the more the engine is working, and the more fuel it wastes.

Step 6

Check the car's coolant levels regularly. An engine that is overheating is working too hard and not making the most efficient use of its fuel.

Step 7

Change the oil every 3,000 miles to ensure a properly running engine.

Step 8

Replace air filters every 15,000 miles. Clogged air filters severely limit the ability of your engine to work at its optimum level.

Step 9

Inspect spark plugs at least every 15,000 miles to ensure that they are working optimally.

Step 10

Drive sensibly and at moderate speeds. The four-cylinder Cruiser is designed for optimum fuel efficiency when driven at steady speeds below 60 miles per hour. Avoid stops and starts or sudden acceleration.

Step 11

Keep unneeded weight out of the vehicle. The more you pile into the Cruiser, the poorer the MPG.

Step 12

Tow only when you need to. While the Cruiser is capable of towing, fuel consumption is much higher while doing so.

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