How to Make a Car More Fuel Efficient

by Regan Hennessy

With the price of gasoline fluctuating by the day, finding ways of saving money on fuel is important. Rather than spending hard-earned money on a new hybrid vehicle to save money at the pump, you can make the car you already own more fuel-efficient. Making your car more fuel-efficient allows you to pocket more cash, which you can then use to pay off a credit card bill or put in savings for a rainy day.

Do a pre-trip inspection. Check your owner's manual to find the correct tire pressure for your car. This is shown in pounds per square inch. Remove the valve stem cover on the first tire. Press the tire gauge firmly onto the valve stem and check the pressure shown on the tire gauge rod. Check the pressure for all four tires, as well as your spare tire. If the tire pressure is too low, inflate your tires to the correct level of pressure.

Open the trunk and check for loose items. Remove those items that you don't need, since they will add to the weight of the car unnecessarily. Consider removing your car's back seat if you rarely use it.

Open the hood of your car and locate the black air filter casing along the top of the engine. Unscrew or pry open the casing and carefully pull out the air filter. Check the filter visually and replace it with a new filter if it looks clogged or dirty. Replace the casing on the air filter and close the hood carefully. Record your car's mileage so you know the approximate time to change your air filter again, which is usually every 9,000 to 12,000 miles.

Keep the air conditioner off as much as possible. When you're driving at slower speeds, crack your windows to get rid of the warm air instead of turning on the air conditioner.

Accelerate slowly to pick up speed. Avoid sudden starts and stops, a bad driving habit which alone can increase your gas mileage by up to 33 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Keep your speed at 55 miles per hour to maximize your speed efficiency as you're driving down the highway. Use cruise control to help ensure that you maintain this even speed.

Tip

  • check Check your owner's manual before buying an air filter.

Warning

  • close Be careful not to overfill your tires.

Items you will need

About the Author

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