In addition to small business owners that may have a small fleet of company vehicles, vacationers will soon feel the crunch at the gas pump this Memorial Day weekend. Nationwide, 37.8 million people are expected to travel, according to AAA Auto Club. Here are some tips to help improve your gas mileage and put some money back in your wallet:
- Don’t let your car idle. Each year Americans burn 2.9 million gallons of gas a year overall while idling.
- Change your air filter and fuel filter. You can increase gas mileage by up to 10 percent just by having a clean air filter, according to the EPA’s FuelEconomy.com.
- Make sure you keep your car properly maintained and tuned. You could be using 25 percent more gas if you don’t.
- Keep your tires properly inflated. You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3 percent just by making sure your tires are inflated to the proper pressure, according to DOE
- Keep excess weight to a minimum. You can reduce your fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent in most vehicles by emptying out your trunk or backseat of unnecessary items.
- Don’t top off your gas tank. As the weather gets warmer, gasoline expands and can seep out and overflow.
- Use the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by 1-2 percent.
- Now that winter is officially over, remove those snow tires. Bigger tires and deep treads use more fuel.
- Think about the most efficient route and combine multiple stops into one trip.
- Be conscious when using the air conditioning. On the highway you can run the air conditioner, but consider rolling down the windows when in stop-and-go traffic. Air conditioning can lower your fuel economy by as much as 10 to 20 percent.
- Be mindful of how you accelerate. The faster you drive the more gas you’ll use. Every 5 mph you drive over 65 mph represents a 7 percent decrease in fuel economy, according to the DOE.
- Getting your car washed and waxed improves aerodynamics and that in turn will improve your fuel economy.
- After refueling be sure that your gas cap is securely tightened. Gas can easily evaporate from the tank if the cap doesn’t fit.
- Visit websites like GasBuddy.com or GasPriceWatch.com to find the cheapest gas prices in your city.
- Become a hypermiler. Basically do everything that you can to ensure you car get the best gas mileage, including use cruise control, anticipate changes in traffic and reduce the use of defrosters and loud stereo systems whenever possible.
Not only will these tips save you some green, they also provide a way for you to do your part to go green! Bon Voyage!