How to Improve Gas Mileage: 5 Tips and Tricks for the Best Engine Performance

January 27, 2012

There are tons of gas mileage tips that you can take advantage of in order to improve your MPG ratings for your car. Getting the best gasoline mileage is in the minds of many drivers due to rising gas costs. If you can get more out of every gallon, then you would fill up less, and in turn save yourself some money. Here are some tips that you can use to help increase your miles per gallon rating.

Cruise Control

Cruise control is a great tool for increasing your fuel economy. Cruise control is basically your car running without you needing to hit the gas. It will stay at one speed, meaning that your velocity stays constant. Simple physics and calculus then states that acceleration is then zero when velocity is constant. Because of this, your engine is not working as hard as if you were accelerating. This can save a ton of gas. Cruise control is best used on the highway and can produce results as great as 50% higher gas mileage. For example, if you typically got around 400 miles to a tank of gas, with cruise control, you can conceivably see up to 600 miles per tank instead. Setting your cruise control at 55 miles per hour is where your engine will run at optimal performance, and it is also convenient since that is the speed limit on many state highways.

Avoiding Traffic

This one may already be in your mind for other reasons, but avoiding traffic can have great fuel benefits. Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic is never fun, and what makes it worse is that you are wasting a ton of gas doing so. Not to mention, every time you go down to a complete stop, it takes a lot of gasoline to get your car back into motion. This is a big gas killer, so if you can plan your trips around traffic that would be very wise. You can do this by either avoiding rush hour (leaving earlier for work, leaving later after work), riding in carpool lanes, or also by using an alternate route even if it longer. 

Engine Oil Selection

Using the correct engine oil can do wonders. Statistics show that using a friction reducing oil can increase your miles per gallon rating by up to 12%. This will also lead to better engine performance as well.

Reduce Weight / Increase Aerodynamics

If you have unneeded weight in or on your car, this can be dragging you down. Things in your trunk that you don't need, or even roof racks can really cause lower fuel economy. A roof rack is also not good because it will create more air resistance. Taking it off will increase your car's aerodynamics, and lead to a higher fuel economy.

Tire Maintenance

Make sure your tires are still in good condition and properly inflated. If your tires are not, you can be losing 3-5% of your fuel economy right there. Filling your tires up takes just a few minutes, and can give you a small added fuel economy boost.