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July 30, 2014

Tips to Improve Gas Mileage

Many drivers have become very frustrated with the expensive cost of fuel. Unfortunately, the price for both diesel fuel and gasoline is expected to remain high. The good news is that you can get better gas mileage by developing efficient driving habits. Here are some tips to improve a vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

Keep the tires inflated to the optimum pressure
Tires have a tendency to gradually lose pressure over time. Even slightly deflated tires will have a negative impact on a vehicle’s fuel efficiency. To ensure that your tires remain properly inflated, check the tire pressure about every three weeks. The recommended tire pressure can be found in the owner’s manual.

Proper Maintenance
In order to get the best possible gas mileage, the vehicle must be properly maintained. Never ignore the check engine light. If your vehicle is experiencing a rough idle, there is a good chance that the spark plugs have worn out. To ensure that the engine stays running smoothly, replace the spark plugs and ignition wires at the recommended interval. A clogged air filter can also cause a decline in fuel efficiency, so be sure to replace it on a yearly basis.

Brisk acceleration
Contrary to popular belief, extremely slow acceleration typically does not improve gas mileage. On the other hand, aggressively stomping on the accelerator is also a bad idea. The most efficient method is to accelerate briskly while keeping the engine speed below 3000 rpm. To determine the engine speed, simply take a peak at the tachometer gauge. Keeping the throttle open allows the engine to operate more efficiently.

Avoid idling
In the past, diesel engines needed to idle for long periods of time to prevent fuel gelling. However, modern diesel fuel is no longer plagued by this wasteful problem. Not only does prolonged idling waste fuel, but it also places unnecessary stress on the engine. The best way to warm an engine is to gently drive the vehicle until it reaches the appropriate temperature.

Anticipate stops
If you are approaching a yellow traffic light, promptly let off the gas pedal. Instead of wasting fuel by sitting at a red light, allow the vehicle to slowly roll under its own momentum. When the light finally changes to green, your vehicle will already be in motion. This means that your engine will not need to use as much fuel while accelerating.

Coast down hills
Coasting is the act of allowing a vehicle to freewheel. Modern vehicles have been engineered to shut off the fuel supply when coasting. The engine will not be consuming any fuel during this time. If you are preparing to descend down a steep hill, remove your foot from the accelerator to take advantage of the free gas mileage.

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