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Everyone knows driving costs money. From the most efficient subcompact to thirsty SUVs, every mile means more gas. And of course, the more gas you use, the more money you spend at the pump. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to reduce your car’s consumption and get the most out of every tank without breaking the bank.
If you’re the kind of person that puts the pedal to the floor when the light turns green, you’re throwing money away. When you accelerate, your car is using more gas to get up to speed. The faster you try to get to the next light, the more gas you’re wasting getting there.
If an air filter is doing its job, it’s going to get dirty. Keeping out all the dust and debris from the outside world takes its toll and will eventually reduce air flow to the engine. When the filter is so dirty it won’t let air pass through, the computer controlling the engine will run richer (use more gas) to keep the engine running smoothly.
A lot of people like to use their car for extra storage. People who do a lot of business on the road are notorious for this. While you think you might need every single thing in your trunk, having that much weight could be killing your fuel efficiency. A heavier load means more work for the engine. Take out everything you don’t need or, at the very least, only carry the absolute necessities.
Underinflated tires are a common problem on the highway. When your tires are underinflated, the surface area and the rolling resistance are increased. This makes your car work harder on the road and drains your tank. Check your tires regularly and make sure you're setting them according to the manufacturer's recommendation, and visit a business like Discount Tire Centers every once in a while to get them serviced and rotated.
The fuel injectors spray a fine mist of gas into the engine cylinders that ignites and makes your car go. Over time the injectors can clog from impurities in the fuel and what used to be a mist comes out as a dribble. This weak stream is harder to ignite, robbing your car of performance and fuel. A periodic cleaning by dumping an additive in the tank can keep your injectors operating the way they’re supposed to.
These days, cars are becoming more fuel efficient as technology gets better. It’s not uncommon for many newer models to get 30 or more miles to the gallon. Despite good engineering, bad habits and skipping maintenance can reduce mileage in even the best engines. However, with a few common sense tactics and regular maintenance, you can make sure even a gas guzzler can eke out a few extra miles from every tank.