With gas prices on the rise, many drivers are searching for ways to improve their gas mileage, but don't believe everything you hear on the internet. We’re here to set the record straight by separating the Fact from the Fiction about modifications to improve fuel economy.
Fact or Fiction: Fast accelerations takes more gas
FACT: Restrain that inner race car driver in yourself. Fast accelerations, as well as heavy braking, take more gas than driving at a moderate consistent speed. You can improve your fuel economy as much as 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic.
Fact or Fiction: Idling in traffic takes more gas than restarting your car.
FACT: Idling historically takes more fuel than stopping and restarting your vehicle when not moving. Those with the “automatic stop/go” feature in their vehicles could see as much as a 10-30% improvement in the MPG according to some manufacturer’s estimates.
Fact or Fiction: Cruise Control doesn’t improve fuel economy
FICTION: Not only does using cruise control save fuel, it also improves the overall condition of your vehicle’s drive train. While not recommended for harsh weather conditions, using cruise control is an easy way how to improve gas mileage mechanically.
Fact or Fiction: Car Maintenance Doesn’t Impact Fuel Economy
FICTION: The very first step you should be taking to fix poor gas mileage is to make sure your vehicle is in good condition. This includes:
Replacing the oil filter at every oil change - not only should you do this every time you change your oil, you should also rotate your tires at the same time. This will extend the wear of your tread and improve your tires traction. And if you haven’t already upgraded to synthetic motor oil, check with our service advisors. Synthetic oil boosts engine efficiency and extends the time between oil changes.
Replace engine filter at regular intervals – Even a tiny grain of dirt can clog injectors, leading to erratic performance and poor gas mileage. Most manufacturers recommend changing it every 10,000 to 15,000 miles.
Check your tire pressure – If your tires are underinflated, fuel consumption can increase by as much as 3%. Check your owner’s manual for the proper PSI for your tires.
Clean out the Clutter – By reducing the additional bulk weight of your vehicle, you can improve your fuel efficiency.
Fact or Fiction – Using the A/C doesn’t impact fuel economy
FICTION – According to the US Dept of Energy “Under very hot conditions, Air Conditioner use can reduce a conventional vehicle's fuel economy by more than 25%, particularly on short trips.” However, it is also important to note that driving with your windows down can also reduce fuel economy. Open windows increase aerodynamic drag (wind resistance), which is more impactful on fuel economy when driving at highways speeds.
Fact or Fiction – My driving style doesn’t impact my vehicle’s fuel consumption
FICITION – Next to vehicle maintenance, your driving style has the greatest impact on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Just use these 5 fuel efficient driving techniques:
1. Use your Cruise Control feature whenever possible. Set the speed limit to match your road’s regulated limit. Use your adaptive cruise control if your vehicle has it.
2. Plan your trip. Map out your stops so that you are driving the least number of miles and/or avoiding traffic congestion that will increase your idling time.
3. Monitor your Vehicles Fuel Consumption. If your vehicle comes with a MPG usage gauge in the dash cluster, be conscious of what it is telling you. If not, keep track of your trips so you can estimate how much gas it takes to reach each destination for future reference.
4. Control your Stops and Goes. Avoid situations that will cause you to accelerate very quickly and keep your speed below 55 mph. When you do need to stop, coast to decelerate.
5. Drive a well-maintained vehicle. Keep your vehicle in top running condition with regular oil/filter changes, proper tire pressure, and tune-ups.