Winter weather conditions can take a toll on your fuel economy. Due to a number of factors cold weather really decreases the number of MPG your vehicle can achieve. Even during warm months if you are not properly taking care of your car, you could be losing money on decreased fuel efficiency.

With fuel prices hovering just below record levels now is a good time to review the best ways to improve your gas mileage. Saving money at the pump each week really adds up so here are some tips to help improve your fuel efficiency.

1.      Keep tires properly inflated – Under inflated tires don’t just eat up MPG’s, they are also dangerous. They create a greater risk of a blow out or a flat tire. Keep your tires properly inflated and don’t forget to check the balance and alignment regularly. A good habit is to have this done every time you get your oil changed.

2.      Lighten your load – Carry only the bare minimum when traveling. That means clearing out your trunk of unnecessary baggage. Extra weight means your engine has to work extra hard which will in turn burn more fuel and lower your fuel efficiency.

3.      Reduce drag – When racers want to travel fast they make sure they are as streamlined as possible. It doesn’t matter if it’s a motorist, a cyclist, a skier or someone else, efficiency is key. Make sure to remove unused luggage racks, bike racks, ski racks etc.

4.      Don’t travel further to save a few pennies at the pump – If a cheaper gas station is part of your commute, make sure to fuel up there but don’t travel extra miles to save 5 cents a gallon. Do the math, if a ten-gallon fill-up is saving you 5 cents a gallon that equals 50 cents per tank. The average vehicle costs 35 – 40 cents per mile to operate, so if you travel 2 extra miles for a 5 cent savings, you have just lost money.    

5.      Use cruise control – A human’s driving speed tends to fluctuate. Cruise control takes the human element out of the equation and helps keep speed steady.

6.      Keep your vehicle well maintained – A vehicle that needs an air filter replaced or has poor spark plugs will be less fuel efficient. Make sure your car has regular inspections and tune-ups. You may spend some money upfront but you will be saving in the long run.

7.      Drive less – It’s simple the less you drive, the less fuel you will use. Try riding your bike, walking, combining trips or carpooling with a friend. 

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