How to increase fuel mileage heading into fall

Save gas at the pump this fall

Save gas at the pump this fall

Over the summer we have seen gas prices increase steadily, with a rise of 17-cents per gallon since early July. However, according to, motorists may finally be able to breathe a sigh of relief, as gas prices are expected to stabilize for a while. The theory? Gas prices have increased so sharply for such a large portion of time that it is more likely for them to decrease moving forward.

That being said, we really can’t control our energy future. Depending on crude oil prices, political tensions, and random acts of nature (tornados in the Atlantic are not a good sign), oil prices will forever be in flux.

No matter how oil prices ebb and flow, there are a few simple ways you can improve your fuel mileage and experience less pain at the pump. These tips come from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Observe the speed limit & slow down: while each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed, gas mileage usually decreases rapidly over 50 mph (gas savings: $0.18-$1.19/gallon).

Remove excess weight: avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2 % (gas savings: $0.04 – $0.07/gallon).

Avoid excessive idling: idling can cost you a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and A/C use. Turn your engine off when parked (gas savings: $0.01 – $0.03/min with A/C off; $0.02 – $0.04/min with A/C on).

Use the recommended grade of motor oil:  Using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil can improve your gas mileage by 2%. Meaning not all oil changes are created equal. Sometimes the cheap oil changes are not using the proper grade oil. You may save on the service but end up paying more at the pump over the next 3k to 5k miles. Ask your service professional what oil they plan to use and make sure it matches with what your vehicle requires (gas savings: $0.04 – $0.07/gallon).

Keep tires properly inflated: You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires lower gas mileage by as much as 0.3% per every 1 psi drop in pressure for all four tires (gas savings: up to $0.11/gallon).

Keep your engine properly tuned: Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emission test can improve gas mileage by 4%. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40% (gas savings: $0.14/gallon).


For more amazing car care tips, check out our blog on the importance of a brake inspection or tips on how to drive safely for teens – perfect for back-to-school season!

As always, we invite you to visit our website or stop by the shop with any vehicle concerns or questions.


~ by 2ndtononeservice on July 30, 2013.

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