Tips To Improve Gas Mileage This Holiday Season

GET BETTER GAS MILEAGE - IMPROVING YOUR FUEL ECONOMY

They used to say that you could only rely on two things in life - taxes and death. Not true. There's three things. Taxes, death and the cost of gasoline spiraling forever upwards. So consider this post your guide to making the best of a bad situation. Follow these tips and you should be able to improve your mpg - miles per gallon. Better fuel economy = more money in your bank account.

FIRST THINGS FIRST : MEASURING YOUR GAS MILEAGE

It seems obvious but a lot of people just don't know how to measure their average gas mileage. Fuel economy is a total mystery to them. So bear with me.
A lot of cars nowadays have an mpg readout that you can select from their onboard computer. While these are useful, they do tend to be a bit optimistic. I've found over the past 6 to 8 years that on-board mpg displays tend to over-read by about 7%. Not much but enough to give you a skewed view of reality. So how do you measure your average mpg? It's easy. You need to start with a full tank and always fill your tank to the point where the pump cuts off. It's painful to your wallet, especially at today's prices, but it's the best chance you have.
First - fill up. Fill your car to the point where the pump cuts off and zero your trip counter. Now you know you're starting from a 'full' tank. I say full because each car has a different amount of dead space at the top of the tank and in the fuel filler neck, but if you let the pump cut off on its own each time, it will generally fill to around the same level each time.
Next time you fill up, again fill the tank to the pump cutoff and importantly, make a note of the number of gallons you put in, and the trip counter reading. Divide one by the other and you get either miles per gallon (mpg). Zero the trip counter again and keep a note of the mpg calculation.
Each time you fill up, fill it to the pump cutoff, and make a note of the amount that went in and the trip counter reading, calculating your mpg each time.
Once you have four or five calculations, you can start to figure out your running average using some simple maths, or an online mileage tracker like mymilemarker.com or trackyourgasmileage.com.

BREWBAKER KIA'S TOP 10 WAYS TO IMPROVE GAS MILEAGE?


1. YOUR RIGHT FOOT

So simple anyone can do it. Here's the thing - your gas mileage can drop off as much as 15% between driving at or below 65mph and driving above 65mph. Now I love speed as much as the next person but you have to be realistic here - do you want better fuel economy or to get there marginally quicker? Once you get over about 65mph, you're using more engine power to overcome drag, which means consuming more fuel to do it.
What about when you're not on the interstate? Well consider a little less braking if you can. If you can see the next set of lights ahead of you are red, don't race up to them and come to a complete stop. Try to moderate your speed a little if you can do it safely. If you can get there as they turn green and the traffic in front begins to move, you're doing OK. That's because it takes more energy to get you going from a complete stop than it does from a slow roll. So if you can do this, it will improve your mpg.

2. CHANGE OCTANE IF YOU CAN

Too many people drive around with medium or premium gas in their tank when they just don't need to. If your owner's manual says "regular", it means it. Putting mid-grade or premium in is just wasting money. Why? Unless you have a high-compression engine which could be prone to detonation (pinking / pinging), you have absolutely no need for high-octane gasoline. The only thing that higher octane gives you is less probability of detonation. In high-performance cars with high-compression engines, that means allowing the engine management system to work at peak efficiency but for probably 75% of you, your car will quite happily run on the cheapest fuel you can put in it. Not an improvement in fuel economy per se, but a money saving at least.

3. USE THE INTERNET

Again - not so much about improving your mpg as saving money; no matter where you live, there will be one or more internet sites that can provide you with fuel prices in your area. Vote with your money. Buy from the cheap ones, and shun the expensive ones. It's not improving your mpg, but it is saving you money, and in the long term, that's what counts here. Apathy in this area is what the fuel companies rely on.

4. CHECK YOUR TIRE PRESSURE

This is a total no-brainer. Check your tire pressure regularly - make it part of your weekly routine or something. All motoring sites and magazines tell you the same thing and that's for a reason. If your tire pressure is low, you will be increasing the rolling resistance of the tire on the road and that will be robbing your fuel efficiency - your gas mileage will be down. So make sure they're up to manufacturer recommended values (at the very least) and watch your mpg get a little better.

5. GET LOW ROLLING-RESISTANCE TIRES

You might never have considered this, but manufacturers do make tires designed for low rolling resistance. This means that there's less effort required to roll the tire along the road surface. Less effort means less load on your engine. Less load means better mpg. When I went for aftermarket alloy wheels and tires on my vehicle, my gas mileage dropped by about 1mpg due simply to the change in tread pattern of the tires.

6. GET RID OF THE ROOF RACK

You go biking or skiing on the weekends. Great. When you're commuting to work, that empty roof rack is adding aerodynamic drag to your car. More drag means more power to overcome it, which means worse mpg. Take it off when you're not using it. Same goes for those 'aerodynamic' roof boxes - if you're not using it, get rid of it. Yes they look aerodynamic but the fact of the matter is they do induce drag. 

7. CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER

Out of sight, out of mind. I'm guilty of this. Your air filter is what protects your engine from ingesting all the dust, dirt and crap in the air. If it's doing its job well, it will clog up, much like the bag of a vacuum cleaner. Once it clogs up, your engine has a harder time sucking air through it. To compensate for the reduced airflow, the engine management system will richen up the mixture, using more petrol to keep the engine running smoothly. Replace your air filter at the factory recommended intervals.

8. CHANGE YOUR OIL AND OIL FILTER

While you won't see any massive improvement by changing your oil and filter, you're ensuring that your engine is keeping its 'fresh blood'.

9. GET NEW SPARK PLUGS
Spark plugs work in an incredibly hostile environment. If you've got more than 30,000 miles on yours, change them. Fresh plugs that aren't covered in carbon desposits will certainly help you in your quest to become a fuel miser.

10. ULTRASONIC CLEANING FOR YOUR FUEL INJECTORS

The only surefire way to clean your fuel injectors is to have them removed and given an ultrasonic bath. This is like those jewellery cleaners you might have seen. Basically it's a small tub filled with detergent solution that is hit with ultra high frequency vibrations or sound waves. The net effect is that any carbon deposits are shaken off the fuel injectors. Clean injectors give a more even fuel-air mix which results in a more predictable burn in the cylinder, which will contribute to improved gas mileage. If your injectors have never been done, or you've got more than 60,000 miles on them, consider getting the professionally cleaned.
Categories: Service

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