With so many electric and hybrid vehicles coming onto the market, you might be taking a second look at the gas station. Not everyone wants to spring for a super-efficient diesel or hybrid engine, but there are lots of ways to save your gas money. Here are a few tips we’ve collected on how you can stretch your MPG a little further.
Accelerating and braking both use up gas. If you can take a route with fewer stop signs or traffic lights to make you come to a complete stop, you’ll increase your MPG quite a bit. When you do accelerate, make sure to start slow and get up to speed gradually. Stomping on the gas pedal burns a lot of fuel. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that aggressive driving can lower your MPG by as much as 33% on the highway. It’s way more efficient to come up to speed at a reasonable pace and then stay at a steady speed — you can engage cruise control if you have it. Braking to slow down also has a negative effect on your overall MPG, so you can ease up on the accelerator instead. Obviously you’ll still need to hit the gas or the brakes sometimes, but when you have the space for it, easy driving makes for better milage.
Overall speed also has an effect on your MPG. Your engine has to work hard to maintain high speeds, and therefore it uses up more fuel. The Dept. of Energy says that the milage drop off happens at 49mph. At speeds over 50mph our mileage will drop dramatically. Most highways have speed limits higher than this, but the posted speed limit is usually pretty efficient. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends 55mph for the best compromise between speed and fuel economy. Reducing your highway speed also reduces your need to hit the brakes, so you save even more gas this way.
You can also reduce your car’s load to save fuel. You’ve probably noticed that you run out of gas quicker when you’re hauling a full cargo bed or a trailer behind you. But even a small load can take the edge off your vehicle. For large trucks, every 100 pounds you carry takes 1% off your MPG. Small cars lose an even larger percentage. Most of the time we’re hauling things, that extra weight can’t be helped, but be sure not to take your cargo further than it needs to go.
Wind resistance and weather will also take their cut of your gas. Having a cargo box on top of your car doesn’t have much of an effect in the city, but once you hit the highway it can drop your efficiency up to 25%. If you really need the space, you can mount your cargo box on the rear instead of on top, which reduces its wind drag. Aside from wind, the outside temperature can wreak havoc with your MPG, too. You’ve probably already heard that your air conditioning saps your gas — but rolling your windows down produces drag that does the same thing, so on really hot days you might as well crank the A/C. Cold weather will actually have a bigger impact on your engine. In colder weather, it takes a while for your engine to warm up to optimal temperatures for the best fuel efficiency. While it’s warming up, you can lose 12% of your milage from 77 degrees to about 20 degrees F. Plus, cold air is more dense, and creates more resistance when you drive through it. If you can store your car in a garage, especially a heated one, it can help keep your engine warm and avoid the warm-up loss of efficiency. You can also park in the sun or invest in an insulated car cover.
New Cars For Sale in Forest Lake, MN
If you’re looking for a new car, gas milage is probably on your list of things to take into consideration. We have lots of different fuel-efficient models for sale here in Forest Lake, MN, whether you need a car, truck, or SUV. Our sales teams are super friendly and helpful, and they’ll answer any questions you have about which car is best for you. We’ll help you find the perfect vehicle whether you’re thinking of buying a hybrid or using these tips to save on fuel. Stop by and see either of our dealerships near North Branch, Coon Rapids, Roseville, and White Bear Lake to find your next new or used vehicle!
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