How to improve gas mileage?

How to improve gas mileage

If you search online for methods showing how to improve gas mileage you will come across multiple solutions. However, they fail to describe the main factors that you have to take into consideration. These suggestions will help you to determine the best course of action whether you intend to buy a new car or make necessary modifications to your current vehicle. Here are the main factors that will give you an idea of how to improve fuel economy.

Type of the car

Have you ever seen a car that is fuel-efficient, can withstand high load and is convenient for family trips? Such cars don’t exist because they are entirely different categories depending on the purpose that they serve. Even manufacturers have one of these criteria in mind while creating a new car. 

We can categorize vehicles into three main categories: cars (including sedan, coupe, hatchback, station wagon, minivan, and convertible), SUVs, and trucks. Nowadays, there are many cross-overs that cannot be categorized solely under one of these categories. However, to make comparison easier we will neglect such abnormalities for now. 

Cars are mostly built on passenger car chassis and tend to be more fuel-efficient than SUVs that in most cases are built on truck chassis. In some cases, Minivans will have almost the same features as SUVs. SUV’s mostly have at least 5 mpg lower fuel consumption and will not be convenient for those who are willing to sacrifice everything for good fuel efficiency. Trucks are meant for high load transportation and it is understandable why there is no point to compare their fuel consumption with other types of automobiles. Even though you may know the tricks on how to increase mpg but the comparison still will be pointless. 

The engine sizes

When manufacturers create a car, they already have in mind whether it will be a sports car, off-road car, or a car for ordinary daily life. The purpose of the car determines the size of the engine that it requires. As you may have guessed sports cars and off-road cars require a significantly strong engine. Even though they will thrive in such situations they will also have significantly low fuel efficiency. 

How to get better gas mileage? As you have seen sports cars are just meant to have low mpg. You may try to drive calmly but this still will not give as good mpg as other types of cars have. Replacing some parts with low performance ones will definitely improve the results but it doesn’t make sense as we will go against the notion of a sports car. 

On the other hand, ordinary cars that are meant for everyday driving have an engine size that is only required. Even though they might not be useful for speedy driving they serve their purpose brilliantly. However, you have to take into account that pushing your car to exceed its limits will cause extremely low mpg and will put too much stress on your car. If you have a modest automobile and frequently use it for speedy or off-road driving you may have worse fuel efficiency than other cars with higher engine size. 

Driving habits

If you compare the mpg of two identical cars you will notice that they will not show identical results. Prompt acceleration, extremely slow driving, and many other factors will determine the fuel efficiency of your automobile. If you often get into traffic congestion you will be aware that starting and stopping a car consumes much more gasoline and steady driving around the city. Hence, the way you drive your “best friend” will affect your monthly expenses for petrol. 

As you may have guessed the answer to the question of how to increase gas mileage becomes much more straightforward. You may just have to change your driving habits and the problem will be solved.

Automatic vs manual car transmission

Manual transmission engines are less complex than automatics. Similarly, they have more gears and weigh significantly less. All these factors affect fuel consumption significantly. Manual transmission not only gives you more control over your car but also consumes much less gasoline compared to an automatic transmission. 

Mechanically, we are always triggered to find the easiest solution. Hence, we sometimes favor automatic transmission. However, making such a decision becomes permanent as you cannot simply buy aftermarket parts and change from automatic to manual transmission at your will. Many car owners have the skills to change the air filter or any other component that doesn’t require the interference of the technician, but there are some factors that you cannot change after making a buying decision. 

Weight of the car

Have you noticed how the performance of your car deteriorates as you allow more people to sit there? That is because of the weight of your passengers. When the manufacturer determines the engine, size they keep in mind the weight of the automobiles. Carmakers make sure that the vehicles that they produce are as lightweight as possible but they cannot take into account possible manual adjustments that the owner can make.  

If you would like to enhance the appearance of your car you may make it widebody or add additional parts that will make it look better. However, this will make your “best buddy” less fuel-efficient. Similarly, make sure to remove any unnecessary load from your automobile. Even if they seem weightless together, they will still impact gasoline consumption. This will also put more stress on the engine and will affect its overall performance. 

This may be the easiest solution when you ask yourself how to increase car mileage. Simply keep your car as lightweight as possible and you will be able to save money when it comes to fuel efficiency. 

4-wheel drive vs 2-wheel drive

A 4-wheel drive (4WD) is also known as 4×4 and implies that the car supplies torque to both axles. This allows the owner to have better friction that is vital for off-road driving or many other purposes. On the other hand, most of the cars are 2-wheel driven (2WD) as for city dwellers it is the most convenient option.

As you may have already guessed, 4WD means extra weight and more mechanical friction and is less fuel-efficient. Owning such a car may seem unnecessary if you mainly use it on good quality roads. Similarly, 2WD doesn’t mean that it will be useless outside the city. Based on the specific characteristics of your car it can even outperform many 4x4s in certain conditions.

The wellbeing of the car

As you know the condition of the car deteriorates depending on the time of its exploitation. Even seemingly uninfluential factors might have a crucial influence on fuel efficiency. Hence, it is always advisable to take it to a technician time by time especially if you notice something suspicious

No one likes visiting a technician, especially for small issues. However, if you take into account the extra costs that you may have to pay for gasoline, it is worth the struggle. Similarly, being proactive always pays off as such problems can always develop into something more detrimental.  

Tire size

Do you think bigger tires look much better on your car? if you think so you may have to consider extra costs associated with such enhancement. The tire size has a significant influence not only on the mileage of the car but also on the fuel efficiency as well. The bigger tires have more weight, generate more friction and more aerodynamic drag. Hence, they cause worse fuel efficiency of your car that will differ from case to case. 

Road condition

Let’s look at the statistics that clearly indicate why this factor is so important. According to Autolist, most cars achieve at least 5 mpg more when driving on a highway than on city roads. Similarly, roads that require prompt maintenance will also decrease mpg and will affect your monthly fuel consumption significantly. 

As an example, we can look at the 2017 Mustang GT. It is quite fuel-efficient in his category as it gets 25 mpg on a highway but only 15 mpg in the city. As you can see the difference is quite noticeable but it will vary from car to car. If you consider buying a car take the road condition of your area into account.

Octane and Gas Mileage

Have you ever noticed that sometimes your car runs out of gasoline much faster? Despite all the other factors that we have discussed above, the petrol station you use might be an issue. Fuel quality significantly affects the performance of your car, its health, and above all the fuel efficiency. To understand the reasons, we must know what octane means. 

Octane rating is a measurement that determines the petrol’s ability to withstand compression before detonating. A higher-octane number means that car can withstand significantly more compression. Octane rating is usually represented by the numbers from 1 to 100 but is displayed by the names: regular, midgrade, and premium. However, filling the tank of your automobile with premium gasoline doesn’t truly guarantee premium quality. Some providers may categorize petrol under different categories compared to others. Similarly, such categorization might be exclusive to certain countries. For instance, in the US octane rating of 87 usually means “Regular”, 88-90 “Midgrade”, and 91-94 “Premium”.

High octane rating will allow you to run your car more efficiently. Hence, paying a premium at a gas station can save you more because of better mpg. However, before we jump to conclusions, we have to take into account the recommendations of car providers. Each provider suggests in the manual the optimal octane rating for the specific model of your car. Using higher octane gasoline than recommended will be a waste of money as it will not affect the fuel efficiency at all.

What does your car run on?

Do you know a car that is fuel-efficient, comfortable, and super-fast? Aside from Tesla cars that are about to break all the stereotypes, such wonders are unprecedented among solely petrol-fueled automobiles. Nowadays, scientists are testing multiple sources of energy to fuel cars. However, petrol, diesel, electric, and hybrid cars are the main categories that most automobiles belong to. 

If you are cautious about fuel efficiency you may have to change the car because of this criterion. For instance, it’s a well-known fact that diesel cars are more fuel-efficient than petrol cars. Similarly, hybrids allow you to use the advantages of a gasoline engine without sacrificing fuel efficiency. Electricity and petrol combinations help to get the best of both worlds. For instance, Toyota Prius offers outstanding 60 mpg efficiency. 

Hybrids run by alternating between a conventional gasoline engine and a supplemental electric engine. This allows achieving on average 40-50 mpg. It is also a much cleaner option in terms of carbon emission than the best gasoline vehicles that were meant to be environmentally friendly. 

Takeaway

How to increase fuel economy? As you have seen the answer to this question depends on multiple factors. You have to make sure that you take into consideration all the factors that make a difference when it comes to fuel efficiency. If these suggestions still don’t solve your fuel efficiency issues, you may have to consider changing your car to a much more fuel-efficient option. To avoid such drastic change, make sure that you pay close attention to all these factors before purchasing a car.

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