As fuel costs rise, so does the need for vehicles with good fuel efficiency. According to a study in 2020, low gas mileage became the number one priority of car buyers in the United States. However, shelling out for a more fuel-efficient or fuel-free option isn’t the best option for everyone. Fortunately, lowering the amount of cash spent at the pump each week can be achieved just as easily with a quality used vehicle as with a new car.


Regardless of what vehicle you drive, there are ways to improve its gas mileage that are simple and easy to adopt. Here are seven tips that drivers can employ to get the best gas mileage from their vehicle:


1. Get Better Gas Mileage with Clean Air Filter

When a vehicle’s air filter is dirty or clogged, its engine is forced to consume extra fuel to perform properly. An engine’s air filter ensures contaminants and debris do not enter the combustion chamber. If not replaced regularly, a dirty air filter can restrict proper airflow, forcing the engine to consume more fuel.


How often should I change my vehicle’s air filter?

Refer to your vehicle’s owner manual for guidance on how frequently to change its air filter.

A general rule of thumb is to replace the air filter in your vehicle every 19K – 24K kilometres or if you suspect it needs replacing. When it’s time to replace an engine’s air filter, it’s best to have a reputable mechanic or auto-technician do it for you.


2. Tire Pressure

Low tire pressure causes increased gas and power consumption in all vehicles. When a car’s tires are at a pressure below its recommended psi, its engine works harder to accelerate, thus requiring more gas.


Keeping a vehicle’s tires at optimal air pressure will help reduce the amount of fuel it needs to operate and is key to a proper car maintenance routine. Monitoring tire pressure regularly with a simple tire pressure gauge is a simple and easy way to increase your vehicle’s fuel economy. 


Does Over Inflating Tires Improve Gas Mileage?

No, do not overinflate your tires to increase your vehicle’s gas mileage. Overinflating tires does not reduce an engine’s fuel consumption levels. However, it does reduce a car’s handling ability and interior cabin comfort while driving.


3.Drive with Consistency

How we drive impacts how much fuel our vehicle uses. By adopting consistency when driving, you can lower the amount of gas the engine needs to operate. Why? Gas consumption increases each time a car, truck, or motor vehicle accelerates. Therefore, it’s easy to understand that fewer accelerations will lead to less fuel consumption.


Avoid Hard Braking

A vehicle that regularly brakes hard will require more gas than one that rarely slams on its brakes. An easy way to increase gas mileage is to avoid braking hard when possible. Not only will this help lower fuel costs, but it will also prolong the life of your brakes and brake pads by saving them from unnecessary wear and tear.


Some tips to achieve this include:


  • Always leave a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you.
  • Drive the speed limit.
  • Brake slowly as much as possible.


Limit Aggressive Accelerating 

The more an engine is asked to accelerate, the more fuel it needs. A gas pedal that spends considerable time kissing the floorboard will put great demands on the engine and increase the amount of fuel it uses to keep up.


Saving money on gas can be done simply by accelerating slowly and gently instead of fast and hard.


4.Tighten the Gas Cap

Diesel and gas are volatile liquids that evaporate if not appropriately secured. Ill-fitting and loose gas caps on a vehicle can lead to fuel evaporating into thin air instead of powering the engine. 


Many vehicles are equipped with an Evaporative Emission Control System (EVAP) that can detect when gasoline fumes escape from the tank. However, it’s not a problem if your vehicle doesn’t have this feature. All you need to do is firmly tighten your gas cap after each fill-up.


5.Remove External Storage Accessories

Roof racks, bike racks, or other storage accessories mounted to a car increase a vehicle’s fuel consumption. They interfere with the aerodynamics of a car, making it more challenging to move forward. When these accessories aren’t needed, it’s good to remove them to prevent unnecessary fuel consumption.


6.Use Cruise Control

Cruise control in a vehicle maintains a constant speed without the gas pedal being used. By using cruise control, gas mileage can improve because the engine is kept at a consistent power. While not feasible for city driving, cruise control will help reduce gas consumption for highway driving.


7.Avoid Storing Heavy Items in Your Car

The greater the weight of a motor vehicle, the greater the energy needed to move it. Hauling groceries, sports equipment, and other essential items in a car are necessary for day-to-day living. However, to keep fuel consumption at a minimum, try to limit excess weight in your vehicle as much as possible.


8.Go Idle Free

An idling engine is anything but idle to those seeking the best possible gas mileage. According to the Government of Canada, idling an average size engine for just ten minutes uses up about 300mL. If air conditioning is also running when a motor is idling, gas consumption increases further.


While idling may not be entirely avoidable in Canada, for instance, in sub-zero temperatures, an engine should be allowed to warm up a few minutes before driving; however, there are plenty of ways to decrease how much your car idles. 


Other benefits of going idle-free include:


  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Save money.
  • Cut back on noise pollution.
  • Improve local air quality.


Looking for a Used Car with Low Gas Mileage? Visit Howie’s Car Corral

At the Car Corral, we’ve been selling quality used vehicles on Vancouver Island for over twenty years. During that time, we’ve seen an increased desire by our customers to own low-impact cars with impressive fuel efficiency, and we aim to deliver. For a quality used vehicle that you can rely on to keep you safe and lower your fuel costs, stop by the corral. Or, check out our currently available options online.