How often do you fill up your gas tank or are you making multiple trips to the gas station for just enough fuel to get you where you need to go? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was more time in between those trips to the pump? If that was happening, then it would be a clear indication that you’re saving on your gas mileage. Here are five proactive ways that you can get more out of your next tank of gas:
Obviously, if we drive slower we’re going to save on gas but do you know why? The faster a car goes, the more there is an aerodynamic “drag” effect and that forces a car’s engine to work harder. This is especially true if you’re traveling from a complete stop to a total “rev up.” The reverse is also true: If you’re driving fast and need to bring your car to a complete stop in a hurry (red light), then it will burn more energy.
Lighten the Load
The more you carry in your carry, the more fuel you’re going to expel. Want proof? Try carrying around a ten-pound bag of rice. Not too hard. Now, carry a fifty-pound bag. You’ll be getting tired a lot quicker. This doesn’t mean you can use your car or truck for carry/hauling things. It just means keep that trunk and truck bed as empty as possible on a regular basis.
Check Your Tire Pressure
New cars have tire pressure sensors that let you know exactly when the pressure is low and which tire needs an air boost. On older cars, it requires the “old school” method of checking the air pressure with a gauge. When a tire’s pressure is low it increases the rolling resistance and that makes the car drag. It might seem slight when you’re driving but any time your engine has to work harder, then you’re going to be expelling more fuel.
A lot of people seem to have an aversion to stopping and starting their cars. They would much rather let them idle when waiting for someone to come out of a store or a house. Running a car at idle can burn a gallon of fuel every hour. You probably wouldn’t idle for an hour but when you break that down you can see that ten-minutes of idling might waste 21 ounces of gas. Do that six times a week and there is your gallon of wasted gas.
Refuel in the Morning
Not many people know about this one but it is all about the science of petroleum. Early in the morning, the gas in a gas stations underground tank is colder making the fuel denser. When the temps rise, the molecules expand. What happens then is that the gallon of gas you put into your car on a hot afternoon might not be a true “gallon” because its volume has expanded. You can get around 2.5% more gas by volume (as opposed to weight) in the morning then in the afternoon.