Simple Tips to Increase Your Gas Mileage Through Better Driving

by : Terry Edwards

The inflation in gas prices shows no sign of slowing down and people are getting plenty worried about spending more and more of their income at the gas pump. Those who can afford it have switched to hybrids, or have switched to smaller, lighter vehicles. Some institutions are looking for alternative sources of energy and the rest have resorted to gas engine fuel savers and various gas mileage increasing devices. However, I just need to point out that you can already do a lot to increase your gas mileage merely by improving your attitude on the road.

One of the driving habits that hurt your fuel mileage is erratic driving. If you are constantly accelerating or decelerating, you tend to use up more gas than if you are cruising at a constant speed. The way the engine works is that it needs to use more gas to jumpstart the engine if the gears are shifted. Try to maintain a consistent speed and also try to keep your shifts in speed smooth. Gas mileage won't benefit from jackrabbit starts.

Another way you can conserve gas is by slowing down your overall speed if the situation permits it. Of course, you need to speed things up if you're on the highway, since slowing down is actually against traffic rules in that situation, but if you're on the freeway, you can safely get away with driving below the max speed limit. Just remember to keep to the right when slowing down, so you won't impede the people who are wasting gas.

Check your manufacturer for the recommended tire pressure and maintain the recommended psi. Bear in mind that the average tire loses about 1 psi per month. The reason for this is that under-inflated tires will have more resistance and will keep your car from moving as fast as it could. When a car struggles to move, it tends to use up more gas.

You should also cut down on the bling, or to be more specific, avoid souping up your car to the point that you have wider tires installed. These fancy plates and mags may look cool and some will even improve handling, but they tend to create more rolling resistance than stock tires. The more resistance it has, the more fuel your car needs. Saving up on gas by avoiding fancy tires acts in two ways; first, it saves money on long-term gas consumption, and as a bonus, also saves on the money you would have used to buy a fancy tire.

At the end of the day, if you really want to save on gas, avoid driving as much as you can. If you're going somewhere that is only a few blocks away, try walking or bicycling. This has an additional health benefit, since the workout you will get from the physical activity may actually improve your fitness. Instead of going to a drive through fast food, park your car and eat inside. Ideally, spend the evening at home and enjoy a home-cooked meal. You don't really need to use your something unless it is necessary, particularly if it's a gas-guzzling car.