How to Increase Your Car’s Fuel Mileage: Part 1

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Fuel prices will inevitable continue to rise. The best way to save is to figure out a way to increase the mileage per dollar.

In this guide, we’ll help you discover creative, interesting and practical solutions for improving car and fuel efficiency.

Optimise Your Car to Increase Mileage

1. Inflate the tyres properly

Studies have shown that properly inflated tyres can reduce fuel consumption by up to 3%.

During the colder seasons, your tyres will lose about one PSI per month due to thermal contraction in the air. As a best practice, check your tyres on a weekly basis.

Correctly-inflated tyres will also help you avoid uneven wear and tear.

If you inflate your tyres at fuel stations, it is essential that you double-check the pressure in your tyres using your own gauge. This is especially important if the automatic air compressors at the fuel station show that you need to add a larger than expected volume of air.

Occasionally, the air compressor will have a permanently installed valve stem extensions to enable you to assess tyres pressure without removing the caps.

Unfortunately, some of these automatic air compressors are prone to jamming due to foreign materials. To ensure that your pressure reading is accurate, fill the tyres with air in the morning or after you have driven only a short distance.

After the tyres heat up, you may get an inaccurate reading. If you have been driving around for some time, and it’s hot outside, your tyres lose about three PSI.

Your car will have a manual indicating how much air pressure should be in your tyres. Alternatively, the driver side door, may have the recommended pressure for your tyres.

Note that the reading stamped on your car’s tyre is the maximum pressure that you can put into the tyre and not the recommended one.

2. Tune up the engine

Have your car engine regularly tuned to enhance the power and the efficiency of its fuel usage.

Be careful when you are having your car engine tuned because if it is being optimised to increase its power, the mechanics will disable most of the efficiency measures that were put there by the manufacturer.

Ensure that the engine has spark plugs that are in good condition, the oil is changed on time, the oil filter is in good condition, and the air filter is cleaned regularly.

3. Monitor the condition and cleanliness of the air filter

A dirty air filter reduces your car’s fuel economy. It may also stall the engine when idling. Avoid dusty roads that may clog your air filter.

4. Replace the fuel filter

Your car’s manufacturer will have a recommended schedule for changing the fuel filter.

Make sure you follow the schedule without fail to enhance your fuel efficiency.

5. Don’t haul excess load

As a rule, before you buy a car, ensure that you are getting the best car that will serve your needs best.

The weight of the car is usually one of the biggest causes of loss of fuel in non-hybrid vehicles.

If you are driving yourself to work, get rid of the excess weight in your car.

6. Improve the car’s aerodynamics by using narrow tyres

Narrow tyres have a smaller footprint area that helps reduce the aerodynamic drag.

Don’t forget that narrow tyres give less traction compared to wide tyres and hence the reasons why many sports cars have wide tyres .

Always make sure that you fit your car with the tyres that have been recommended by the manufacturer.

7. Use low resistance compound tyres

Low resistance compound tyres are a great idea for improving fuel economy as they reduce air drag by a few percentage points.

While these tyres are beneficial for many vehicles, ensure that you do not substitute proper inflation with this type of tyres or replace them with the former tyres before they are completely worn out.

8. Ensure engine systems are in good working condition

The systems that you will need to ensure are in good working condition in fuel injected cars are oxygen sensors, evaporative emissions control systems, and engine emissions system.

Every time the engine light on the dashboard is lit, it is an indication that some of these components are not in good working condition.

For example, a damaged oxygen sensor will affect the fuel reach which decreases your mileage by 20%.

Image from: keem1201

Optimise Fuel Usage to Increase Mileage

1. Fill Half Tanks

When your fuel tank is just 1/4 full, you will be putting additional operating pressure on the fuel pump.

However, if you fill up the tank completely, you will only be adding unnecessary weight to your car which will be bad for fuel efficiency – 1/2 full is better for your mileage.

2. Add a synthetic oil additive when changing your oil

Adding synthetic additives oil to your engine’s oil helps in circulating the oil more efficiently in your car’s engine.

It can increase your fuel mileage by up to 15% if you follow the manual guidelines correctly.

3. Only buy quality petrol

Before you purchase fuel, compare the mileage between different fuel companies and then select the best for your car.

Even though the fuel you purchase is heavily discounted, and it may save you a few cents per gallon, it can contain a higher percentage of ethanol which burns faster.

Use a smart technology such as GOFAR to track and log your mileage.

GOFAR helps you to find your car engine’s sweet spot and helps you drive efficiently saving on fuel and reducing wear on your brakes.

Other areas where the GOFAR app and adapter can assist include;

  • Tracking car mileage for tax deductions
  • Alerting you when the car has a fault
  • Explaining the car faults in plain English
  • Saving fuel by finding the engine’s sweet spot
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