You like putting money into your car – but not throwing it away at the pump. Here’s a list of ways to manage your mileage.
- Aggressive driving
Aggressive driving can be defined as consistent speeding, rapid acceleration and hard braking. These factors can significantly lower your gas mileage. At highway speeds, aggressive driving can impact your fuel economy by 15% – 30%. In stop-and-go traffic, that number ranges from 10% to 40%
- Hitting higher speeds
On a similar note, speeding increases wind resistance, which is a major factor in reducing your fuel economy. EPA tests consider wind resistance, but only up to 80 mph. Many (most, really) drive over that limit, increasing the resistance and more heavily impacting your gas mileage.
- Cold weather
This one, of course, is the most difficult to control. Cold weather takes a toll on your fuel economy because your engine doesn’t reach its full potential until it’s warmed up. This does not mean that letting your car idle to “warm up” will positively impact your mileage. It’s determined that process actually uses more fuel, and creates more pollution. Additionally, taking short trips in the winter causes more problems because your car doesn’t typically get “warm” enough during the short time span.
- Cargo racks/Towing trailers
As can be imagined, the heavier load your car takes on, the more impact it has on your mileage. Carrying cargo or dragging trailers increases wind resistance. City/highway miles advertised for your vehicle most likely do not take additional weight into account.
- Using 4-wheel drive
This keeps you safer on slick roads – but the feature uses more power, therefore reducing your MPG. 4-wheel drive makes your engine work harder.
- Electrical accessories
Running your air conditioner is a sneaky culprit here. This doesn’t mean you have to struggle in the sweltering heat. But running your AC on full blast can reduce your fuel economy by 5% – 25%.