Ways to Improve Gas Mileage

Dear Tracy,

I know everyone is complaining about gas prices, but the expense is really killing my budget! Is there anything I can do to improve the gas mileage on my car and make that expensive gas go a little further? I have heard that you can get fuel additives that will improve gas mileage. Do these work?

Nancy S.

Dear Nancy,

I completely relate to your frustration! For most of us it is really difficult to cope with the financial burden of these rising gas prices. I understand why you would like to do something to improve your gas mileage, but think twice about spending even more of your hard-earned money on fuel additives.

The knowledge and technology that has gone into the vehicle engines of today is pretty amazing. ¬†Through decades of research, vehicle engineers understand engines and the demands placed on them. Today’s engines are developed to provide optimal performance under the most stressful conditions. Engines undergo thorough and rigorous testing, and are developed to be reliable with proper maintenance. While some fuel additives may provide some benefits, your engine was designed to provide peak performance all on its own. If you still are not sure, before you pick up a bottle of something from your local auto parts store, check with your mechanic. He or she will be able to educate you on the different types of additives and the needs of your particular vehicle.

The best way to improve gas mileage is with proper maintenance and smart driving habits. Here are a few quick tips that should help you make the gas budget go a little further:

Proper Tire Inflation – always keep an eye on your tire pressure and keep the tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure.

Regular Oil Changes – make sure you always use the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil for optimal performance.

Regularly Check Tire Tread – remember that worn out tires are not only dangerous, but they cause your vehicle to operate less efficiently.

Do Not Speed/Use Cruise Control  on the Highway Рmaintaining a safe and consistent speed has all kinds of obvious benefits including better gas mileage.

Combine Trips – if you can discipline yourself enough to plan your trips, you may be surprised and delighted to discover how much you can save on the gas budget.