As gas prices continue to go up, experts are offering tips for motorists on how to conserve fuel, resulting in fewer trips to the pump and more money in their pockets.
The national average for a gallon of gas rose to an all-time high on Tuesday, jumping to $4.17 per gallon. The price is even higher in Illinois, now sitting at an average of $4.43 per gallon, and prices are showing no signs of slowing down.
As a result, experts are offering tips on how to maximize your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, and it all starts with the one part of your car that meets the road: your tires.
According to John Giblin of Bourbonnais’ Mr. Transmission, proper tire inflation is key, and he also says that the overall weight of your vehicle plays a key role in how well it performs, and how much fuel it uses.
“The more weight you put on a vehicle, the more strain you’re going to put on an engine, and the more strain you put on an engine, the more fuel it’s going to burn,” he said.
Another key according to Giblin: watching your speed.
“You want to make sure you’re definitely doing speed limits, or to even go below it,” he said.
Wayne Gerdes of CleanMPG.com, who holds multiple Guinness World Records for fuel and energy efficiency, has some tips of his own, including the “long glide” strategy of braking.
“Don’t keep accelerating into that traffic jam,” he said. “Just let off and glide for that last half-mile or so.”
Gerdes also says that motorists should be mindful of how they press the accelerator, keeping it locked in one position rather than using cruise control. Doing so over hills will allow the car to stay in a higher gear, which he says saves on gas.
Routine car maintenance, including timely oil changes, is also key, according to Giblin.
“The less friction on a crank from the motor oil gives you better gas mileage,” he said.
Finally, if you have to make multiple stops on an errand run, be sure to select the furthest destination first.
“You car or truck or SUV operates much more efficiently when it’s warm than when it’s cold,” Gerdes said.