Gas is expensive, but you can’t go without it! You won’t get very far on an empty tank of gas! But you can take steps to help conserve the gas in your tank and spend less on the gas you buy. Check out our 15 best gas mileage tips to help you go farther!
Before you start your road trip, take some steps to reduce fuel consumption! This requires regular maintenance as well as a few extra steps. These are all pretty easy to follow and should help your full tank last longer!
Tip 1: Inspect your tires regularly, including the air pressure. Tires with worn tread will not grip the road as well and will reduce your MPG! Having improper inflation can cause abnormal wear, dragging, and reduced gas mileage! Buy a tire gauge and use it often! The pressure in your tires can change with temperature and altitude changes, so depending on where you’re going, you may need to check more than once per trip.
Tip 2: Make sure the weight of your trailer is distributed evenly across the trailer, hitch, and tow vehicle. If it’s not properly distributed, it can cause sway and put more pressure on the tow vehicle than needed, causing it to have to work harder. And when a vehicle works harder, it uses more gas. Install a weight distribution system on your hitch to even everything out and distribute the weight accordingly.
Tip 3: Speaking of weight, try and reduce the weight of the trailer as much as you can! Leave unnecessary things behind as they just add weight to the trailer. Traveling with empty tanks will also lighten the trailer. Try to find a spot close to your campground to fill your fresh water tank if there won’t be hookups onsite.
Tip 4: Make sure you get your routine oil changes done on time! This keeps the engine lubed up and running smoothly. The easier it is for the engine to run, the less gas it will use!
Tip 5: Changing your spark plugs will help improve gas mileage. Spark plugs are what create the combustion as the piston brings the fuel to them. If they are dirty or worn and not firing correctly, the combustion won’t occur properly. Again, this puts more strain on the engine and causes it to work harder, in turn using more fuel.
Tip 6: You also want to keep your fuel injectors clean so they deliver the right amount of fuel. Not only can dirty injectors deliver improper fuel amounts, the dirt can build up and eventually cause them to stop working. Regularly adding fuel injector cleaner to your gas will help keep them clean and running well.
Tip 7: When you want to get gas, try to find it as cheap as you can. This doesn’t affect gas mileage itself, but the less you pay for gas the farther you go on each dollar. Use sites and apps such as Gas Buddy to find the cheapest gas in your area.
Tip 8: When you fill up, use regular unless the vehicle calls for something different. Some engines have a high detonation rate, and thus need the higher octane. If this is the case, it will say so in the owner’s manual, and very likely inside the gas door somewhere. Using higher octane otherwise is a waste of money. This is another one that doesn’t really help with gas mileage, but helps you spend less at the pump.
While You’re Driving
Keep the following in mind while you’re driving. This goes for when you’re towing and when you’re not. Saving gas mileage is a must especially in the summer months when gas seems to spike in price!
Tip 9: Taking off from a stop uses more gas than driving. If you have the option to take some back roads that will reduce the amount of traffic lights or stop signs you hit, it will help keep that surge of gas needed to get going again to a minimum.
Tip 10: Taking off in general uses a lot of gas, but make sure you control your foot! Taking off quickly uses even more gas and so does driving fast all together. You will see the best mileage when you keep your speeds between 50-55 MPH. Anything higher, even on the highway, and the wind resistance comes into play and lowers the MPG.
Tip 11: Back in the days of the carburetor, it took a surge of gas to get the car started. This meant that it was more cost effective to leave the car running for short stops than to turn it off and restart it. Now that we have fuel injectors, that’s no longer the case. The fuel injectors are more efficient and use about as much gas to start the vehicle as to let it idle for 10 seconds. So, if you don’t have to let it idle, turn it off. Not only are you saving gas, you’re helping the ozone!
Tip 12: Use cruise control when you can! This will keep your vehicle at a steady speed and use the least amount of gas and acceleration needed to do so! Keep in mind, you should never use cruise control in wet or slippery conditions. This can cause your tires to accelerate when hydroplaning or sliding on the ice.
Tip 13: If your tow vehicle has an overdrive setting, use it! This gear puts a lot less strain on the engine, thus saving you gas.
Tip 14: Should you use the AC or put the windows down? That depends on where you are! If you’re driving on slower roads, open the windows and enjoy the fresh air. At lower speeds, having the AC on uses more gas than it’s worth! If you’re heading down the highway, put the windows up and turn the AC on! While the AC is still using the same amount of gas, having the windows open at high speeds creates drag that will actually put more strain on your vehicle than running the A/C will!
Tip 15: Think about wind resistance. Anything you can do to eliminate resistance will help. If you have a roof rack that you don’t use, take it off. If you can replace the tailgate in the bed of the truck with a mesh one, switch it out. These little things will create less drag and wear on your engine.
Camping and traveling doesn’t have to be expensive! Do what you can to save where you are able! Hopefully these 15 tips will help you!
How do you save money on gas? Let us know in the Comments below!