So I—and almost everybody else in the country, finally—am looking for ways to improve my gas mileage. There are lots of tips in the news lately: keep your tires properly inflated, get a tuneup, brake and accelerate slowly. You know the routine.

But do they really work? Some of you are probably like me. I hear the advice and I think, “Yeah, I really need to do that,” and then I don’t. There are proven methods out there that reduce fuel consumption thus effectively reducing money spent out of pocket. Yet, we choose to be ignorant and pass on the opportunity to save money.

Not anymore.

Current Fuel Consumption

I’m going to be putting these tips to the test over the week to see just how much my gas mileage improves and how much money I’d save if I was more aware of my driving habits and followed the tips and advice given to improve fuel efficiency.

Last Sunday, I filled my tank to capacity and drove 147 miles during the week.
I filled up again on Sunday at $3.55/gallon and used 5.48 gallons costing me $19.45.
This leaves my average fuel consumption for the week at average of 26.8 mpg.

Now, I drive a 1997 Honda Civic Coupe and I expected the number to be around or above 30 miles per gallon. This leads me to believe that there is plenty of room for improvement.

Fuel Saving Tips and Advice

I’ll be taking the following advice into consideration.

Driving the Speed Limit

From what I’ve read, driving any speed above 60 miles per hour will start to reduce your fuel efficiency. This seems to be the easiest way to conserve gas, but also the least likely to get accomplished. We’re all in a rush and nothing is going to stop us if we can get to our destination 5 minutes sooner by driving 15 miles per hour faster.

Stop Driving Like an A-hole.

I’ll admit that I can drive aggressively. This includes accelerating too quickly and braking too late. Moderate driving habits should improve gas mileage drastically. It’s going to be tough, but I’ll be on my best driving behavior over the next few days.

Properly Inflated Tires

I don’t know how much this is going to help fuel efficiency, but I’ve read properly inflated tires can increase efficiency by up to 3%. Sure, 3% isn’t much, but it’s 3% more than I have now. Plus, driving around with properly inflated tires is much safer and will help increase the overall life of the tires, again saving me more money.

In addition to the three tips above, I’ll also be using cruise control as much as possible and I’ll be removing a lot of miscellaneous useless items that have been floating around in the trunk of my car. There’s no doubt in my mind that I will actually save money by doing the things listed above. Check back within a week and see how I do. Hopefully the obvious save in money will be all the motivation both you and I need to improve our driving habits.

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Last Updated: September 17, 2008

Join the Discussion

  • peggy
    peggy
    Reply

    I have a small car and find when I drive NOT over
    45 I save alot on gas, which here in san diego
    wait for it 3.72 agal and thats regular
    boy you pay 3.55

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