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As gas prices continue to climb, you may be having a bit of sticker shock at the pumps. While little can be done about the price per gallon of gasoline, how you drive and take care of your vehicle can have a big effect on how much fuel you use. Following these tips to improve gas mileage can help extend your tank and help keep a few extra dollars in your pocket the next time you fill up.

Improve Gas Mileage Before you Drive

It may not come as a surprise, but how you maintain your vehicle has a major impact on fuel economy. Routine maintenance isn’t just a recommendation and is required to keep your vehicle at peak performance.

Here are a few ways to keep your car running like new to improve gas mileage before you hit the road:

1. Routine Maintenance

Simple tune ups, such as regular oil changes, new air-filters and replacing spark plugs will not only extend the life of your vehicle, but will improve fuel economy as well. Follow the manufacturer’s schedule in your owner’s manual.

2. Watch Your Weight

The amount of cargo you tote around can lower your vehicle’s overall fuel economy. For every 100lbs you have in your car, fuel economy can be decreased by 1-2%. To improve your gas mileage, lighten your load and only carry what is necessary.

3. Check Your Tires

Keeping your tires properly inflated and aligned reduces drag on your engine and saves gas. Be sure to check the tires suggested psi and add air as needed to each. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by about 0.2% for every 1 psi drop in the average pressure of all tires. Do not exceed the recommended psi for your tires.

Improve Gas Mileage Behind the Wheel

The way you drive has the largest affect on your overall gas mileage. Watching your speed and driving less aggressively can mean more money in your pocket. Here are some tips to improve gas mileage while you’re behind the wheel.

1. It’s Not a Race

Just because your car can go 0-60 in a few seconds doesn’t mean it needs to. Driving behaviors like jolting accelerations and hard breaking are even hard on the gas tank. This can lower your gas mileage by 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic. In addition, lowering your speed to 65 mph on the highway instead of 75 can cut fuel use up to 20%. Not only will you be driving safer, you’ll be saving at the pump too!

2. Idling is Not Ideal

During start-up, your engine requires a little extra gasoline. You may think that letting your engine idle for a short amount of time would use less than having to restart. However, idling for more than a minute actually uses more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting. Idling can use up to ¼ – ½ a gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size.

Although these savings may not curb your frustration at the fuel pump, it can lead to small savings that add up over time. If your current vehicle just isn’t keeping up, it may be time for an upgrade. Newer models now offer fuel economy improving “stop-start” technology, as well as electric and hybrid options to help you save more when you fill up. For more savings, just call us at 724-929-2300. We can compare car insurance prices with a number of top companies to get you the best price possible. Ask about our bundling options too and enjoy the extra savings every month!