When you consider your car’s miles per gallon you are probably thinking about your regular trips to the gas station and the price of filling up your car every other week (or maybe more frequently than that). It’s a number or dollar sign that you might take into consideration when you are buying a new car or perhaps when you’re trying to decide which car you’re taking on a long road trip. Miles per gallon is often considered to be a fixed number, an exact metric based on the design of the car straight from the factory, and the day you drove off the lot. In reality, the miles per gallon number is an educated guess that, while fairly accurate, isn’t universal law.
You don’t need to feel trapped by your miles per gallon. There are things you can do to improve your car’s fuel efficiency, and some of them are just good safety measures and taking good care of your car. Many of the things you need to do to improve your fuel efficiency are simply measures of awareness - being aware of your car, it’s needs, it’s maintenance, and it’s abilities will help you to get the best possible performance out of your beloved car.
One of the first and most important things for you to check and maintain for your car’s life and fuel efficiency is the state of your tires. Do you wait until your safety & emissions test requires you to invest in new tires before you can update your registration? Most of us do that, but by taking a more concerted effort to assess your tires regularly you will help your car perform better and actually increase your miles per gallon.
First take a look at your current tires. How large are they? How worn is the tread? It may be time to replace your tires simply because they are worn down. If you’re looking to increase your miles per gallon you want to choose the slimmest profile tire for your car. Larger tires cause your car to work harder and therefore use your gas towards efforts other than driving your car efficiently. Huge off-road tires may look really cool, but if you’re not actually using those off-road tires you are losing miles per gallon every time you fill up. Switching to smaller tires, or even just newer tires with better tread can make a difference in your car’s fuel efficiency.
The trickier and more regular step to take is to monitor your tire pressure levels as frequently as possible. Did you know that overinflated and under inflated tires can adversely impact your fuel efficiency and miles per gallon? It’s true. Invest in an air pressure gauge - they’re inexpensive and easy to use once you learn how. Check your tires when you experience hot or cold weather. Keep a close eye for leaks if you drive through construction zones. Having properly inflated tires will increase your MPG, so buy an air compressor or find a gas station nearby with free or cheap air to keep them properly inflated.
Take care of your tires to increase your miles per gallon!
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