Fuel prices keep rising worldwide, and that’s been making fuel economy a trending topic for car owners everywhere. Understandably, people are focusing on improving poor fuel economy so they can delay their next trip to the gas station. But is that possible?
There are several ways you can improve the poor fuel economy of your car without having to invest in products that claim to do it for you. Instead, spend your money on keeping your car in excellent shape, optimize driving habits, and pre-plan your routes to avoid jams. Plus, reducing the weight in your vehicle and not idling unnecessarily will also improve the car’s fuel economy.
This guide will walk you through the 5 ways you can improve your car’s poor fuel economy starting today.
How Can You Improve A Car’s Fuel Efficiency?
Improving your car’s fuel economy means getting the best fuel efficiency the vehicle is capable of. Of course, you can experiment with the many different ways of doing that, but not all methods have the same impact.
Instead, here are 5 of the best ways you can begin improving your car’s fuel economy today:
1. Keep Your Car In Excellent Shape
First and foremost, you must never forget that your car is a well-designed machine, regardless of its make or model. That’s because auto manufacturers have invested plenty of time and money to ensure that your car is as fuel efficient as possible.
However, natural wear and tear will reduce that efficiency as time goes on. So the older your vehicle and its parts are, the worse its fuel economy will become.
With that in mind, the first and most crucial step to improve your car’s fuel economy is ensuring that the vehicle is in the best shape possible. Restoring your car to its peak condition is the quickest and easiest way to improve its fuel economy instantly.
Some of the things you can do include:
- Keep up with regular maintenance: Never take your oil changes and other routine maintenance tasks for granted. When your engine has fresh oil, lubricant, and other fluids that it relies on, the car will operate as efficiently as possible. But, of course, that efficiency extends towards its fuel economy, as well.
- Have good tires and keep them filled: The engine generates power, but the tires are how that power is transmitted to the road below. Having good tires means they can grip the road strongly, especially when there’s enough air in them. As a result, the car won’t waste any fuel generating power that goes to waste.
- Balance and align those tires: Power is lost when tires aren’t balanced or well aligned. That’s why tire balancing and alignment contribute to your car’s fuel efficiency.
- Clean or change the spark plugs: Lastly, take note of your spark plugs. Unfortunately, they’re easy to overlook despite their critical role in the engine’s combustion process. Old and dirty plugs lead to poor fuel economy, so clean them or have them changed.
2. Optimize Your Driving Habits
Once you’ve ensured that your car is well-maintained and in optimal condition, you can move on towards other ways of improving fuel economy. Another important method of doing that is to optimize your driving habits.
Your driving habits are likely second nature by now, and you perform those tasks automatically without a single thought. Unfortunately, some of them could contribute to your car’s fuel economy.
For example, aggressive accelerating and braking could force your car to burn fuel inefficiently. Besides that, getting stuck in start-stop traffic during your commute also adds to the problem.
Ideally, you’ll want to ensure that you’re accelerating and braking as gently as possible. On top of that, the habit of maintaining a particular speed and cruising (whenever possible) also allows your engine to work optimally.
The bottom line is this: gentle driving habits prevent your car from burning fuel unnecessarily, leading to better fuel economy.
3. Pre-Plan Your Routes
Prior, you’ve read that cruising and avoiding start-stop traffic helps to improve poor fuel economy. However, that can be pretty challenging, especially since you might not know what traffic will be like on your route.
However, some traffic patterns can be predictable. Therefore, you can take advantage of those predictable patterns to improve poor fuel economy by pre-planning which routes you take.
For example, you can:
- Plan routes to your destination with the lowest chance of traffic jams
- Plan routes that have the least number of traffic lights
These days, pre-planning your routes and finding the smoothest ones is easier than ever. Google Maps, for instance, can show you typical traffic patterns on your route at different times of the day.
Besides that, you can also use GPS navigation apps like Waze and others to help you avoid traffic jams.
4. Reduce Weight
A significant factor affecting a car’s fuel economy is the amount of weight it carries. In simple terms, a vehicle burns more fuel when it has to carry extra weight.
So, you can improve your vehicle’s poor fuel economy by keeping it as empty as possible.
Some basic methods to do that include
- Driving with as few passengers as possible
- Removing all unnecessary baggage or cargo in the trunk
However, you can also take some relatively extreme measures to lower the vehicle’s weight even more if you want to.
Those methods include
- Removing the rear seat, which often weighs 50 pounds or more
- Using brake rotors made from carbon-ceramic, which are lightweight (but also pricey)
- Switching to a radiator made of aluminum
- And much more.
Naturally, the somewhat extreme measures listed above might be just that: too extreme for most people. So, start by keeping your car as tidy as possible without clutter.
If you want to take your car’s fuel economy to new levels, try some of the extreme methods listed above.
5. Avoid Idling
Lastly, you can improve poor fuel economy by not idling.
Idling means keeping your engine running when the car isn’t moving. For example, some drivers idle to keep their air conditioning on while parked and waiting for passengers.
One of the idling’s downsides is that it burns fuel unnecessarily, leaving less in your tank for the moments you need to move.
So, it’s one way your car’s fuel economy becomes poor, especially if you do it very often. A perfect example is a car used for ride-sharing or food deliveries. Drivers who use their vehicles for those reasons tend to idle more than usual while waiting for the next pickup or delivery.
Instead, you should shut your engine off and roll down the window while waiting. Then, start the car only when you need to drive to your next destination.
As you can see from the 5 ways to improve poor fuel economy of your car detailed above, none involve spending money unnecessarily. That’s important to remember because plenty of people will try to sell you shady products that claim to make your car more fuel efficient.
Unfortunately, as gas prices rise worldwide, more of those questionable products will enter the market, and even more drivers will be tempted to use them. The final piece of advice here is simple: spend your money on ensuring your car is in top condition, and you’ll enjoy the best fuel economy the vehicle can provide you.