With gas prices topping $4 a gallon, real estate professionals who use their car frequently for work are looking for ways to get as much as they can out of every gallon.
Here are some tips for getting better mileage out of your car:
1. Slow down: Most cars get the best gas mileage at 45-55 miles per hour. Driving faster than 60 mph actually can cut gas mileage anywhere from 7 to 23 percent.
2. Don't idle: If you need to wait longer than 20 seconds, you’re better off turning off your engine than keeping your car running. Restarting the car requires less gas than leaving it idling.
3. Lose the heavy load: Make sure you’re not carrying in your car more than what you need. An extra 100 pounds sitting in the trunk or back seat can reduce fuel economy as much as 2 percent.
4. Tighten the gas cap: Fuel can evaporate through gas caps with broken or weak seals. Loose or broken gas caps can cost you a loss of about 2 percent in your gas mileage.
5. Close the windows and turn off the AC: Driving with the windows open or the air conditioner turned on can be big gas wasters. Instead, the most efficient way to keep the car cool is by using the air that comes in through your flow-through ventilator.
6. Get an oil change: Improve your gas mileage by as much as 2 percent by using energy-conserving or synthetic motor oil, which can reduce engine friction.
Source: “10 Tips to Improve Your Vehicle’s Fuel Economy,” RISMedia (March 17, 2011)