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How to get better mileage from your car

One of the most common questions that we get from motorists is how they can go about getting better mileage from their cars. There are a number of easy methods and devices you can use to improve your MPG, decrease your carbon footprint and save some money while you're at it!

Drive efficiently

The simplest and most effective way to get better mileage from your car is to drive more efficiently. Speeding, rapid acceleration and harsh breaking waste fuel. Plan and scan ahead and break in plenty of time. The optimal driving speed varies from car to car, but MPG generally decreases after 60mph. Other tips include:

  • Park on hills for roll starts when possible
  • Coast when you can
  • Don't idle when the engine on - turn it off if it's practical to do so
  • Anticipate traffic conditions
  • Use cruise controls on motorways and carriageways
  • Use overdrive gears - this causes the engine speed to go down

Remove excess weight

Remove any excess weight that you may be carrying in your car. An extra 100 pounds could reduce your miles per gallon by up to 2%. Also remove roof racks when they aren't in use - the extra drag will need more power to overcome it.

Check your tyre pressures

In order to improve fuel efficiency, use the manufacturer's maximum recommended pressure in your tyres. Under-inflated tyres can lower fuel efficiency by up to 4%.

Replace your air filter

A clogged air filter can decrease fuel efficiency by a whopping 10%. This is a relatively easy process - check the manufacturer's handbook for details.

Other ways to get better mileage from your car

  • Change your oil and oil filter
  • Swap your tyres for low rolling resistance ones
  • Get new spark plugs
  • Give your fuel injectors an ultra sonic clean
  • Check that your fuel cap is tight and properly fitted

Also do your research to make sure that you're buying the best value fuel in your area. There are plenty of sites that offer price comparisons (e.g. petrolprices.com and whatprice.co.uk).

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