Most Americans rely on personal vehicles as their main means of transportation. However critical, our conveyances come with a host of hassles. Just ponder the relationship between filling one’s gas tank and emptying one’s wallet. Maximizing fuel economy entails countless minor actions which together, little by little, add up to achieve notable outcomes.

15 Causes of Poor Gas Mileage (and How to Increase Your MPG)

Easy on Your Engine

Considering how engines work, the greatest sources of gas wastage are, unsurprisingly, also sources of excessive engine stress. Erratic driving is a major factor. Coasting down hills with your engine off is extreme, but so is zooming like a maniac. While the impulse feels automatic, especially in fitful rush hour traffic, flattening your accelerator and slamming your brakes forces your engine to expend much more fuel than does a steady foot and strategic cruise control usage.

Procure Proper Parts

The presence or absence of certain components in a vehicle also affects fuel efficiency. For example, diesel vehicles run best with all parts designed for diesels. This goes double for any piece of the fuel system down to the Airdog fuel hose, as parts meant for gasoline can damage diesel engines. Likewise, high-octane fuel outside high-performance vehicles actually produces poorer results. Your trusty owner’s manual tells you the optimum fuel class for your engine.

Schedule Mechanical Maintenance

Vehicles resemble their owners in some respects. While a car and a human body aren’t strictly comparable, both benefit from occasional checkups. Mechanics are like doctors. They can diagnose and prevent vehicles’ impending problems, plus perform all the recommended periodic adjustments—changing oil, replacing air filters, retreading and properly pressurizing tires.

Practical Solutions

Some of the smartest steps to increase fuel economy involve no money or tampering with machinery. The simplest way to save gas is to use less. Don’t drive when you could walk or take the bus, but when you drive, try to accomplish your tasks all in one trip. Furthermore, to minimize fuel waste, refrain from idling your engine for prolonged periods.

Gas is a precious resource. Make the most of every tank by taking as many possible efficiency measures.