How To Get Better Gas Mileage

With gas prices fluctuating daily, drivers need to get the most out of every tank. And with simple fuel-saving tips, tricks and maintenance checks, you can learn to stretch your fill-up to the fullest.

  1. Ditch the Clunker

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, fuel efficiency has improved as new, more efficient vehicles were designed over the past 10 years. In fact, domestic light-duty vehicles got an average of 35.5 MPG in 2013 compared to an average of 29.1 MPG in 2003. Choosing a newer, more fuel-efficient vehicle can save you thousands in the long run, both in dollars and minutes spent at the pump.

  1. Save with Safety

Making small safety changes to your daily driving habits adds up in your tank, your wallet and your well-being. Fast acceleration and hard braking lower gas mileage by up to 33% on the highway and 5% in a city, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Keep a lid on aggressive driving and travel with zen-fueled efficiency.

  1. Drop the Excess Weight

Rooftop cargo containers are a great help on family trips. But these space-savers create wind resistance, which makes your car work harder and burn up to 17% more fuel on the highway. Excess weight in the trunk also sucks up fuel unnecessarily at a rate of 1% for every 100 pounds. Leave empty or unused cargo containers at home and clear out clutter for a smoother ride and steeper savings.

  1. Minimize Winter Driving

Did you know your car is less fuel-efficient in cold weather? Warming a car takes a lot of gas and can drain your tank before you even hit the road. Most manufacturers recommend warming your car for just 30 seconds and driving off slowly rather than long, idling warm-ups. Try parking your car in the garage to keep the engine warmer and combine trips and errands in the colder months.

  1. Maintenance: Pay Now, Save Later

Staying up to date on regular vehicle maintenance keeps your car more fuel-efficient. Regular oil and filter changes keep cars running in the fuel-efficient zone. Tires that are properly inflated reduce drag and won’t have your engine working overtime, increasing your gas mileage and lowering carbon emissions.

Fuel, money, or time, GEICO believes in the power of saving. Visit our Saving section on GEICO More for great practical tips and advice.

By Katherine Palbom

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  1. 99 Dodge Ram 565500 mi Original eng says

    Cold weather no garage? Purchase a block heater. Magnetic place below oil plug. Engine needs little if any warmup.
    Place a sheet of plastic over front and rear windows. Ice & snow cannot build up. Fold & reuse.

    • Kate says

      Wow! Good for you! Must be a world record. My calculations indicate that, on average, you drove 31,000 miles a year, or 86 miles a day. Hard to fathom. I’ll bet you’re a mechanic ?. Keep it up.

  2. Frank says

    Standards get much better gas mileage and less strain on transmission . more coast and less brake wear . I’m considering water moisture tied into mass air floa system

    • Daniel says

      Not any longer longer, standard transmissioned cars used to get on average 3-5 mpg more. With lock-up torque converters and Dual-Clutch (automatic) Transmissions autos get the same if not better mileage currently.?

  3. Teresa says

    These info tidbits are great reminders and/or updating to maintain the best auto insurance company that I promote publically. I doubt I will ever change auto insurance. I believe in Geico after others I had.

  4. L. M. Goedeke says

    To conserve fuel in cold weather. You may purchase an auxiliary block heater. It has a magnet to be attached to your oil pan. Be sure to unplug and remove before driving.

  5. Robert Ash says

    A near empty gas tank will also increase condensation inside the tank which will form small amounts of water at botton of gas tank. Cars don’t run too well if water gets pumped up to the engine. Can cause momentary rough running or cause the engine to stop entirely. I try to have at least one half full gas in the tank at all times.

  6. Ann Gordon says

    Great information especially on not letting your gas tank get on almost on empty, didn’t know it ruins the fuel tank, hope that’s not my problem 5he fuel pump or tank.