Get better gas mileage out of your truck and save money every time you refuel. It sounds like a dream. But it isn’t, and there are lots of ways to improve your gas mileage.
Even a 10 percent increase can have a real effect on your wallet over the long haul. You could save $200 a year without much effort.
If you combine different ways of driving, take care over maintenance, and use your smarts you could increase gas mileage by as much as 30 percent.
We’ve compiled a handy list of nine different ways you can get improved mpg. Each one of these methods on their own is great, but when you combine them and drive smart you can drop your monthly gas bill. Read on to learn how you can make this happen.
- Regular Maintenance
If you maintain your truck with regular checkups you can improve gas mileage. We’re talking about the obvious things, here.
Change your oil regularly and use synthetic oil only. Use the correct kind of oil, too. If you use 5W-30 but the manufacturer recommends 10W-30 you can lose 1-2 percent of your gas mileage.
If your truck was built before fuel-injection engines became common, you should replace dirty air filters. Doing this on older trucks can help gas mileage. On newer ones, it won’t make much difference.
You should also regularly change your spark plugs. Every 60,000 miles for iridium or platinum plugs is about right. For copper spark plugs, you should replace them every 10,000 miles or so.
Take your truck to your preferred shop. Have them conduct a full check-up.
Little things like these truck maintenance tips can increase gas mileage by 5-10 percent.
- Use Cruise Control
If you have cruise control on your truck. Use it as often as you can. The system keeps your speed as constant as possible and minimizes surges and acceleration.
Maintaining a constant speed can increase gas mileage by up to 14 percent according to some tests.
Something to remember, though, is that cruise control works best on long, straight, flat drives. If you’re up and down big hills or live in a mountainous area, cruise control isn’t going to be as effective. The system will over-accelerate when going uphill in order to maintain your speed.
- Check Which Gas is Best for Your Truck
Using premium gas won’t improve gas mileage. But using the right kind of gas for your engine can have a small effect.
Make sure you know which kind of gas is recommended for your truck. Using the right kind will keep it running better for longer.
- Idling Isn’t Your Friend
This one is the most obvious. Sitting in idle or leaving your truck running while you dash into the store will make your gas mileage zero.
The short-term convenience of keeping your truck warm or cool inside while you’re not going anywhere isn’t worth the cost to your gas mileage. It’s that simple.
At the same time, sitting idle for a minute is better than turning your truck on and off as it uses about the same amount of gas.
- Exhaust Systems and Air Filters
On older trucks, there’s a good chance rust has damaged the exhaust system. You can replace the exhaust system with after-market parts inexpensively. You’ll gain efficiency that will make up for that initial cost.
Changing the muffler is the most common and cheapest thing to do. It’s unlikely you’ll need to replace the manifold or catalytic converter. These are also far more expensive so they may not be worth it.
A high-flow air filter will last for a long time. The better ones on the market will maintain airflow even when they get dirty and you’ll see the benefit in your gas mileage.
- Keep Your Tires Pumped Up
Put the right kind of tires on your truck and keep them pumped up and your gas mileage will go up.
If you maintain the air pressure you’ll also have a safer truck and you won’t need to replace your tires so often. Check the manufacturer’s recommendation for the tire pressure.
You won’t see massive improvements in gas mileage, but you could get up to 10 percent better mileage, especially if you’re using winter tires or off-road tires when you don’t need them.
- Speed is Your Friend
Driving a little bit slower is a great way to save gas. 55mph is about as good as it gets. It’s why gas mileage tests have always included that speed for official gas mileage ratings.
Driving above the speed limit will (probably) get you to your destination sooner but it will significantly reduce your gas mileage.
- Drive Smart to Save Gas
Hard acceleration, changing speeds all the time, and making last-second adjustments for hills and curves can reduce gas mileage.
Hard acceleration is one of the biggest killers of gas mileage. If you reduce your acceleration to 15 seconds to get from 0 to 60mph you can increase gas mileage by as much as 20 percent.
By paying attention to what’s coming up on the road you can also get better gas mileage. If you see a hill coming you should accelerate while on the flat or downhill approach. That same acceleration on the hill will reduce your gas mileage significantly.
- Empty the Bed
Carrying extra weight is an easy way to reduce your gas mileage. Empty your truck bed of unnecessary heavy items to improve the mileage you get.
Taking out 100lbs from your truck bed can increase gas mileage by 2 percent.
Increase Gas Mileage Today
With these 9 tips, you can increase gas mileage. You’ll save money, drive better, and your truck will last you longer.
You’ve invested a lot in your truck, so you might as well get the most out of it. Start using these tips and get out on the road more.
Come back to visit our blog regularly to get more helpful tips about your truck.