What Should You Do With Your Gas Hog


A car that seems to never bypass a gas station without needing a fill-up is wasting your money. As gas prices increase steadily, having a gas hog today is more of a problem than it was when gas cost less than $1 per gallon. If you own a gas-guzzler, you may be able to improve the gas mileage through your vehicle maintenance and driving habits, but if your car still uses too much gas, you may need to take more drastic measures.

Vehicle Maintenance
Maintaining your vehicle for optimal gas mileage requires you to address the tires and engine operation. The better condition your gas hog is in, the greater the improvement in gas mileage you will see.

Tire Inflation
Open your driver’s side car door and look at the vehicle specifications on the inside edge for the recommended PSI to inflate your tires. Use a tire pressure meter to gauge that your tires are properly inflated. Tires that are too low can eat away at gas mileage, but if you over-inflate your tires, you put your car in danger of a blow out.

Air Filters
The air filter on your vehicle should be regularly replaced to get the best possible engine performance, but usually this will not affect gas mileage. The only types of cars you can see better gas mileage from when you change the air filter are older cars with carburetors instead of fuel injectors in the engine.

Engine Oil
Regular oil changes with the recommended oil type for your vehicle are best for keeping your engine running smoothly and more efficiently. Check your owners’ manual for the specifications for your vehicle. Using a 10W-40 instead of the recommended 5W-20 or 10W-30 may negatively affect your gas mileage. Look for motor oils that are labeled as being “Energy Conserving”. This distinction is assigned by the EPA for engine oils proven to be more efficient.

Driving Habits
How you drive does make a difference in your gas mileage. Get out of the habit of having a lead foot, starting suddenly, and making sudden stops. These all greatly reduce your gas mileage. Drive with your foot gently on the accelerator as though there is a raw egg under the pedal you don’t want to break. This imagery can make you consciously aware of how you are driving an keep you from stopping on the gas pedal.

If changing your driving habits and keeping your car in order does not improve your gas mileage, it may be time to consider a new vehicle. Consider donating your old gas hog to charity for a tax write-off, or look for incentives to sell your gas hog to a local dealership in return for purchasing a new, highly fuel-efficient model.

Your gas hog vehicle does not have to mean wasting money at the pump, if you know how to care for your car and handle it on the road.

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