You’ve undoubtedly noticed a significant spike in gas prices recently. Unfortunately, those prices aren’t likely to get lower anytime soon. Many have begun looking for ways to improve their fuel economy. Unfortunately, most products that promise a solution are ineffective. Still, there are a few legitimate ways to improve your gas mileage.
What is good gas mileage?
Good gas mileage largely depends on the type of vehicle you drive and where you drive. Non-hybrid cars that get around 35 miles per gallon are generally considered economical.
On the other hand, hybrid vehicles can achieve over 50 miles per gallon. If you drive a truck or SUV, 23 to 25 miles per gallon is considered good. Still, your gas mileage will be significantly lower if you spend most of your time sitting in traffic.
Gas mileage myths
Numerous fuel additives claim to improve your gas mileage. Many of these brands claim to have been vetted by the Environmental Protection Agency. Still, according to the EPA, they don’t endorse or approve claims made by fuel additive producers.
In some cases, the company that made the additive is required to prove they won’t negatively impact the vehicle’s emissions, but that is all. With so many fuel additive products, it can be difficult to find independent studies, but many consumer reports indicate that they don’t improve fuel economy.
Many aftermarket products claim to improve fuel economy. Some products claim to convert water into fuel, but, according to the EPA, they’ve received “no credible and complete data showing a positive fuel economy benefit from these devices.” Fuel line devices are another commonly-advertised way to improve fuel economy. Still, the EPA has tested most of these devices and found no notable improvements in gas mileage.
How to improve gas mileage
Keeping your tires inflated adequately is one of the most overlooked and undervalued ways to improve your gas mileage. You can buy a portable air compressor for less than a tank of gas, and although the savings aren’t tremendous, they can be helpful.
If you often drive on the interstate, consider using cruise control. Cruise control allows you to maintain a constant speed and reduces the gas used by your vehicle. If you usually leave your vehicle idling when parked, consider turning it off instead. It’s better for the environment and cheaper for you.
Consider switching to a rear-mounted cargo hauler if you haul cargo on your roof. Roof-mounted cargo haulers increase wind resistance, lowering your fuel economy. According to fueleconomy.gov, rear-mounted cargo haulers reduce your fuel economy by 1% to 12% less than roof-mounted cargo haulers at interstate speeds.
Driving aggressively and speeding will cause a noticeable drop in your fuel economy. Consider leaving earlier for work, so you aren’t tempted to speed along the way.
Best products for reducing gas mileage
BLACK+DECKER 20-Volt Max Cordless Multi-Purpose Inflator
This portable device is ideal for inflating your vehicle’s tires and even works on truck tires that require a high PSI. You can plug this option into your car’s cigarette lighter or use the same 20-volt battery needed for a Black and Decker cordless drill.
Sold by Amazon and Home Depot
MaxxHaul 70107 Hitch Mount Compact Cargo Carrier
This rear-mounted cargo hauler is durable and affordable. The side rails help prevent items from falling off while driving. Most users were surprised by how easy this unit is to install.
Sold by Amazon
This affordable air compressor is straightforward, as the LED screen allows you to adjust the settings easily. Many users found that this device reads 2.5-3 PSI high. Other than that, it met all of their needs.
Sold by Amazon
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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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