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Improve Your Gas Mileage: Tips to Try and Tips to Avoid

You know the price of gasoline is high. It is the headline on the evening news and the talk of the watercooler. This has all of us scrambling to find ways to get the most out of every last gasoline drop. Some ideas might add a few more feet to the gallon, and some ideas might just risk your safety. The professional instructors here at Missouri Driving School offer these tips that work, tips that don’t and tips that leave us scratching our heads.


What works: Keeping your tires your properly inflated. Check the recommended pressure in your owner’s manual. This single step can improve fuel efficiency up to 15%. Flat tires make your engine work harder, thereby utilizing more gas.

What doesn’t: Overinflating your tires. Overinflated tires reduce handling and increase chances of a blowout. The quality of your ride also declines, so you’ll be less comfortable driving.

Improve Your Gas Mileage: Tips to Try and Tips to Avoid


What works: Keeping excess weight out of your car. Dump the water jugs, canned goods, cat litter and other times you intend to donate or dispose of. Airlines know that less weight means better mileage, now car drivers can, too.

What doesn’t: Putting extra weight on the roof. What good urban outdoorsman doesn’t have a rooftop cargo box that might provide aerodynamic assistance to your SUV. It is a major gas guzzler, though. You actually use more fuel to maintain your speed- up to 25% more when you drive at highway speeds. If you have to carry stuff, it does make more sense to load the trunk.


What works: Maintain proper distance. Not only is it safer to stay away from the vehicle in front of you, it will increase fuel economy. You can make smoother transitions and don’t need to brake or accelerate quickly. With better visibility that comes with more distance, you can prepare for oncoming obstacles that will keep your ride steady.

What doesn’t: Tailgating to reduce resistance. This practice is also called drafting, and it is dangerous. The idea is that reducing wind resistance by tailgating a semi-truck will improve gas mileage. There is a high chance you will end up injured in a rear-end collision with the truck. It’s not worth your life to save a few cents.


What works: Regularly scheduled maintenance. Tune ups fix thing that bring down gas mileage like dragging brakes and dirty air filters. Follow the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual, and be sure to repair problems as soon as you notice them.

What doesn’t: Additives and gizmos. For example, the Tornado fuel saver has been around for years. After inserting the item into the engines air inlet, it magically creates a swirling air stream designed to increase fuel economy. Many studies, including one by Consumer Reports, found no advantage at all from this equipment. More recently, electronic devices that plug into your car’s diagnostic port claim to improve mileage up to 30% without any driver effort. The only thing you will be losing is money in your wallet.

When it comes to improving gas mileage, common sense is the best tip. Drive the speed limit and keep your car in tip top shape. Good driving habits not only save you money on insurance rates, they translate into better gas mileage, too. Start the drivers in your family on the right path with professional driving lessons from Missouri Driving School. Our commitment to excellence shines with over four decades of greater St Louis driver’s education experience. Ask any of our more than 40,000 satisfied customers. Whether you’re a new driver looking to learn the rules of the road or a more experienced driver seeking to enhance your skills, call and book your appointment with one of our professional instructors today at 314-849-4590.

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