How does increasing your gas mileage hurt the incoming regime? Well, in a variety of ways. The regime will roll back current environmental protections, which means that more than ever it will fall to citizens to protect the environment. Increasing your gas mileage, and thus reducing your gas usage: 1) reduces the amount of money going to oil companies that support the regime; 2) results in less oil extraction; 3) reduces climate change inducing carbon emissions. There are benefits for you personally too. Taking the following measures will: 1) save you money!; 2) reduce wear and tear on your car, which saves you eventual expenditures in repair; 3) teach you something about your car, which makes you less dependent on others for help with routine maintenance (saving more money).
There are dramatic steps you can take to increase fuel mileage, but I am focusing on really, really easy ones.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Your car rolls most efficiently when your tires are properly inflated. Most of us do not check our tire pressure often enough. Check weekly, or every time you fill your tank if you go more than a week between fill ups. You can find the proper air pressure for your tires written on the side of them, something like “25-33 PSI.” Fill them to the top of this range, because a fuller tire puts less of the tire in contact with the road, reducing friction and increasing mileage. Proper inflation will help your tires to wear evenly, and increase the lifetime of the tire. It costs pennies to pump your tires at the gas station, and some stations even give free air. Do not overinflate the tire–to do so could jeopardize its safety and lifespan.
Change Your Air Filter
When was your air filter last changed? If you don’t know, it needs changed. I change mine every 10K miles. A fresh air filter lets air better circulate into your engine, resulting in cleaner, more efficient combustion, and better mileage. Air filters are cheap, and pay for themselves with the increased efficiency. Don’t be intimidated. You can change an air filter with few or no tools. If you can change a lightbulb, you can change your air filter. He’s a video showing you how.
Reduce Weight in Your Vehicle
Weight is a huge factor in mileage. Huge! Don’t let your car get cluttered. Don’t use it as a locker room or storage space. Keep in it what you need, but not what you don’t. Don’t keep junk in the car.
Replace Your Spark Plugs
Spark plugs deliver the spark that creates combustion in your engine. When they get worn and corroded, efficiency declines. Modern spark plugs last 100K miles. However, I replace mine every 30-50K miles because they are so cheap, and because fresh ones cause a nice spike in my mileage. They are super easy to replace with a few basic tools that you may own or be able to borrow from a handy friend. Here’s a video showing you how to replace spark plugs.
Only Use 87
There are lots of myths that higher octane gas is more fuel efficient. Bullshit. You only need high octane if you have a high compression (read, high performance, racing style) engine. Use 87. Always. Don’t use fuel additives that come in those little bottles. They are bullshit.
Buy Your Gas in the Morning
What, you say? I’ll let an expert explain: “This isn’t really for gas mileage but to get more petrol for your money. Take advantage of early morning cold by filling up your tank early in the day, while the ground temperature is still cold. The temperature of gasoline, diesel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role in getting the most for your money. Petrol stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps (though loading and storage facilities do, ensuring them greater accuracy). Because the storage tanks are underground, the colder the ground the more dense the petrol. When it gets warmer it expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening your gallon is not exactly a gallon. Petrol pumps don’t measure actual volume or density, they assume volume derived from flow-rate. The flow rate doesn’t change with temperature but the density of the petrol does. So if the pump is calibrated to deliver an assumed gallon in 10 seconds based on full flow, if the petrol is colder, it will be more dense and you’ll get marginally more in that 10 seconds than if you fill up in the afternoon. How much more? If it’s 15°C in the morning and 35°C in the afternoon, you’ll get about 2.5% more petrol in the morning for the same price.”
Change Your Oil On Time
Clean oil results in efficient movement of your engine’s internal parts. Don’t let oil get old and dirty. Use the lightest oil recommended for your vehicle (check owners manual) because that reduces friction and helps efficiency.
Driving fast requires more energy. If you can back of the pedal a bit, especially during highway cruising, your mileage will increase. In city driving, accelerate more slowly, which also helps, and slow down earlier, coasting to a stop.
If you don’t know how to perform these maintenance items, ask a friend to teach you. If you live in western NC, I will teach you! If you already know how, teach a friend.
If you do all of this, your mileage could increase as much as 15%. Imagine spending 15% less on gas a year! That’s huge, a lot of money back in your pocket. Here’s a great article that goes into more detail.
Of course, walking, carpooling, and biking are great ways to decrease your gas usage too, when they are practical for you. INCREASING YOUR GAS MILEAGE IS AN ACTIVE WAY TO RESIST THE REGIME, and it benefits you personally!