So, you need to take care of it. However, even with good intentions you may be spending extra money that isn't necessary. Here are a few maintenance and the money-saving tips to help you get most from every tank of gas.
As your speed increases, your aerodynamic drag increases in an exponential fashion. Driving 62 mph (100 km/h) vs 75 mph (120 km/h) will reduce fuel consumption by about 15%. While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph.
By anticipating the traffic and applying slow steady acceleration and braking, fuel economy may increase by as much as 20%.
Keep tire air pressure at the level recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. A single tire under inflated by 2 PSI, increases fuel consumption by 1%. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver's side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner's manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire's sidewall.
Windows open, especially at highway speeds, increase drag and result in decreased fuel economy of up to 10%.
Proper maintenance helps to avoid poor fuel economy related to dirty air filters, old spark plugs or low fluid levels. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%, though results vary based on the kind of repair. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40%!!!
Maintaining a constant speed over long distances often saves gas. Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 lbs in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2%. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle's weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.
If you anticipate being stopped for more than 1 minute, shut off the car. Restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle for this time. Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner (AC) use. Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked. It only takes a few seconds worth of fuel to restart your vehicle.
Most vehicles run just fine on regular-grade (87 octane) fuel. Using premium in these cars won't hurt, but it won't improve performance, either. A higher-octane number simply means that the fuel is less prone to pre-ignition problems. It is often specified for hotter running, high-compression engines and high-performance engines. So if your car is designed for 87-octane fuel, don't waste money on premium. Some cars truly require premium, meaning you're stuck paying extra. Keep this in mind when shopping for your next car.