Fuel Economy: tips to keep your car going

With the prices of gas skyrocketing all over the world, people are frantically looking for ways to improve their fuel economy. Auto makers are constantly bombarding TV commercials with MPG comparisons, claiming that their vehicle is the best in its class. Even though gas prices are high in the U.S. we can’t feel too bad knowing that in some parts of Europe prices are at $9 a gallon!


So does that mean that all hope is lost? Do we just dip into our savings account so that we can buy gas to get to work? No! With a little ingenuity, and some long-term investments we make a big difference on the amount of mileage we get for our money. While there are many alternatives for fuel economy, here are a few ideas that might work for your situation:


  • Clean Your Filter– When was the last time that you checked your car’s air filter? Even though we’re all skeptical about replacing it because we feel like the guys at the oil change garage are just trying to up-sell us, maybe it is time to change it out. Or perhaps you can do a little shopping and find an aftermarket air intake for your specific vehicle application. They are usually marketed as performance enhancing parts but remember that if you improve air flow, you improve fuel economy… just keep your foot out of it.
  • Keep the Windows Up– This one may seem like it wouldn’t do much but if you’re on a tight budget every extra mile counts. Some argue that since air conditioning uses extra gas that it is better to drive with the windows down. On the contrary, having the windows down will create more wind resistance and have a negative effect on gas mileage. So if you absolutely have to cool off while driving, keep the windows up, and use the AC.
  •  Forget Hybrids– Over the past few years diesels have been refined quite a bit and are now used for more than buses and over-sized trucks. Volkswagen has a diesel car named the Polo which they will be bringing to the U.S. over the next few months. The Euro version of the Polo gets an amazing 74 combined miles per gallon. That’s 50% better than the Toyota Prius. And with a fuel capacity of 12 gallons you get a mind blowing 900 miles per tank of fuel! That means that you could drive from New York all the way to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and only fill up once. If you’re all about long-term investments you may want to consider picking yourself up a VW Polo.
  • Time for Two Wheels? If all else fails you may want to consider a motorcycle. A lot of people stay away from them just because they fear winding up in a motorcycle accident caused by someone who didn’t even see them. While motorcycles are arguably more dangers and create more pollution than cars because emissions requirements, they are quite capable of getting over a 100 MPG’s. If motorcycles aren’t your style I suppose you could always purchase a nice bicycle and just add a little time to your commute every day.


Whatever the case may be, you should never feel like there’s nothing you can do. With a little planning and strategy you can improve your fuel economy.  

Micah Castro is a freelance writer for JacksonWhite attorneys at law. JacksonWhite’s team of personal injury attorneys in Mesa Arizona specializes in cases where another person’s negligence caused a preventable injury.

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