5 Money-Saving Strategies That Will Improve Your Car's Fuel Efficiency

The cost of fuel generally only goes up. Cash-strapped consumers often rely on their cars to get to work, so just getting off the road isn't a realistic option. The good news is that there are things you can do to cut your fuel consumption without making drastic changes to your home and work arrangements. Learn how to make every tank of gas go as far as possible with these fuel-saving strategies.

Adapt the way you drive

Your driving style has a massive impact on the amount of fuel your car uses. If you keep speeding up, you'll also have to keep braking heavily, and both those habits quickly soak up fuel. Moderate your speed, leave more time for your journey and remember that cruise control can help you drive at a steadier speed. Excessive idling is also bad for your pocket, so turn off your engine when you park your car for any length of time.

Shed some of the load

Make sure that your car is not carrying an excessive load. It's easy to get into bad habits, but it's a waste of fuel to carry around tools, clothes or equipment that you don't really need. Keep your car as empty as possible, and only carry important items. Cargo boxes can dramatically increase drag on your car, which means the engine has to work harder. Try not to carry items outside the car unless you have to, and remove the cargo box if you aren't using it.

Keep your car in good working order

Your car's fuel efficiency is likely to suffer if there are faulty parts or if you car is in need of motor repair. Make sure you stick to the service routine that the manufacturer recommends, and get a mechanic to look at problems as soon as they arise. Develop a good auto maintenance schedule at home, topping up fluids and coolants, cleaning the car thoroughly, checking tire pressure and using the right motor oil. Even small problems can have a big impact on fuel efficiency, so keep your car in excellent working condition.

Get smart to the seasons

Fuel efficiency decreases during the winter due to the colder temperatures. The cold affects fluids, battery performance and tire pressure, plus you end up using more power for those heated seats and windshields. You can help this problem by storing your car in a warm place, maintaining tire pressure, and using cold weather engine oil. During the summer, try to use your air conditioning less often, and make sure that you regularly check your tire pressure.

Make efficient use of your driving time

Even if you rely on your car for work, you don't need to drive everywhere. Run multiple errands in one trip to cut down on the distance you drive. Plan your route on longer distances to avoid making fuel-wasting detours. Try to stagger your work hours so that you can avoid the rush hour, or look for opportunities to carpool. There are lots of ways to cut your fuel consumption if you can make some compromises, and your wallet will love you for it.

Nobody wants to spend more money on fuel than they have to, but there are lots of things that can increase your gas mileage. Change the way you use and look after your car, and you can quickly make real savings on your fuel bill.