I’m a Mechanic – You can improve your gas mileage with simple hacks and simple changes to your driving habits

DRIVERS are left at the pumps with added stress as US gasoline prices near record highs.

So it’s no surprise that Americans are looking for ways to improve efficiency and get a few extra miles out of every tank of fuel.

Car expert in Ratchets and Wrenches video on how to increase your gas mileage


Car expert in Ratchets and Wrenches video on how to increase your gas mileagePhoto credit: YouTube/Ratches and Wrenches

Luckily, mechanic YouTuber Ratchets and Wrenches shared simple advice on how to increase your car’s gas mileage.

First, he suggests checking your spark plugs and ignition wires, which will eventually wear out and need to be replaced.

Failure to replace your spark plugs and spark plug wires on time will result in only partial ignition of your car’s air-fuel mixture.

Partially ignited air/fuel mixtures lose a lot of hydrocarbons in the vehicle’s tailpipe – and wasted hydrocarbons mean better fuel economy.

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Your car’s owner’s manual will document when your model’s spark plugs and ignition wires need to be replaced.

The next thing to check is the upstream oxygen sensor, which tells your vehicle’s computer how many hydrocarbons, or how much gasoline, it needs to burn.

Upstream oxygen sensors tire over time and lag behind in their processes.

Any delays between a faulty upstream oxygen sensor and a car computer will result in your vehicle receiving the data it needs at a less efficient rate.

If your gas mileage seems wrong, check your oxygen sensor and replace it if necessary.

After all, worn timing belts are a main catalyst for the decrease in gas mileage.

Old timing belts take longer to set the ignition timing, reduce drive power and affect your model’s fuel economy.

Wheel quality also plays a crucial role in your ability to ride past the pump.

Tires that are deflated, uneven, or unbalanced will affect your gas mileage.

You can avoid these tire problems by monitoring your vehicle for uneven tread wear, steering bias, or steering wheel vibration.

Maintain your tires to improve your fuel economy


Maintain your tires to improve your fuel economyPhoto credit: Getty

Drivers can overlook a sticking caliper when examining any drops in their car’s city or highway MPG.

You or a mechanic can determine if your model has a stuck caliper by taking the temperature on both sides of your vehicle.

One side hotter than the other may indicate a stuck caliper.

You can also improve your mileage by adjusting your driving habits.

Gradual acceleration and longer intervals between deceleration and acceleration are two basic habits of efficient drivers.

Encourage this driving behavior by paying more attention to the road, which improves your reaction timing.

Stay within the 50-60 mph range when cruising to avoid wasting gas too quickly.

If you choose to roll down your windows instead of using air conditioning, it won’t make much of a difference in your car’s gas mileage.

If you open one or more of your car’s windows while driving, the wind will increase drag, putting additional strain on your engine.

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The technicians at the dealership or corner garage will help you complete these mechanical tips.

Drivers who want to streamline the diagnosis of issues that result in better fuel economy can visit a dealership or corner garage for a multi-point inspection.

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Chris Barrese

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