7 Tips to Improve Gas Mileage for Nashville Commuters

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With more than 80 people moving to the Nashville area every day, traffic in and around the city has gotten worse. The daily commute has become longer and more challenging for many drivers. While we can’t improve your commute, here are a few tips to help improve your gas mileage.

Maintain proper tire pressure

Keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure saves wear and tear on your tire tread and helps your engine work more efficiently. For every tire under-inflated by 10 pounds per square inch (psi), you can lose five miles per gallon or more.

Keep up with regular maintenance

Checking and replacing the air filter and spark plugs as part of a routine auto inspection can help your car last longer and your engine burn gas more efficiently. In addition, you can often uncover a potential issue before it becomes a serious problem. A damaged or worn-out oxygen sensor, for example, can cause your engine to lose up to 40% fuel economy. If you are experiencing a rough idle or inconsistent acceleration, a faulty oxygen sensor could be the culprit.

Reduce excess weight

All that junk in your car’s trunk adds up. The extra weight causes your engine -- and your tires -- to work harder, which uses more gas. Cleaning out unnecessary items can help you increase your fuel economy by a mile or two per gallon.

Accelerate and decelerate smoothly

Aggressive driving and constantly slowing down and speeding up can dramatically decrease fuel economy. It’s better to steadily accelerate to the speed limit then keep a steady speed, and coast as much as possible. Any time you know you’ll need to stop or decelerate soon, like on an exit ramp or a changing traffic light ahead, take your foot off the gas pedal and coast to a stop. You’ll save more gas than if you stop suddenly.

Use Cruise Control

Using cruise control helps you maintain a safe, legal speed and reduces the need to accelerate and brake, which results in better gas efficiency.

Avoid Traffic Jams

Plan your route to avoid congestion. It’s better to keep moving, even if it means driving a few more miles. Idling or sitting in stopped traffic burns more gasoline.

Use A/C Sparingly

It gets hot in Nashville and driving without air conditioning can be life-threatening. However, there are some simple ways to reduce the gas-sucking effects of your AC by using it smartly. Park in the shade, whenever possible, and use a windshield reflector to shield your car from the sun. Then, drive with the windows down for a few minutes to release the hot, stuffy air when you first get into the car before turning on the air conditioning. In fact, studies show that for the best fuel economy, it’s best to roll down the windows and turn off the air conditioner in low speed or stop-and-go traffic, and roll up the windows and turn on the AC at highway speeds over 60 mph.

With temperatures heating up and summer gas prices on the rise, these smart driving and car maintenance practices can help you put more money into summer fun and less in your gas tank. Schedule a service appointment to have your vehicle inspected today.

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