Even when fuel prices are relatively low, filling the tank can have a big impact on the family budget. Multiple drivers and vehicles can make fuel costs really add up.

In addition, inefficient vehicles cause unnecessary harm to the environment.

Here are some simple and easy things you can do to make your car more efficient so you can control fuel costs and limit the damage it does to the planet.

Inert your tires

The top thing you can do to improve fuel efficiency is to ensure your tires are filled at the optimal level recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. By some estimates, improperly inflated tires can reduce fuel efficiency by five percent or more. That’s significant when you think about how much fuel you consume — and the amount you spend on it — every year.

Inerting your tires (filling them with inert gas rather than pressurized air) is the best way keep them inflated at the recommended level.

Using air to fill your tires isn’t as effective as inerting them because:

  • Tires filled with air can lose about a pound per square inch (PSI) of pressure monthly
  • In the winter, colder temperatures can reduce air pressure
  • In the summer, warm weather can increase air pressure.

Inertion prevents these issues, maintaining pressure at a more consistent level.

In addition to increasing tire life, inerting your tires will improve driving safety, decrease wear and tear, and prevent the tire light from going off as often.

Other things you can do to improve fuel efficiency

Once you inert your tires, consider doing these things to further increase the efficiency of your vehicle:

  • Drive less. It might seem obvious, but the most sensible way to reduce fuel consumption is to simply drive your car less. Walk, take public transportation or bicycle instead.
  • Tighten the gas cap. A loose cap allows gas to evaporate. Tightening it lets you to keep and use all the fuel you pay for.
  • Avoid idling. Think about it: If your car is running, but not moving, your gas mileage is zero. If your car isn’t moving for a significant period of time, and it’s safe to do so, turn off the engine.
  • Accelerate and brake at a steady pace. Always apply steady pressure to your accelerator pedal when driving. A lead foot results in poor fuel consumption.
  • Drive at the speed limit. The optimal speed for every vehicle is different. However, the faster you drive, the worse your gas mileage and fuel consumption will be. Speeding simply doesn’t pay off.
  • Coast more often. Constantly accelerating and braking wastes fuel. Whenever possible, coast to avoid burning excess gas.
  • Use cruise control for highway driving. Cruise control keeps your vehicle driving at a consistent speed, eliminating acceleration. Reducing acceleration reduces the amount of work your engine does, causing it to use less gas.
  • Make your car lighter and more aerodynamic. You can do this by keeping windows closed, eliminating things like roof racks and by removing unneeded items from your vehicle. A lighter car that experiences less wind resistance will have better fuel efficiency.
  • Optimize air conditioning. Air conditioning increases fuel use significantly. Don’t blast it at full power if you don’t need to.
  • Replace dirty air filters. Dirty filters cause your engine to work harder, resulting in poor fuel economy. A clean filter will help you save money at the pump and cause less damage to the environment.