SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - Over the past few months, gas prices have caused many of us to hit the brakes as we consider just how much money is flying out of our bank accounts every time we stop.
We know the tips by now about how to save on MPG but how much can it actually save you per gallon? If you follow every step, it could save you 5 MPGs. It may not sound like much but we're here to calculate just how much it is.
The most common tips are obvious - keep your tires inflated, don't hit the gas too hard, and remove extra weight - but let's do some math.
Start with the tires
This one makes sense. Make sure your tires are in good shape AND they're properly inflated.
"If you have a quality tire in good shape and properly inflated, you'll probably get 1-2 miles per gallon extra," Kenny said.
Literally, this is the beginning of the rubber meeting the road (sorry). But it's important. That's up to 2 miles right there.
Keep your fluids clean
Is your oil light on? What about your coolant level, how's that?
"Clean fluids will probably get you another one," Kenny said.
You need to keep these things fresh as it will put less of a strain on your engine.
Use cruise control
Driving at a consistent speed on the highway saves gas. Kenny says that could save you at least one and possibly two miles per gallon.
However, never use cruise control on slippery roads, as it could cause a loss of vehicle control. Fuel economy peaks at around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speeds increase.
Reducing highway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy between 7% and 14%, according to AAA.
Easy on the accelerator
You are not a NASCAR driver.
"Accelerating fast does nothing but waste gas," Kenny said.
Avoid "jackrabbit" starts, rapid acceleration and hard braking, which can lower fuel economy by 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic.
Lighten the load
This is the biggest one. Literally.
An extra 100 pounds can reduce fuel economy by up to 1%. Note that cargo weight affects the fuel mileage of smaller vehicles more than larger ones.
"A teenager in a car compared to a mid 50-year-old driving a car, you could probably save 3-5 miles per gallon," Kenny said. "A clean car, a less weight car will probably get you a better 1-2 miles per gallon also."
How much money will you save by shaving your MPGs?
Ok, so following Kenny's tips, we could be looking at a conservative estimate of saving 5 miles per gallon.
That may not seem like a lot but let's do the math.
If your tank holds 14 gallons, at $4.20 per gallon, it will cost you $59 to fill it up. By improving your fuel economy by 5 MPGs, that's an extra 70 miles out of a tank of gas!
In other words, that's 2.8 gallons and a savings of $11.80 each time you fill up.
Let's say you fill up that car six times a month, that would save you $70.50 EACH month!
If you did this over the course of a year, you're looking at savings of $850.
Not a bad way to add a few more dollars to your bank.