With gas prices skyrocketing over the past few months, drivers have been dreading filling up their tanks. Gasoline has become a huge expense for car owners, but there are actually quite a few things you can do to improve your gas mileage and save money:

Turn off the car.

Idling uses more gas than many drivers realize. If you’ll be waiting for more than a few minutes, turn the car off. An idling vehicle can burn up to one gallon of gas every hour, so turn off the car to avoid wasting money.

Fill underinflated tires.

When your tires are underinflated, your engine has to work harder to keep the car moving at the desired speed, which usually results in higher fuel consumption. Check the air pressure of all four tires every month or two to make sure they’re at the recommended PSI.

Lighten up on the pedals.

Rapid acceleration and frequent braking are both huge wastes of gas. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, aggressive driving can lower your gas mileage, but driving slower and avoiding sudden stops can improve fuel economy by up to 10%. Speeding also results in increased fuel consumption, and it’s a good idea to use cruise control on the highway to maintain a consistent speed.

Replace the spark plugs.

Without proper spark plugs, the engine can’t generate any power. If the spark plugs are getting worn out, increased fuel consumption is a consequence. Failing spark plugs won’t power the engine as well and also result in a weaker acceleration, which uses up more fuel. These should be changed between every 80,000 and 10,000 miles, so you should only consider the issue of spark plugs if you’re getting close to that point.

Get your wheels aligned.

When your wheels are out of alignment, your car is essentially dragging those tires along, resulting in higher fuel consumption. By having your wheels aligned, your vehicle doesn’t have to work harder to keep moving forward.

Get an oil change.

When the engine isn’t properly lubricated, it has to work harder to run, which uses up more gas. Getting your oil changed on a regular basis, around every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, will help improve your gas mileage.

For any of the above issues that require a mechanic, bring your car into Auto Works. We’ll get you back on the road and make sure your vehicle is operating at peak performance!