improving my gas mileage

febc775September 8, 2007

hi, i have an 88 escort with a 1.9 l engine. I get about 27 mpg strictly city driving. I also drive carefully. Is there anything you can think of i can do to get my mileage up more?

thanks for any answers,


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Oh, lots of things:

- Make sure your tires are inflated properly. The owner's manual or a sticker on the gas filler door or a door jamb ought to tell you what the pressure should be. If you need new tires soon, look for tires with "low rolling resistance" -- they can add a mpg or three to what you're getting now, and they're no more expensive than other tires.

- Make sure the car is in good driving condition. Do the maintenance specified in the manual. Make sure brakes aren't dragging and clutches aren't slipping.

- Assess your driving habits. You may drive "carefully" but what does that mean? Do you anticipate driving conditions so that you don't have to speed up or slow down suddenly? Do you accelerate smoothly and try to coast to a stop (in gear, please!) if it is safe and practical to do so? Do you try to bunch errands into one longer trip so you're not starting the car cold as often? Do you hang the car in gear or shift earlier? Even a car with an automatic transmission can be manipulated by foot some to get it into a higher gear sooner, without creating drama or engine problems.

- Get the junk out of the trunk. If you're carrying heavy items you don't use in the trunk or the back seat, take them out of the car. No need to haul them around with you all the time.

- If you're stuck at what you know is a very long light or the 7:43 freight train is parading across the road, switch off the ignition. Why idle the gasoline away if you can turn it off for a few minutes and switch it back on before you need to hit the gas again?

- If you live in a cold climate, consider switching to synthetic motor oil. It's more expensive than "dino" oil, but it will be thin enough to help your engine start quickly and efficiently in cold weather (cold engines get much worse mileage than hot engines)

That's a start. What else can you tell us?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 11:36PM
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