Buying A Fuel-Efficient Car

Written by Andrea Susan Glass

Whether you buy a new or used vehicle, fuel efficiency--good gas mileage--is high onrepparttar list of most buyers' concerns. The difference between choosing a fuel-efficient car or one that guzzles gas, will either save or cost you money overrepparttar 102770 life ofrepparttar 102771 vehicle, which could be substantial. Fuel efficiency varies widely from one car torepparttar 102772 next. Obviously you can checkrepparttar 102773 EPA rating for city/highway MPG onrepparttar 102774 window sticker, although most of us knowrepparttar 102775 average car never reaches those numbers.

You can also check consumer guides, car magazines and Web sites, Web site forums or ask friends, relatives and co-workers which vehicles they recommend as fuel-efficient cars. Don't buy more car than you need, as larger vehicles generally have bigger engines that are less fuel-efficient. Findrepparttar 102776 most fuel-efficient car inrepparttar 102777 size group you're interested in, whether a two-seater, compact, mid-sized, SUV or pickup truck. There are several online sites where you can compare fuel consumption ratings of any car.

Your choice of transmission can also affectrepparttar 102778 fuel efficiency ofrepparttar 102779 vehicle. Generally, a car with manual transmission is a more fuel-efficient car than one with automatic-assuming you shift properly. And a manual with overdrive, tachometer or shift indicator isrepparttar 102780 biggest fuel saver, saving up to 10% on fuel costs. If you do buy an automatic, which makes more sense for larger cars,repparttar 102781 more gearsrepparttar 102782 better.

Under normal driving conditions, smaller engines offer better fuel efficiency and economy than larger ones. All other things being equal,repparttar 102783 larger engine andrepparttar 102784 more cylinders it has,repparttar 102785 more fuel it consumes. Additionally, cars with smaller engines usually cost less and gas costs are lower because you don't need higher octane gas. That doesn't mean a bigger engine is never a good choice. In some cases, a larger, more powerful engine may providerepparttar 102786 greater fuel efficiency. If you use your vehicle for work or often tow heavy loads, a smaller engine could burn more fuel if it has to work too hard and function beyond its most fuel-efficient range.

Depending onrepparttar 102787 type and size of motor vehicle you purchase, you may haverepparttar 102788 choice of front-wheel, rear-wheel, four-wheel or all-wheel drive. The majority of passenger cars and minivans have front-wheel drive, a design that supplies better traction and more interior room than rear-wheel drive. Although front-wheel drive was originally adopted to improve fuel economy over rear-wheel drive by reducingrepparttar 102789 weight and size of cars without giving up driving performance or interior space, there's really not much difference in fuel efficiency betweenrepparttar 102790 two.

Maximize Your Fuel Efficience

Written by Andrea Susan Glass

Withrepparttar escalating price of gas, buying a fuel-efficient car makes a lot of sense. Approximately 15% of new car buyers reject a model due to poor gas mileage. Nearly 40% of those consumers who eliminate a full-size SUV due to gas mileage ultimately purchase a midsize SUV instead, while nearly 20% purchase another model altogether. (J.D. Power and Associates, Sept. 2004.)

But even if you don't currently own a fuel-efficient car, there are lots of ways you can improverepparttar 102769 fuel efficiency of your present vehicle until you're ready to purchase one ofrepparttar 102770 best gas mileage cars. Your personal driving habits have a big effect on your fuel use and costs. You can better manage your vehicle operating costs as well as minimizerepparttar 102771 emissions it produces by driving less and more efficiently. Here are some tips to help.

First, you need to know what kind of mileage you are getting. Calculate this by filling up your tank and recordingrepparttar 102772 odometer reading-or you can reset your trip gauge to zero. Next time you get gas, fillrepparttar 102773 tank again and dividerepparttar 102774 miles you traveled between fill ups byrepparttar 102775 quantity of gas you bought on this fill-up. This is your car's miles per gallon or mpg. If it's pretty dismal, here's how to turn your fuel guzzler into a fuel saver:

Drive slower: The aerodynamic drag on your car increases noticeablyrepparttar 102776 faster you drive. The drag force at 70 mph is about double that at 50 mph, so keeping speed down can increase your mileage considerably. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds over 60 mph. Each 5 mph above 60 mph is like paying an additional $.10/gallon for gas. Observingrepparttar 102777 speed limit is also safer for everyone.

Maintain a constant speed: Every time you speed up, you use energy, some of which is wasted when you slowrepparttar 102778 car down again. By maintaining a constant speed, especially drivingrepparttar 102779 posted speed limit, you will improve your fuel efficiency. Just by increasing your highway cruising speed from 62 mph to 74 mph you increase fuel consumption by about 20%! Using cruise control onrepparttar 102780 highway helps you maintain a constant speed and will usually save gas.

Drive gently: Aggressive driving-speeding, rapid acceleration and hard braking-wastes gas. These bad habits can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and 5% inrepparttar 102781 city. In addition, reasonable driving is safer for you and others, so you may be saving more than gas money. Consider using overdrive gears onrepparttar 102782 highway, as this decreases engine speed, reducing fuel usage and engine wear.

Avoid Excess Idling: Idling gets 0 miles/gallon and wastes fuel and money, is hard onrepparttar 102783 engine and adds to toxic emissions. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas at idle than those with smaller engines. Turn off your engine if you think you will be stopped for more than 30 seconds. However, if you're driving a fuel-efficient car like a hybrid, your electric motor is on when you idle, so you're not wasting any gas at all!

Minimize air conditioning: Using your air conditioner in hot weather can increase your fuel consumption by more than 20% in city driving. Whenever possible, close all windows and userepparttar 102784 air vents to circulate air instead of air conditioning. You will improve your fuel efficiency in summer by minimizingrepparttar 102785 use of air conditioning and using your car's flow-through ventilation, especially onrepparttar 102786 highway. If you must userepparttar 102787 air conditioning, setrepparttar 102788 controls to a level that letsrepparttar 102789 system cycle, and turn it off oncerepparttar 102790 interior of car is cooled down enough. Also consider such options a sunroof and tinted glass to keeprepparttar 102791 car cool.

Keep Your Car in Shape: Maintaining your vehicle in top working condition saves you fuel and money, and reduces long-term maintenance costs while minimizing harmful emissions.

Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned-Getting regular tune-ups when your car is out of tune or has failed an emissions test may improve gas mileage by about 4%. If your car has a faulty oxygen sensor and you have it fixed, gas mileage could improve as much as 40%. Make surerepparttar 102792 spark plugs, if you have them, are firing properly, replacing them when necessary. Haverepparttar 102793 engine timing checked for accuracy.

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