Last updateMon, 23 Oct 2017 3pm

On The Road

Suggestions for getting more miles per gallon


Q: What can I do, short of going to an auto repair shop, to help improve my vehicle’s gas mileage?

A: The most important thing you can do to improve your gas mileage is make sure your vehicle is running at top performance. The following maintenance tips will make a difference.

•Make sure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure. A mile or two per gallon can be lost if tires are underinflated.

•Check for worn spark plugs. Heavy deposits and worn electrodes cause misfiring. Loss of power and reduced gas mileage are the result.

•Replace dirty engine air filters. A clogged air filter will cause the engine to use more gas and affect gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.

•Use synthetic lubricants in your engine and driveline. Not only do they help cut down on repairs, but they can increase gas mileage by 8 percent. These superior lubricants reduce friction, resulting in less effort required for the engine to run and a longer life for the engine parts.

Your driving style also affects gas mileage, so consider the following factors when getting behind the wheel.

•Aggressive driving – driving fast and accelerating hard – can decrease mileage by as much as 30 percent.

•When approaching a stoplight, if it is obvious that you will need to stop, ease off the accelerator 100 feet or so before the light. Coasting saves gas.

•Weighting your vehicle down by filling your trunk with unneeded items can impact mileage; every 100 pounds can cut gas mileage by 1-2 percent.

•Air conditioning takes extra power to run and has a negative effect on gas mileage. If it is not too hot, just use the fan setting.

•Taking several short trips from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer, multipurpose trip covering the same distance.

Paying attention to your vehicle and keeping it well maintained – which should include taking it to a trusted auto repair facility when needed – along with being aware of your driving habits, will positively impact your mileage.

For more gas-saving tips, visit the Car Care Council at www.carcare.org.




McCord is an ASE certified master technician and owner of Dean’s Automotive Inc., 2037 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View. For more information, call 961-0302 or e-mail McCord at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

Schools »

Read More

Sports »

Read More

People »

Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

Browse and buy photos