Drivers improve gas mileage by maintaining the vehicle, avoiding sudden speed changes, reducing resistance, and avoiding idling. Small changes to the way the driver uses and cares for the vehicle can significantly improve gas mileage.
A well-maintained vehicle runs efficiently and uses less gas. Regular tuneups and oil changes are key to keeping the engine running smoothly. The owner's manual indicates the grade of oil that works best for the vehicle. The driver should also check tire pressure regularly to ensure the tires are properly filled.
Fast speeds decrease the fuel efficiency of a vehicle, particularly when speeds exceed 60 miles per hour. The reduction in efficiency ranges from 7 to 23 percent due to excessive speed, according to Investopedia. Using cruise control can help with fuel efficiency unless the road is hilly.
Sudden stops and starts also hurt fuel efficiency. Letting off the gas is easier on the vehicle than braking when possible. A smooth drive with consistent speeds and gradual acceleration and deceleration help save on gas use. Shutting off the vehicle instead of idling is another way to improve fuel efficiency.
Any extra resistance or weight in the vehicle uses more gas. For every additional 100 pounds, the vehicle's fuel efficiency decrease by about 2 percent, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Roof racks with luggage or bicycles create resistance that can also decrease fuel efficiency.