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Urban Fuel Hacks

hand filling a car with gas

Tips for Maximizing your Vehicle's Gas Mileage in Los Angeles

Go farther on a full tank.

By The Editors

Fri, Jun 7, 2024 10:41 PM PST

Featured image by Erik Mclean.

Because the world is more environmentally conscious now than ever, many people are more concerned with more fuel-efficient driving. This greatly benefits your wallet as well as supporting a sustainable lifestyle.  And when you come to think of large cities like Los Angeles, fuel efficiency becomes very crucial where personal and public transportation are heavily in demand.

The average price of regular gas hit a record-breaking high of $5.02 per gallon in 2022, but it has since dropped to about $3.55 a gallon. However, despite the drop,  driving daily through city streets may still be expensive unless one plans consciously.  Fortunately, there are tons of ways to maximize your car's fuel economy to suit your daily driving needs.

Read on to discover some proven urban fuel hacks to save on gas while navigating LA's busy streets.

Maintain Your Vehicle Regularly

You don’t want your car to behave like a tired, lethargic human in the Los Angeles heat. To get the most out of every gallon, be sure to follow a regular maintenance routine. This means you will be able to stretch a dollar—or a gallon, in this case.

Before anything else, make certain that your tires have adequate pressure. The US Department of Energy states that fuel efficiency drops by 0.2% every 1 PSI reduction in air pressure. You can also do the following:

Regular oil changes
Replacement of air filter
Timely tune-ups
Replace the misfiring plagues which can reduce fuel consumption by 30%
Replace or tighten the gas cap to reduce fuel evaporation

All these maintenance practices can significantly improve fuel economy.

Drive Smoothly

According to the US Department of Energy, aggressive driving, such as speeding, rapid acceleration, and braking wastes more gas. In fact, such practices can lower your Infiniti QX60’s fuel efficiency by 2 to 3 miles per gallon.  Generally, aggressive driving practices can decrease fuel efficiency by 30% at highway speeds and up to 49%  in stop-and-go traffic.

Therefore, aim for smooth, gradual acceleration and anticipate stops to avoid instant braking. This not only saves fuel but may also extend the life of your brakes by producing less wear and tear.

Most cheap electric cars have a feature known as cruise control. Using this system on the open road helps maintain a constant speed and can save fuel. This is because it reduces the need for unnecessary accelerating and decelerating that occurs with changes in terrain or traffic volume.

Reduce Vehicle Load

Another easy way to improve fuel economy is to reduce the vehicle weight. The heavier your car, the more fuel it uses.

Remove things like roof racks when they aren’t being used because their weight also significantly lowers mileage. Luckily, there are large SUVs with the best gas mileage available on the market that offer feasible solutions for striking a balance between space and efficiency.

However, as demand for fuel efficiency grows, manufacturers will have no choice but to introduce even lighter models into the market.

Utilize Air Conditioning Wisely

Did you know that the use of air conditioning can increase fuel consumption especially at lower speeds? This is because the compressor is normally driven by the engine making it work more and use up more fuel.

You may also consider using a fan or open the windows instead. However, at highway speeds, open windows can create drag, as they disrupt the aerodynamic flow of the vehicle. This means your car works harder to maintain speed, ultimately using more fuel. In this case, utilizing the air conditioning may be a better option.

Avoid Idling

Idling consumes fuel without moving. A fuel-efficient practice is to turn off your engine when you anticipate being stationary for over a minute and restart it when ready to proceed.

Luckily, modern vehicles come with start-stop technology that automatically turns off the engine when not in motion and restarts when the driver is ready to drive. This allows you to maintain a stylish stay on the road without breaking the bank.

Final Thoughts

Maximizing cars fuel efficiency in Los Angeles is not rocket science. It all boils down to the condition of your vehicle, how you drive, and making use of today's advanced features that come with modern vehicles. Therefore, it is a breeze to find a sweet spot between savings and convenience that can greatly improve your overall experience on the road. If you are out to keep your wallet happy while driving in the urban landscape of Los Angeles, use the above tips and take your vehicle’s fuel efficiency to new heights.

This article was compiled by the editors of LACar.

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