How To Save Gas and Still Enjoy Your Jeep!
How can you save gas and still enjoy your Jeep?
Since most Jeeps spend a lot of time on pavement this is probably the easiest way to increase mileage. Off road conditions can reduce fuel economy significantly, but using smart strategies as presented below will work in these tough conditions as well...just not to the same degree.
To save gas and reduce wear requires taking proper care of your Jeep (or any vehicle) which can only be a good thing for fuel economy and increasing the life of your rig, on the road or off.
With the current cost of gasoline hitting and staying at record highs, owning and driving a Jeep, new or old can be a painful blow to the wallet. According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence "a properly maintained and operated vehicle will run more efficiently, be safer, and will last up to 50% longer".
Jeeps are notorious for lower fuel economy primarily due to their inherent nature of being built sturdy and rugged to be able to handle all types of road, and off road conditions.
So, follow the basic tips below on how to save gas, and to squeeze every efficient mile possible from your Jeep:
- Keep your engine tuned up. You can follow your owners manual for scheduled service intervals. If you don't have one, you can purchase an aftermarket repair manual for your specific Jeep model such as Chilton's or Haynes. More advanced tune-ups may require sophisticated electronic diagnostic equipment and technical expertise.
- A basic tune-up includes changing spark plugs and ignition wires at the same time since faulty ignition wires can wreak havoc and be hard to diagnose. It's not that expensive and can save gas and a lot of headaches. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30%.
- Replace filters and fluids as recommended or when obviously dirty or worn. If you take your Jeep off road it won't take long to reduce the air flow in your air cleaning system. Dust, dirt and water can easily find their way into carburetors, injectors, fuel lines and oil pans when filters fail due to poor maintenance. Change the oil and keep moving parts lubricated at recommended intervals or as needed to reduce wear.
- Check your tires for recommended inflation. Under-inflated tires require more fuel because your engine has to work harder due to increased rolling resistance and friction. Over-inflated tires can increase tire wear and be dangerous due to blowouts. In off road conditions it is often common to deflate tires (air down) to increase traction in mud, sand and over obstacles such as large rocks...however, the tires should be re-inflated to specs when your Jeep is back on hard surfaces...or in normal driving conditions.
Note: Whenever you exchange factory sized tires for larger (or smaller) tires this will change the accuracy of your speedometer and odometer affecting accurate running speed readings, as well as gas mileage calculations.
Older model Jeeps usually have a simple gear which can be changed out for one appropriate for your new tire size...while newer Jeeps have electronic computer sensors to read speed and distance traveled. Computer driven speedometers can be electronically re-calibrated to accurately adjust to larger or smaller than factory tire sizes.
(Proper Jeep tires and maintenance can save gas.)
- Wheels that are out of alignment or unbalanced (as evidenced by uneven tread wear, shimmying, or vehicle pulling) make the engine work harder (reducing gas mileage) as well as putting excess wear on tires, bearings, front-end and steering parts. Extra large tires which are common on many Jeeps reduce gas mileage due to the increased rolling resistance, friction and weight. Unless you are running your Jeep on the Rubicon Trail try using the smallest tire to suit your driving needs and the general intended use of your rig. If you can afford the extra expense...two sets of tires may be a solution...one set for off road and the other more suited to daily driving.
- Your air conditioner puts a significant load on your engine while the compressor is running. A/C's can reduce mileage figures by 2 to 5 mpg. Keep your air conditioner in top working order by keeping it charged properly with the recommended refrigerant. Have it serviced by a technician certified to handle and recycle refrigerants. Make sure the belts are at the proper tension, and use the Air Conditioning System as sparingly as possible to save gas. I promise you won't melt!
- A Lead Foot = LOW Gas Mileage. The faster you take off...and the higher your overall speed...the more gas is required to get to speed and to maintain that speed. Avoid sudden acceleration and jerky stop-and-go. Slower starts and driving the speed limit are probably the easiest and cheapest ways to reduce fuel consumption. Keep your speed steady and use cruise control on highways if you have it.
- Idle minds may be the devil's workshop...but idling Jeeps waste gas. Shut off the engine while talking to friends or waiting to exit your Jeep when it is safe to do so. Most newer vehicles today don't require warm-ups (idling) on cold mornings.
- More weight makes an engine work harder meaning poorer gas mileage. Take any excess unnecessary materials out of the Jeep. Don't let your overweight friends ride in your Jeep, and go on a diet yourself...Although the last statement is just a joke it is nonetheless...optional!
Now it may be obvious that since this has been about how to save gas and money in your Jeep...you may find yourself low ranging a steep incline, or screaming across open desert in 4x4 high range (which is not conducive to saving gas by the way)...at least now you have some basic tips on what it takes to get better gas mileage. In the end however...
...it's still your call!
Jeep Tires Page!
Jeep Wheels Page!
Jeep Roll Cage Page!
Jeep Lifts Page!
Jeep Safety Page!
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