With the high cost of gas, some people have opted for a vehicle with a smaller engine that consumes less fuel, but for drivers who depend on a larger vehicle, such as an SUV or pickup truck, who must keep up with the demands of their work or active lifestyle, a small car is simply not an option. The following are tips on how to get better gas mileage from your pickup truck or SUV.
The best way to improve gas mileage is to keep up with the vehicle's routine maintenance. By following recommended maintenance on components including spark plugs and air filters in your truck or SUV, such as a GMC Yukon, Terrain, Acadia, you can improve its gas mileage.
Also, use the manufacturer's recommended motor oil. If you use the wrong oil, you can lower your fuel efficiency by up to 2 percent, according to FuelEconomy.gov. Check the owner's manual to see if you can use synthetic oil, because the composition of synthetic oil breaks down slower, therefore creating less sludge and buildup, which in turn makes the parts inside your engine work less.
If you rely on your vehicle for work, a pickup truck with plenty of power may be your only option. Modern V8 engines are engineered for improved fuel economy without sacrificing horsepower. For example, the 2012 GMC Sierra 1500 features an available V8 engine that produces more than 300 horsepower while offering an EPA-estimated 21 miles per gallon on the highway.
Still, you can improve gas mileage by simply decreasing your truck's load. If your truck or SUV has a roof rack or bike rack, consider removing it and using it only when necessary. According to FuelEconomy.gov, every extra 100 pounds reduces your miles per gallon by up to 2 percent, so get rid of any dead weight you are carrying in your SUV.
Another way to get better gas mileage from your SUV or truck is to keep your tires inflated at the recommended pressure. An under-inflated tire creates drag on the road, forcing the engine to work harder to make the truck or SUV move. You can improve your gas mileage just by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. In fact, modern trucks and SUVs have made it even easier to keep the proper tire pressure. For example, the 2013 GMC Acadia, Terrain, Yukon, Canyon, Sierra 1500, and Sierra 2500HD's and 3500HD's (except for the Dual Rear Wheel Models) feature a tire pressure monitoring system (excluding the spare tire) that uses small sensors inside the wheel to broadcast the tire pressure through the Driver Information Center. With that kind of technology available, you can more easily ensure that your tires are inflated to the correct psi.