Not everyone can afford to go out and buy a brand new car that is more fuel efficient and with the rising gas prices that can make it pretty difficult on someone with an older car. No matter how old the car is, you still want to be able to try and make sure that your car runs as efficiently as possible. If you do own an older car, don't think there is no hope. There are some procedures that you can do that will increase the efficiency of your car as much as thirty to forty percent.
One of the most important thing you can do for your car is to make sure that you give it regular maintenance. Don't skip getting that oil change or changing your air filter. Make sure this is done on a regular basis. When you have dirty filters this can increase the consumption of fuel as much as 10%. You also need to make sure that you have the right viscosity of oil put in your car as well. Otherwise you are causing undue stress on your engine.
Make sure that you always check your tires and that they are inflated as much as it is recommended to do for the tire. If you drive your car on under inflated tires it could cause a rolling resistance and this will make your car use more gas. Use a gauge to check the pressure in your tires because they may not look under inflated and you can only figure that out by checking the pressure with a gauge.
Check to see that your gas cap is tight. Most of the gas caps on any car will take two clicks before they are completely closed. So make sure that the cap has been turned to where it clicks twice. Otherwise if you don't you are going to start losing gas through evaporation.
When you are planning on going on drives that have long stretches of highway then it's a good idea to use your cruise control if you have it. Even if you think that you are going at a nice steady pace, the smallest pressure on your pedal is going to send a signal that you need more gas to be sent to the engine. When you use the cruise control this will keep the gas at a minimum for the speed you have chose.
Do your best to keep your car from idling for too long. If you are going to be away from your car for more than five minutes just turn off the car. If you are only going to be a minute or two then you should just leave it running. So you need to be aware of how much time you think that you are going to be sitting in one spot to determine whether you should idle or not.
Try to avoid using your air conditioning because if you use it unwisely it can be a huge gas guzzler. For instance if you are driving in the city it will save on your gas if you just roll down the windows and not use the AC. However, if you are out on the open road and going at higher speeds it is recommended that you use the AC because of the aerodynamics. Driving on a highway at higher speeds with the windows down will actually use more gas than by rolling up the windows and using the AC.