How to Improve MPG on an Astro Van

The Chevy Astro is a heavy-duty passenger and cargo van, similar to a sport utility vehicle in size and specifications. Given its large size and powerful motor, this vehicle uses lots of fuel to operate efficiently. As an Astro owner, frequent trips to the gas station may motivate you to find ways to improve your Astro's average miles per gallon.

Step 1 - Reduce the weight in your van. With large vehicles such as vans, SUVs and pickup trucks, owners tend to take advantage of the amount of storage space. However, every extra pound of weight is another pound that your motor is working to carry. The more effort required from your motor, the more gasoline it pulls from the fuel tank in order to operate efficiently. Clear your van from anything that isn't essential to ease the strain on your engine.

Step 2 - Check the air pressure in your tires. A heavy vehicle such as the Astro requires sturdy tires that are properly inflated. By checking your air pressure regularly, you can identify leaks and damage and repair them before they become a problem.

Step 3 - Assess your driving habits. Forceful acceleration after starts and stops uses extra gas. By gradually pressing your gas pedal on each acceleration and allowing your engine to slowly build up speed, you will improve your average miles per gallon.

Step 4 - Use cruise control when possible. If your Astro van has this feature, use it to place minimum stress on your engine when you're driving on uncrowded highways or on long trips. If you do not have cruise control, coasting at a steady speed uses less fuel than constantly speeding up and slowing down.

Take your van in for routine tuneups. During your Astro's tuneup, a mechanic will decide whether your vehicle needs an oil change, new air filter or other repairs that contribute to improved gas mileage. You might need new tires or to rotate your existing tires. A tuned-up Astro needs less fuel to perform up to expectations. If the engine is straining, it will use more fuel.

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