I have a big old van what is the best way or ways to save gas? other then cutting back on driving i need to get around
Take all unnecessary weight out. If the plugs are more than 50,000 miles old, change them and have the elctrcial system checked out. Inflate tires to the right pressure indicated plus an extra 2 lbs or so. Drive like you have an egg between you and the gas pedal. Don’t exceed the speed limit on the highway; old vans have a lot of wind resistance. If the van has a carb and choke, adjust the choke if necessary. If you live in a cold area, install a block heater and have it on 1 1/2 hours befor you start the car. Put 5W30 oil in in winter.
I had a 2005 Ford E-150 cargo van with the 4.6L engine, auto trans, no cruise control and enough power things to make it a good one and it got almost eighteen MPG when loaded up for moving across 3,000 miles and 19 on the highway when emptied out except for about 400 pounds. You will not improve the 13.5 city MPG. There is nothing that will help that. Combine your trips by planning them so you only make one every other day. Car pooling doubles your gas mileage. Get in practice for $4.25 a gallon. Gasoline is now a market commodity and prices may not ever go down for long.
There is good advice there. The block heater makes sense as gasoline is a lot more expensive than electricity. The Ford I mention uses 5W20. Hold the speed down too, I have a 2002 GMC Sierra that gets over 17 on the highway with 4WD Auto Trans. I keep it around 65.
First basic maintenance on the VAN. That includes plugs, wires, filters (oil, gas, transmission?) tyre pressure etc.
The most important thing is your driving style. If you drive it like you stole it, then you are going to get very low mileage. If you drive it like your grandmother, then you are going to get fair mileage. You are not going to get great mileage driving a box around, but grandma is going to do much better than a teenager. When driving a box speed is even more important than it is in a standard car. SLOW down. Important, but less so is to get rid of any excess weight. Vans tend to become storage rooms. Get that stuff out of there.
I also like the car pooling suggestion and I will add that it is good to combine trips, by planning ahead. Don’t just go to the grocery, pick up Johnny on the way to the grocery or better yet get him to walk, it will be good for him.