There are many driving techniques that can help you save on gas and increase the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. Furthermore, these techniques can also boost road safety, lower carbon emissions, and reduce wear and tear on your car. Try the following tips to lower your fuel costs.
Changing speed, or having the speed fluctuate, burns gas. Drive at the same speed as often as possible for as long as possible. Decrease speed when going uphill and increase on the downhill, but gently so. On long drives use the cruise control.
Hard or forced acceleration is a sure-fire way to increase fuel consumption. Take five seconds or longer to accelerate up to 15 mph. Always accelerate smoothly, as if you were trying not to spill a glass of water.
Try to maintain a safe following distance of at least three car lengths. Although this is difficult in peak hour traffic, this practice can increase fuel economy. Try to anticipate what the cars and even pedestrians up head are going to do. This will help to maintain a consistent speed and removes the need for hard accelerating or braking.
Anticipating the traffic ahead allows for time to slow down. Braking too soon can mean having to accelerate again, which wastes gas. Use the car’s forward momentum to coast forward rather than braking. This also makes for gentler acceleration should you need to speed up.
If you are stopping the vehicle for more than a minute, then turn the engine off. Ten minutes of idling time equates to a full cup of fuel. Many new model cars now come with built-in automatic stop/start functionality. The engine will switch off when you come to a stop and will reactivate when you accelerate.
Fuel efficiency goes down for small cars after 45 mph. For bigger vehicles like SUVs and pickups, fuel efficiency goes down at around 55 mph. Driving any faster than those speeds consumes more gas. Where possible, stick to the speed limit – it’s a waste of money dashing from traffic light to traffic light.
Your vehicle’s AC can increase gas consumption considerably. When possible, open the window for fresh air. If the AC is needed, set it to re-circulate to save fuel.
Under-inflated tires reduce performance and therefore increase fuel usage. Check the tire pressure a minimum of once a month. Properly inflated tires will add to the lifespan of the tire tread as well. Tire pressure should be listed on a decal on the opening of the driver-side door or on the doorpost against which the door closes.
Removing bicycle racks and other items from the outside of your car, SUV, or truck will make the vehicle more streamlined. This will reduce aerodynamic drag, which in turn boosts fuel efficiency on the open road.
Lighter cars reduce fuel consumption. Clean out the trunk, and banish the seldom-used golf clubs and camping gear to the garage or self-storage. Every kilogram lighter helps with gas mileage.
When embarking on longer journeys, keep to four-lane highways whenever possible to keep your vehicle running more efficiently. Try to steer clear of routes through big cities with loads of intersections, pedestrians, stop signs, and traffic lights. Plan the route ahead and listen up to the traffic report for where there are delays or road construction.
Use the tips we outline above to start saving on gas at the fuel pump. If we know how many gallons are used weekly or monthly, we can set targets. If possible, break down the target to gallons per day. Knowing we can only use X number of gallons per day, will help you think carefully about how you are going to use them. If we take care of the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves.
Additional Information: How to Save Money at the Gas Pump
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