Fuel Efficiency Driving Tips
We all like saving money, ain’t that the truth? Whether it’s on groceries, clothes, or on gasoline, if we can save a buck we will. The problem with gassing up our cars is the dreaded and unpredictable gas prices which seem to change each day. Sometimes they’re stagnant and one day POW! Anywhere from 10 cents-to-30 cents more. Even worse is when a large storm or hurricane passed by…savages. So how can we save money and make more use of our fuel? We’ve got a few tips that can help big time.
A somewhat uncommon fact is how fast a car drives affects its automobile’s fuel consumption. Driving 60 mph and over will use up more fuel than 55 mph and less. It makes sense – can’t go faster without burning more. And, at the top end of speed, the car burns fuel at an even higher ratio. So, running at 80 mph, fuel burns at an even faster rate. Drivers may get there sooner, but with less fuel in the tank.
Reduce Aerodynamic Drag
Now we all can’t do this. Some of us have to tow for a living, and a good handful have cargo racks. However, on down-time, when not making use of that hitch or cargo rack, leave it alone. The more the aerodynamics of the vehicle change, or if a trailer is added, the more fuel it’ll use to get from point A to point B.
Keep Your Vehicle In-Shape
It sounds like common sense, but a car without proper maintenance is going to have a hard time going down the road than a car with the proper tuning. Get the oil changed when it’s time, change the air filter, replace spark plugs if need be. Also, check your tires. It makes a larger difference than we think how important it is to have proper tire pressure.
Use Cash When Gassing Up
Another uncommonly known fact – using a card to gas up makes a bit of a difference. Maybe it’s only 20 or 30 cents, but all that adds up. When possible, pay the cashier with gas rather than using plastic at the pump.
Avoid Rush Hour Traffic
Letting your car idle or crawl while in traffic burns fuel, and there is no mpg because there is no ‘miles’ when you are sitting still. We mentioned going faster burns more fuel, and it’s true, but letting the a car idle for more than a minute burns up more gas than how much is used when starting up the engine. Moreover, if it takes 30 minutes to get home on a clear road but an hour in traffic, then there’s a good chance that much more fuel is being used.
Drive Smooth and Coast
Gentleman start your engines! No, seriously don’t. The green light isn’t the start of a race, and having a lead foot is only causing more fuel to be used. Try to keep a steady speed when on the road, and accelerate and decelerate smoothly. It saves more fuel, and it’s a safer way to drive.
Shop Around and Use Only Recommended Fuel
Different gas stations have different prices. Gas stations set their prices based on the supply and demand concept. If they are the only station in the area, they can charge more. Or, if they are close to a car dealer, they know the dealership isn’t going to put extra miles on the car to save a few dimes. But if you can fuel up for even 30 cents less by driving another mile or two, isn’t it worth it? Also, there’s no need to splurge on premium fuel. If a car only needs regular, than use regular. It’s that simple.
Make All Stops at Once
We all do it. “Oh I just need to get some groceries, I can go to the post office tomorrow.” Why not just do both in the same day? Chances are going a little out of the way to do both rather than traveling back and forth on two separate occasions can save more gas.
Keep Track of Fuel Economy
This is a simple trick but one that’s easily missed. Keeping track of how far a car travels before it needs another fill up is a good way to maximize fuel efficiency. The reasoning behind this is if there’s a sudden drop in fuel economy and a spike in frequent gas station visits, then that’s a sign of possible engine trouble.
Have any other tips we didn’t mention? Share them with us and your fellow driver in the comments below.