April 20, 2022
There are many ways to improve fuel economy when we drive. These primarily involve modifying driving habits and making sure our cars are properly maintained.
Make sure that you are getting the most out of your gas with these tips and preventative measures to ensure that your car is the most gas efficient it can be.
Below are just some of the ways to drive more efficiently and save some money in the process.
Speeding, braking, and rapid acceleration waste gas. Depending on the type of vehicle, poor driving habits can lower fuel economy by 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic.
Plan Your Trips
Combine errands and route your travel to minimize backtracking. Identify “one stop” business locations where you can do multiple tasks (banking, shopping, etc.) without extra driving.
Avoid Rush Hour
Take advantage of flex work hours to avoid commuting during peak traffic times.
Watch Your Speed
Observe speed limits. Moderate driving is one of the easiest and most controllable ways to save gas. Fuel economy peaks at around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speeds increase. Reducing highway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy 7% to 14%.
Shift Gears Efficiently
If your car has a manual transmission, upshift as soon as practical. When coming to a stop, use the brakes rather than downshifting to slow the car.
Anticipate Road Conditions
Monitor the traffic ahead and “time” stoplights to maintain momentum and avoid unnecessary acceleration and braking.
Eliminate Unnecessary Cargo
Reduce drag by removing excess weight. Try to avoid the use of rooftop luggage carriers. Items transported on top of the car significantly increase aerodynamic drag, which reduces fuel economy.
Use Cruise Control
When possible, use your cruise control on highways. Maintaining constant speed improves gas mileage.
Avoid excessive idling. A car engine consumes one quarter to one half gallon of fuel per hour when idling, but a warm engine only takes around 10 seconds worth of fuel to restart. Where safe to do so, shut off your engine if you will be stopped for more than a minute.
Check Tire Pressure
Tires can lose about 2 pounds per square inch (psi) per month. Each tire that is underinflated by 10 psi reduces fuel economy by about 3.3%. Four tires that are underinflated by 10 psi, then, would reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy by a substantial 10%, at an added cost of 31 cents per gallon. Follow the guidelines in your vehicle’s owner’s manual (these recommendations also appear on a sticker inside the driver’s side door jamb) and not what is stamped onto the tire itself.
Replace Spark Plugs
Bad spark plugs can decrease fuel economy by up to 30%. If a car’s gas mileage suddenly drops, there is a good chance it is because of misfiring spark plugs.
Check the Alignment
Tires that are out of balance (symptom: vibration in the steering wheel) can cause uneven tire wear, which can result in lower gas mileage. Tires should be balanced and rotated according to the vehicle’s owner’s manual to improve tire performance and fuel economy.
Fill Your Tank Early in the Morning or Late at Night
Fuel is dispensed by volume. If you fill your tank when it is coolest outside—early in the morning or late at night and avoid the heat of the day—the fuel will be denser. As a result, you will get more gas for the same amount of money.
Use a Fast-pass on Toll Roads
Having a pre-paid pass on toll roads allows you to use the express lane, saving fuel by minimizing or eliminating tollbooth slowdowns and stops.
Reducing the amount of driving we do, whether it is by carpooling or foregoing an unnecessary trip, is perhaps the most effective way to decrease the amount of gas that each person uses and make fill-ups at the gas station last longer. Proactive steps can be taken to improve fuel efficiency by paying attention to and changing driving habits and following a vehicle’s maintenance schedule. Improved gas mileage is good for you, good for your car, and good for the environment.
If you are unsure of what maintenance your vehicle needs reach out to our friendly service department and they will happily help you with any questions you may have. And, if you are looking for more gas-saving and fuel economy tips swing by https://www.fueleconomy.gov/ for more information!