Even when gas prices aren’t sky-high, boosting fuel efficiency is a good idea. Not only can you save more of your hard-earned cash, you will also cut down on your contribution to air pollution.
Boosting your car’s fuel efficiency doesn’t have to be hard, as the following five examples clearly demonstrate.
5. Shed the junk
Plenty of people haul around extra items in their car, and they might not even be aware that it is causing a problem. Every extra pound means the engine has to work harder, which in turn burns more gas. That means ditching books, exercise equipment you keep meaning to use and any other random items that serve no purpose. If there’s anything that’s not absolutely essential in your vehicle, the best policy is to remove it. A good practice to get into is to clean out the car and remove unnecessary items at least once a month, if not weekly.
4. Stop idling
When you sit in your car without moving, yet the engine is running, you’re wasting a tremendous amount of gas to go nowhere. That means each time you’re sitting in a drive through or are waiting to pick up someone, you should be in the habit of turning off the engine, only turning it back on when it’s time to drive off. It’s all about forming the habit, which can be a little difficult at first but will eventually become just a part of your routine.
3. Keep the tires inflated
Most car owners don’t really think about their tires until something bad happens with them. A good habit is to check the tire pressure every time you get some gas, helping you stay aware of when they lose pressure and need to be topped off. When the tires are low, the engine has to work harder to get the car going and keep it rolling down the road. That leads to more gasoline being burned. The lower the tires are, the worse the problem becomes.
2. Combine trips
Take a moment and plan out when you need to run errands. By combining different trips into one longer excursion, you’ll actually burn less gas overall. That’s because a cold engine operates much less efficiently than one that’s warm. The best way to go about it is to drive to the destination that’s furthest from your home first, working your way back until you finish with the errand that’s closest to your house. This shouldn’t take you very long to figure out, making it a quick and simple habit to acquire.
1. Drive less aggressively
When you’re constantly pushing the gas pedal to the floor, slamming on the brakes, exceeding the speed limit, etc. you aren’t driving efficiently. The US EPA says that driving that way can lower fuel economy by about 5 percent when traveling on city streets, or about 33 percent on the highway. There literally are financial rewards for calming down and driving more sensibly, beyond avoiding speeding tickets.