Rising gas prices have many people looking for more fuel efficient vehicles or figuring out ways to coax the most gas out of the car they already own. For some, purchasing a more fuel efficient vehicle may not be an option right now, but there are plenty of steps to take to start enjoying improved fuel economy in your current ride. Here are ten tips to help you get the most distance for your dough, as well as a video on how to save fuel from Jon Peters, Director of Fixed Operations for the Uftring Auto Group.
1. Drive Conservatively - Quick starts and hard braking can increase fuel consumption by as much as 40%. Tests show that jack-rabbit starting and hard braking reduces travel time by only 4%, while toxic emissions were more than five times higher. Accelerate slowly and smoothly.
2. Drive Steadily at Posted Speed Limits - Increasing highway cruising speed from 55mph to 75mph can raise fuel consumption by as much as 20%. Improve gas mileage by 10-15% by driving slower and more consistently.
3. Avoid Idling Your Vehicle - In both the summer and winter, idling your vehicle wastes fuel and produces unnecessary greenhouse gases. If you are going to be stopped more than 30 seconds anywhere except in traffic, turn off your car to conserve gas. In the winter, older vehicles may need more idling time to warm up and sufficiently defog the windshield.
4. Tire Inflation - Under-inflated tires can cause fuel consumption to increase as much as 6%. Check tire pressure at least once a month in your driveway after the vehicle has been idle for a few hours. If under-inflated, take to a gas station to add air. According to the Energy Information Administration, tire efficiency could save approximately 800,000 barrels of oil a day.
5. Air Conditioner - Using the air conditioner on a hot summer day can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10% in city driving. At low speeds, roll down the window if possible. At high speeds, having the air on may be more efficient than the wind resistance from open windows.
6. Use Cruise Control - For long highway driving trips, use your cruise control and save fuel by maintaining a steady speed.
7. Choose the Right Fuel - Premium, high-octane fuels aren't necessarily the best choice for your car. Higher prices don't guarantee better performance. Consult your owner's manual to see what your car requires.
8. Monitor Power Accessories - Shut off all power-consuming accessories and devices in your vehicles before turning off the car. These devices cause the alternator to work harder when you start up the vehicle. This adds a load to the engine and increases fuel use.
9. Tighten Your Gas Cap - Many people think that just because the gas cap is on, it's doing its job. The truth is, gas evaporates. If you don't tighten your gas cap to the second click, you will lose gas due to evaporation. According to the Car Care Council, loose, missing or damaged gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate every year.
10. Plan Ahead - It does not matter if your are going across town to the store or across the country for a family trip, you should pick the most efficient route. This includes avoiding heavy traffic, hills, construction and other obstacles. If you are organized, you can reduce the total number of small trips and save fuel.
Altering your driving habits can have a tremendous and noticeable effect on your fuel economy and on your wallet. Implement these driving tips today to start saving on gas!
These tips originally from Uftring Weston Chevrolet Cadillac.