15 Steps to Fuel Efficiency

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in Defensive Driving Tips

If you’re like me, saving money and sticking to a budget are perennial New Year’s resolutions. Using less gas will put you a little bit closer to both of these goals. Here are fifteen tips for being more fuel efficient:

1. Avoid aggressive driving habits. Accelerate slowly and drive at a constant speed, as accelerating and decelerating waste gas.
2. If you’re on a highway, pick one lane and stay with the flow of traffic in that lane.
3. If you’re driving in the city, slow down before stoplights so that you don’t have to come to a full stop before the light changes.
4. Drive at or under the speed limit. Most cars experience a rapid decrease in gas mileage at speeds over 60 mph.
5. Idling burns gas too! If you’re stopped for longer than five minutes, consider turning off your car.
6. Avoid using the air conditioner.
7. Don’t drive with a roof rack unless you have to, as this creates drag.
8. Remove excess weight from your car. Clean out that junk!
9. Avoid driving at rush hour. Consider carpooling, biking to work, or using public transportation, even if only one day a week!
10. Combine errands into a single trip. Try to centralize as many errands as possible, so that you can walk between shops.
11. Park efficiently! Take the first space you see and then walk to the entrance. You’ll also get some exercise.
12. Wait until your tank is a quarter full and then refill completely, instead of buying gas in bits and pieces.
13. See if any local gas stations have cheaper prices on particular days of the week. However, don’t go out of your way to get a deal, as you’ll just be wasting gas getting there.
14. Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
15. Have your car serviced regularly to make sure that everything is working efficiently.

If you’re in the market for a new car, consider a more fuel efficient one. You can compare the fuel efficiency of different cars here: www.fueleconomy.gov

Beware, however, of modifying your current car. A number of “gas saving” devices are on the market, many of which are not actually effective (some may even damage your engine.) For a list of EPA tested products, click here: www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer.htm

 

Want to read more about saving money while keeping it green? Try Fuel Frugality: How Octane Levels Can Translate to Savings at the Pump and Hypermiling Basics.

 

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