How to Lower Your Fuel Consumption
Changing your driving habits can drastically reduce your fuel consumption. With the rising cost of fuel, who can afford not to map out a strategy for lowering fuel cost? Here are some easy ways to help lower your fuel consumption and expand your wallet.
* Have your vehicle serviced regularly – A poorly tuned engine can use up to 50% more fuel and produces up to 50% more emissions than one that is running properly.
Vehicles consume most of their gasoline as they accelerate. If the automobile is moving, it does not require much fuel to keep it going. It’s simple inertia. Keep your ride smooth to improve your mileage.
* Take the bus – Don’t drive unless you have to. Try carpooling or walking. If you live in the city, get a bike. It’s better for our environment and it’s good for health.
* Brake the right way – Avoid stopping and starting too quickly. Jack-rabbit starts and hard braking can increase fuel consumption by as much as 40%.
Vehicles with automatic transmission tend to shift more quickly and smoothly if you ease off the accelerator slightly once the car gathers momentum.
* Avoid letting your automobile idle – Idling wastes fuel, you get absolutely nowhere and it unnecessarily produces greenhouse gasses. If you see that you’re going to be stopping for more than 30 seconds, with the exception of traffic, turn the engine off.
* Properly inflate your tires to prevent excessive rolling resistance – Under-inflated tires can cause fuel consumption to increase by as much as 6%.
* Drive in the right gear – Driving in a gear lower than you need wastes fuel, as does letting the engine labor in top gear on hills and corners.
* Use your cruise control when traffic is low – This will keep your speed constant and keep you from accelerating more than is necessary.
* Find a better route – Try to avoid heavy traffic and stop lights when possible. Remember, just because the route is short doesn’t mean that it is the most fuel efficient if you have to stop a lot.
* Remove unnecessary weight – Get rid of that bike, ski rack or luggage-rack on the roof of your car when they are not in use. They increase wind resistance and cause your car to use more fuel.
* Use the right motor oil for your car – Using the wrong oil increases friction in your engine. The hotter your car gets, the more fuel it uses.
* Refuel at the right time – When refueling, fill your car in the morning when the temperature is still cool. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground; and the colder the ground, the denser the gasoline. As the temperature warms, gasoline expands, so if you’re filling up in the afternoon or in the evening, what should be a gallon is not exactly a gallon.
In addition, if a tanker truck is filling the station’s tank at the time you’re buying gas, go elsewhere to buy refuel. Dirt and sludge in the station’s tank is more than likely being stirred up when gas is being delivered. There’s a large probability that some of that dirt and sludge will be transferred to your vehicle’s tank if you fill during or soon after a station refill.
It’s easy to have wasteful spending and driving habits, but with a little thought we can all be on the road to a fatter wallet and a smoother ride.