Fuel Economy Tips
Use the following tips to save money at the pump. These small fuel savings will add up over time.
Use these tips to save
fuel and money every day.
- Avoid idling whenever you can. Idling decreases your miles per gallon. Instead of idling while waiting at drive-up banking or fast food windows, turn your car off and go inside. When waiting at a long stop light, shift into park or neutral to disengage the drive train.
- Remember to check tire pressure weekly. For every 1-psi drop in pressure, you can expect your gas mileage to lower by 0.4%. Check and adjust the pressure as needed to maintain proper inflation and maximum efficiency. To get an accurate reading, always check tires when they are cold. In other words, check them in the morning before you start your engine.
- Use A/C at highway speeds only. At slower city speeds, it's cheaper to use the vents and open the windows. At higher speeds, the wind resistance caused by open windows will cost you more fuel than using the air conditioner. Whenever you are using air conditioning, remember to shut it off before you get to your destination, and try to park in the shade. These factors can affect fuel economy by about 1-5%.
- Try to anticipate stops and accelerate smoothly after stops, as braking decreases fuel economy. Leave more room between your car and the vehicle ahead of you to avoid abrupt stops. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33% on the highway and by 5% in the city.
- Use cruise control to keep your speed even on highway trips. Always select overdrive when driving above 50 mph. If you need the extra pep to pass someone, turn off overdrive and shift into drive. Just don't forget to switch back once you pass the other vehicle.
- Keep up with your vehicle maintenance. A dragging brake, misalignment of tires, or a lit check engine light will have a significant impact on your fuel economy. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40%.
- Clean the inside and outside of your car. The less weight in your car, the better your fuel economy will be. For example, there is no need to keep your golf clubs in your car all week if you only play on Tuesdays. If you have a roof rack system, remove it when you are not using it. Those extra bars and carriers interrupt the natural flow of air across your vehicle and cause more drag and more money spent on fuel.
- Switch to synthetic fluids in your vehicle. They are more expensive, but you are replacing a petroleum-based product with one that is specifically designed for maximum efficiency. Synthetic fluids can increase your fuel economy by 8% or more. Quality synthetics have been proven to extend the life of engines and transmissions, saving you repair money.
More about Fuel Economy Tips:
- Winter Fuel Economy Tips - Tips to save you money at the gas pump in cold weather.