You know that feeling – you drive by the same gas station every day, glance at the price, and cringe. So you download the apps, look at the maps, and try and find the lowest gas prices in the area. You budget for your fuel fill-up day, and even plan ahead to buy gas around holidays and weekends. But still… it’s expensive.
So what else can you do to prevent more frequent stops to the pump? The answer is: quit the driving practices that suck your tank dry. Chances are, you’re probably guilty of doing the simple things that kill your MPG. How about easing off that gas pedal a little sooner, rather than run-and-gunning it to the red light and slamming on the brakes at the last second. It’s a small change, but definitely adds up over time. Want more tips on increasing your car’s fuel economy? Read on!
No NASCAR Driving
Leave it to the pros to drive 200 mph and keep your speed in check, even on those tempting deserted roads. Though it may be fun to push the limits, the fact is, it’s not good for your gas mileage (or your safety!). Every vehicle reaches its optimal fuel efficiency at different speeds, but in general, the mileage per gallon tends to decrease above 50 mph.
Using cruise control is a great way to reduce your speeds, or at the very least keep them consistent, especially on long trips. Let the computer keep your speed and RPMs steady; your gas tank with thank you for it.
You Are Not In An Action Movie
There are no evil villains or assassins chasing you, so accelerate at a reasonable rate, and ease off that brake. No slamming your foot to the floor, whether it’s to speed up or slow down. Aggressive driving not only wastes gas, but it can also endanger the other drivers around you. So driving safely is a win-win. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save your gas mileage from five to thirty-three percent, depending on if you’re in town or on the highway, when practicing safe driving.
Expensive Tires Can Be Costly
Although high-grip, high-performance tires are great for keeping you safe, they can cost you at the pump. To save on fuel, get the best tires you need, but don’t go for anything overly excessive. We’re not saying skimp out on quality or safety, but do asses your circumstances before picking out tires. If you live in an area that snows almost year-round, or rains more often than not, then tires made for extreme weather are a good idea. But these stickier tires can make your car work harder, which in turn leads to gas guzzling, so swap out those snow tires once winter is over.
The Department of Energy warns drivers that idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner use. A good rule of thumb? Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked. It only takes a small amount of fuel to restart your vehicle, and when you’re idling, you are burning gas to go a whopping zero miles per hour. Turning your engine on and off excessively, however, may increase starter wear, so don’t just turn of your car when you’re stuck in rush hour traffic.
Lose The Extra Pounds… In Your Car
If you’re going on a trip, by all means bring what you need. But those golf clubs that sit in your trunk day in and day out (just in case) could be costing you money at the pump. An extra one hundred pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to two percent. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle’s weight, and thus affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones. If ever there was incentive to clean out your car, this would be it!
Obviously, none of these things will single-handedly save your tank (and wallet) from being drained, but practicing gas-conscious driving will certainly add up for the better. So decelerate before hitting the brakes, stop pretending you’re a celebrity, and lose a little weight (in the car) – it can’t hurt! Saving money at the tank can also help your income with a more cohesive car insurance plan too!