It seems everyone is talking about high gasoline prices, and looking for ways to keep the cost of driving to a minimum. Minimizing fuel costs is not always easy, but there are some things every driver can do to increase the fuel efficiency of any vehicle, from the smallest and most gas thrifty to the largest vehicle on the road.
Before we layout all the tips below, you should consider getting your vehicle inspected first and foremost. This is the first line of action we suggest all car owners do, as that’ll tell you what needs to be changed or fixed to ensure all gas mileage is at the top of its gains.
Tip #1 – Slow Down
Perhaps the easiest way to save significant dollars and increase fuel efficiency is to simply watch your speed as you cruise down the highways and byways. Consumer vehicles of all types, cars, trucks and SLNs, are designed to operate at peak efficiency between 40 and 60 miles per hour. Driving at 70 to 80 miles per hour instead can reduce average fuel efficiency by up to one third. While it may be tempting to increase your speed to shave a couple minutes off your commute, you could be unwittingly wasting lots of money to save those couple of minutes.
Tip #2 – Don’t Be a Jackrabbit
Jackrabbit starts and stops waste lots of fuel, and they can greatly reduce the fuel economy of the vehicle, especially in city driving. When driving between red lights and stop signs, use the slow and steady approach instead. Driving at a consistent speed, whether in the city or on the highway, is one of the best ways to save fuel (and money).
Tip #3 – Maintain Your Ride
Following a proper maintenance schedule can help increase the efficiency of the vehicle, which in turn will help to maximize fuel economy. Simply replacing a blocked air filter can increase your mileage up to 10%, and replacing a misfiring spark plug or spark plug wire can have the same effect. And frequent oil changes can help your engine operate at the peak of efficiency, keeping your fuel usage to a minimum.
Tip #4 – Combine Errands
Simply combining trips and errands can reduce the number of miles you drive, while at the same time reducing your fuel expenditures In addition to reducing the number of miles you drive, combining errands helps reduce fuel consumption, since a warm engine will operate at higher efficiency than a cold engine. Combining trips to cut down the miles you drive can also reduce other ongoing vehicle maintenance costs as well.
Tip #5 – Keep Idling to a Minimum
Running the car while going nowhere is a waste of fuel. While some idling like waiting at red lights and stopping at stop signs, is unavoidable, excessive idling should be avoided. It is important to note, for instance, that today’s modern cars no longer need to be warmed up. These modem engines are designed to start right up and go, with no additional idling required.
Tip #6 – Kick the Tires
Keeping the tires inflated to recommended pressures is one of the most important steps drivers can take to increase their gas mileage. Checking the tire pressure only takes a couple of minutes, and adding air is just as quick and easy. Whether you use a tire pressure gauge and a home air compressor or the equipment at the local service station, keeping those tires properly inflated will help to maximize the efficiency of your vehicle.