5 driving tips to use fuel more efficiently
Gas prices may be at an all-time low right now, but that doesn’t mean you should waste Mother Nature’s finite resources. With Earth Day right around the corner, it’s time to consider the impact gassing up has on your planet, not just how it affects your wallet. That’s why you should pay close attention to how you drive—you might be needlessly wasting precious fuel. Here are five tips for driving to maximize fuel use and stretch the time between gas station visits.
- Take your time. It’s common knowledge that constantly accelerating and then pulling back needlessly wastes gas, but on the other hand, taking too long to reach your cruising speed can cause a spike in fuel consumption, too. The experts at Popular Mechanics say that when you accelerate, doing so in about 15 seconds is the way to go for most cars. Typically, this’ll get you into a higher, fuel-saving gear faster. That being said, don’t lay on and off the gas repeatedly during your drive. Accelerating, whether quickly or slowly, always uses more gas.
- Top off your tires. If you’ve been putting off refilling your tires since colder temps hit, it’s time to stop procrastinating. Even if your tires are technically at a safe pressure, they could still be slowing you down—literally. Low pressure makes it harder for your tires to roll; that is, it increases resistance. This means that you use more gas to get going, despite your speed. So keep track of your tire pressure and fill up when they get a bit low.
- Idle as little as possible. Idling equals fuel waste. That’s a no brainer. Since you’re not actually going anywhere, there’s no need to be running the car and burning through your precious fuel. That’s not to mention the unnecessary pollution you’re producing when you idle. Honor Mother Earth and your other budget by turning off the car when you’re sitting, even if you won’t be sitting for very long.
- Ease up on the brakes. When you slam on the brakes to make a stop, you’re essentially undoing the work that your gasoline just did. And the energy expended just turns to heat, anyway, which is basically like burning up money. So instead of waiting until a few yards before a red light to slam on the brakes, ease off the gas and coast to a stop to save fuel and money. You might be surprised by how much longer your fuel-up lasts by just taking this simple step, especially if you hit a lot of stop signs or lights on your commute to and from work every day.
- Maintain a steady speed. We’ve already told you that slamming the brakes and accelerating quickly can both increase your trips to the gas station, so it should come as no surprise that keeping your speed steady (and at the speed limit) will help conserve fuel. The back and forth of slowing down and speeding up can make your rate of gas consumption jump up to 20%, which will obviously work against your wallet and your eco-friendly lifestyle.
Fuel-efficient Driving [EarthEasy]
6 Driving Tactics to Save Gas This Summer [Popular Mechanics]