How to Improve Your Cars Fuel Efficiency
Did you know that a vehicle can burn up to 30 per cent more fuel if proper maintenance is not performed on a regular schedule? We all know the importance of regular car maintenance, but for many reasons, we just don't do it often enough.
These tips will help you use every last drop of fuel you pour into your tank.
- Check your tire pressure at least once a month. Under-inflated tires burn more fuel. If tires are 8 pounds under inflated, rolling resistance of the tires increases by 5 per cent.
- At the pump, keep the hose in the tank until after the pump shuts off and make sure you allow all the fuel to pour out of the nozzle. As much as a quarter of a cup can pour from the hose.
- When appropriate, use your cruise control. This can save you up to 6 per cent in fuel consumption on the highway.
- Corroded battery cables cause the alternator to work harder, using more gas. Have them cleaned as a matter of course with each engine check-up.
- Don't let the vehicle idle for more than a minute. Idling consumes half-a-gallon to one gallon of gas per hour and pumps needless CO2 into the atmosphere.
- Change the air filter at least the set number of times outlined in the owners manual, more if you drive in dusty conditions.
- Get a regular engine check-up.
- Driving in the highest gear possible without labouring the engine is a fuel-efficient way of driving. Driving at 60 km/h, a vehicle will use 25 per cent more fuel in third gear than it would in fifth. Travelling at fast rates in low gears can consume up to 45 per cent more fuel than is needed.
- Drive smoothly. By applying light throttle and avoiding heavy braking, you can reduce both fuel consumption and wear and tear. Research suggests driving techniques can influence fuel efficiency by as much as 30 per cent.
- Lighten your load. Think carefully about what you need on a journey. If you do not need something, do not pack it.
- Choose the right octane gas for your car. Check the owner's manual to find out what octane your engine needs.
- Combining errands into one trip saves you time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
- You can improve your gas mileage by one to two per cent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil.
- Avoid "revving" the engine, especially just before you switch the engine off; this wastes fuel needlessly and washes oil down from inside the cylinder walls.
- Drive steadily. Slowing down or speeding up wastes fuel.
- Avoid rough roads whenever possible, because dirt or gravel can rob you of up to 30 per cent of your gas mileage. Every time the wheels bounce up and down, forward motion energy is removed from the vehicle.
- Inspect suspension and chassis parts for misalignment. Bent wheels, axles, worn shocks, and broken springs can contribute to drivetrain drag, not to mention the unsafe condition they create.
- SUV owners should consider switching from an aggressive patterned off-road tread to a fuel efficient highway tread.