In some previous blog posts, we mentioned a few tips on how to help you get better fuel economy out of whatever type of vehicle you drive. We mentioned such items as checking and replacing your car or truck’s air filter, checking and maintaining proper tire pressure, proper preventive maintenance, and more. In this post, we’re going to discuss a few other ways you can get better gas mileage – even some you hadn’t thought of…
1). The first one is a point that we’ve probably all heard about for years. In fact, the automotive industry has been mentioning these facts since the early 70’s. We’re not too sure why more drivers don’t observe these basics – maybe it’s because life is more hectic or fast paced – or maybe we need to slow down a little and not just in our driving. However, regardless of what’s currently going on in our lives, if we can avoid “aggressive driving” – especially rapid acceleration and braking – it can benefit your wallet. In fact, a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that city (or around town) mileage improved by 33% if those jack-rabbit starts and stops were avoided.
2). In the same study, NHTSA also noticed that highway fuel economy dropped off drastically (and we mean drastically) when freeway speeds over 70 mph were observed. We realize that every once in a while we’re all late for work or an important appointment, but constant highway speeds above the big 70 can add up in a big way. Whether you agree with their findings are not, the group found that for every 5 mph we drive over 70 mph, is like paying an additional .23 cents per gallon of gas. While we’re on the subject of highway driving, use the cruise control when you can. This option has come a long way over the past few decades. These systems are so sophisticated and accurate, they can maintain a constant speed far better than any human – and maintaining a constant speed is another key to better gas mileage.
3). If you can remove excess weight from your vehicle, this will help. We’re not talking about your spouse, kids or annoying relative here. But if you have a bunch of unnecessary stuff in your trunk (or bed of your truck) – clean it out. Believe it or not, an extra 50 pounds of weight can reduce your mileage by 2%.
4). This last tip is a little more difficult in city driving, but even a lesser amount will help. Avoid excess idling. We see many vehicles, regardless of city or rural environment, especially in the winter, running in parking lots because someone is waiting inside keeping themselves nice & toasty or listening to the radio. Believe it or not, if this is done for only 30 minutes, the vehicle will burn a half a gallon of gas. Think 30 minutes is a lot? When was the last time you got through the supermarket in less than that?