With the rising price of fuel everywhere, it has literally become a menace to drive around knowing that very soon you have to empty your wallet or swipe you card to refill that fuel tank of yours, which is truly annoying, but a necessity which you can’t avoid. The excursions on weekends have become more expensive and long drives have become pure luxury now. The students who used to demand cars when they enter junior college seem to have lessened with this escalating price of fuel in the recent years.
Now then, whatever you may drive in gasoline, diesel or hybrid; from a compact car to a three-tonne SUV, there are ample opportunities to squeeze a mile or may be two per gallon of fuel. Keeping in view the escalating price of the fuel, an improvement in the mileage of the vehicle like this will surely add up to your savings in the long run. The tips mentioned below has helped me save fuel and thus money very well over the past couple of years now, these can also help you enhance your car’s fuel efficiency and help you save some money while the price is unstable in a negative manner. Most of these ideas will give you a not so significant rise in mileage but if you use many in combination at the same time, the meliorism will certainly add up for good.
1. Always check the tire pressure:
The under-inflated tires are one of the very common ignored reasons for improper or negative mileage. The tires lose air with time which is close to 1 psi every month as well as because of the temperature also the tires loose approximately 1 psi for every 10 degree decrease. The rolling resistance of under-inflated tire is more compared to the properly inflated tires. Thus the vehicle has to burn more fuel when the tire is under-inflated, to move ahead at the same speed it requires reaching its destination. You should buy a dependable tire gauge to check your tires at least twice a month with a check done every now and then if you are driving long distance very frequently. Make sure you check the air pressure of tires when they are cold as the tires warm up when the vehicle is in motion which results in a false reading which could be very high psi. You must use the inflation pressures as per mentioned in the owner’s manual or on the vehicle’s data plate which is usually in the jamb of driver’s door. This is something you do before you take out your car for long distance drive on the highway.
2. Stick to the specifications:
We all like to do some modifications to our drive with some additional cosmetic and some technical changes here and there. The most common thing which is replaced in a car is always the wheels and tires and with the new ones, they do improve handling in the desired manner of the owner. But if the tires are wider than the previous stock tires the possibility of rolling resistance increase and the fuel efficiency decreases. If you happen to upgrade your tires and wheels, do make sure that you keep the stock items as well. I have upgraded sports rims and good set of aggressive tires on my car but I have the stock items in the garage as well. For my long road trips, I use the stock wheels for they give a much smoother ride as promised by the car manufacturing firm as well as a better fuel efficiency.
3. Air-filter check:
A dirty and clogged air filter can obstruct the smooth flow of air which is required into the engine; this consequently harms the performance of the vehicle and makes it less economical fuel wise. You can check the condition of the air filter easily, all you need to do is just hold it up against the sun and if you can’t see the light coming through the mesh of the air filter, it’s time for a replacement. You may also consider putting in a K&N filter or same kind of permanent filter that is easier to clean in comparison to replace them; these are less restrictive than the paper filters which can be thrown away. Moreover, these are best when considered the environmental issues.
4. Clean out that extra from your car:
This is very surprising that we tend to keep a lot of things in our cars, from small accessories to unnecessary spare which we may never need at all or they do not even belong to the car as well. Moreover it never takes much for the car to gain an extra 40 lbs or 50 lbs because of these things. We have a very casual attitude towards it but we never realize that if these items are being tossed out or just put somewhere in the garage or home, it will make the car lighter. A lighter car is much faster with the same volume of fuel consumption or it will burn less fuel on the same speed the car has been running when it had the extra unnecessary weight lugging around.
5. Go easy:
Every car has an economic speed bracket where it burns moderate fuel and gives the average mileage which the manufacturer claim. Thus one of the best methods to save fuel is to simply drive in this bracket. But as the speed goes above this bracket the fuel efficiency decreases exponentially. If you tend to drive above this limit on a regular basis you should try the economic speed limit for a few days to feel the difference. You’ll end up saving a good amount of fuel and your travel will not take much time. However, since you are going to be on the economic speed, you may need to keep to the right so you may not impede the speed aficionados.
6. Accelerate in a smooth fashion:
The vroom-vroom zoom starters are the true fuel wasters but it doesn’t mean that you must crawl your way from every signal. If you own a car with automatic transmission, accelerate gradually so that the mechanism can shift up smoothly into the top gears. Stick-shifters must shift beforehand to maintain the revs low but that doesn’t mean you lug the engine, do downshift in case you need to go fast. Do keep a watch over the slowdowns on the road so when you accelerate to speed you may not have to brake immediately, which will waste fuel.
7. Follow the truck technique:
Did you ever saw that in a worse traffic jam all the cars seem to immediately speed up and then slow down while the trucks tend to go along at a constant leisurely speed? Let me tell you that a constant pace keeps the gear shifting requirement to a minimum, especially with those trucks which have ten speed transmissions for trucks. But amazingly it helps in adding on to the fuel efficiency since it takes a lot more fuel to make a vehicle move compared to keep it moving. Moving in the same manner as of the trucks saves not only fuel but also aggravation.
8. Feel the nature:
You should at times think about shutting off the comfort gadget like the air-conditioner and open up the windows to enjoy the fine breeze coming in. It may be a little warmer for you but at an economical speed you will save further more fuel if you do not use the air conditioning. On a high speed the air condition is more efficient than the wind resistance created due to open sunroof and windows. So it’s always better to have no air conditioning in slow speed but to feel the wind and use it on a high speed because the sunroof and windows has to be closed for maintaining the aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle which will not put pressure on the engine to burn more fuel.
9. Downsize your ride or go hybrid:
If you are looking for new car then it is the right time to re-appraise on how much car and what kind you really require. Small cars save more on fuel for they are light weighted and thus less rolling resistant in comparison to the heavy cars. Now these day’s small cars are more spacious and safer to drive around. If you have some extra money or you can afford to arrange some more then you should consider going for a hybrid like Toyota Prius C which is a compact car, Prius V which is an SUV sized car or the sporty car of Honda the CR-Z. These hybrid cars are the future of automobile. They run on gas as well as electricity in a perfect sync which saves a lot more fuel than the conventional vehicles.
10. The best- Don’t Drive:
Now this is something not everybody would like to do at all; neither is it a popular thing to recommend on an automobile site. But if you can avoid driving at the maximum, you will definitely save on fuel. Instead taking your car you can always go in a carpool or take the public transport and consolidate your trips for shopping. Cycling and walking is excellent for your health and your pocket. The best thing to do here is, before you get into your car to go somewhere, always ask yourself; “Is taking the car really required?”