Six simple ways to improve your car’s fuel economy

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Last night I had a dream that fuel prices rose to over $7 per gallon! That may sound crazy to my American friends, but seems pretty average to folks over in Europe. I was doing some reading on the price of “petrol” and Norway’s prices are currently ~$10 a gallon! So I thought I would write a quick blog post on how you can save some of your hard-earned dollars at the pump.

Fuel Petrol Station in Norway
image courtesy of Wikipedia

Six simple ways to improve your car’s fuel economy

Improving fuel efficiency spares motorists money, and also throws some positive value to the environment by releasing less emissions into the atmosphere and reduces a world’s reliance on oil and oil products. Limiting the level of driving we perform – by carpooling, using public transportation and merging trips – has the best influence on the amount of gas each individual use. In spite of this, there are lots of strategies to improve fuel economy when we have to drive. These mainly include driving more effectively and making sure our vehicles are correctly maintained.  However, there is one main factor influencing your car’s economy….  your driving habits!

1. Be gentle with the pedals


fancy shoes
image courtesy of Youtube

Speeding or fast acceleration spends a lot of gas. Based on the type of the car (or truck), bad driving behavior can negatively impact gas mileage from 5% to 33%. Considering the latest national average of $3 per gallon (for standard fuel), driving wisely or dare we say “slowly”, unlike a race driver, can result in a gas savings of around 16 cents up to $1.03 per gallon.

So gently ease into that pedal next time the light turns green… After all, you’re not Vin Diesel drag racing Paul Walker (r.i.p.), and you’re not fooling anyone with that Minivan you’re driving.

2. Decrease the speed

Gas mileage reduces above 60 mph. As outlined by some recent researches, for every 5 mph which exceeds 60 mph, motorists spend around 24 cents extra for every gallon of gas. Although every car possesses its own ideal speed for fuel efficiency, reducing the speed can result in around 7% to 23% lower gas mileage. So, driving at reduced speeds will save 21 to 71 cents per gallon.

3. Remove the heavy extra stuff from the trunk

Junk in the (car) trunk
image courtesy of Nate

If you remove 100 pounds from the car’s trunk, you will reduce the gas usage by up to 2%. This reduction is related to the car’s weight: compact cars are far more suffering from increased weight compared to the bigger ones. So, for every 100 pounds extra weight, keep in mind that you are spending around 6 cents more per gallon.

4. Use Cruise Control

Not only will cruise control make you a more courteous driver… We’ve all been passed by that one guy who then slows down and makes us pass them, right? ,,,But using using the CC on the highway can help you in keeping a constant speed and, in many instances, this will save gas.

5. Avoiding the rough roads

As much as possible you should avoid the rough roads , simply because soil or gravel can overcharge you up to 30% of your gas mileage. Whenever the wheels jump up and down, forward motion energy is taken out of the car. This forces the driver to use more throttle – which means more wasted fuel.

6. Prepare the route in advance

Take the route of least resistance. That is a road with less stoplights, less traffic and, of course, lower speed limits. Even when you save 0.1 gallons of gas every day, you will reduce expenses for around $130 per year.
Fuel economy – Good for your wallet, good for our environment
Lowering the quantity of driving we do, no matter if it’s by car pooling or foregoing an unneeded travel, is probably the best way to reduce the amount of gas which every person uses. Practical actions can be taken to boost fuel efficiency by focusing and changing gas-guzzling driving practices, and following a car’s maintenance schedule. Better gas mileage is great for you, effective for your car and ideal for the environment.

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