Fuel Saving Tips
Since 2002, fuel costs have increased approximately 220%. The tips below can help improve your fuel mileage and put money back into your pocket, while helping the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from your vehicle's exhaust.
- Routine vehicle maintenance is critical to keeping your vehicle fuel efficient. A well maintained vehicle will use less fuel and also eliminate excessive polluting emissions from the tailpipe. Remember to schedule your vehicle for regular maintenance.
- Keep your tires properly inflated. An under-inflated tire can cause as much as a 2 MPG decrease in fuel economy.
- Empty your trunk: Carrying unnecessary weight in your vehicle will decrease your fuel efficiency.
- Drive smoothly: Accelerate gradually and avoid aggressive driving habits. Anticipate stops to avoid sudden braking. Whenever possible, coast to stops when you see traffic stopped.
- Plan your trips: Avoid unnecessary travel and attempt to schedule travel during non-congested times of the day.
- Eliminate idle time: if idling longer than 10 seconds, except in traffic, turn the engine off. More than 10 seconds will use more fuel than shutting the engine off and restarting it again. Idling a vehicle 10 minutes per day can consume as much as 26 gallons of fuel a year. Avoid the drive through at the restaurant, bank, or anywhere else. If you are waiting for someone, turn the engine off.
- Vehicles warm up better if started and immediately driven. An engine with a computer system needs a maximum of 30 seconds before being put into motion. Other parts, such as wheel bearings, steering, suspension, transmission and tires all need to warm up while the engine is getting warm. The only way to warm all of these components is to get the vehicle moving immediately after starting the engine. This will create a better warm up situation and less wear on all components. But remember; avoid a heavy foot on the accelerator during this warm-up period.
- Always avoid speeding: this can decrease fuel economy by as much as 15%. A speed of 5 MPH over 60 is like adding a dime to the cost of a gallon of fuel.
- Use the air conditioning only when necessary. When the air conditioning compressor is on, extra fuel is burned in the engine to create the power to drive the compressor. This decreases the fuel economy of the engine.
- Short trips do not allow the engine to warm up properly, increasing fuel consumption as well as increasing exhaust emission output.
- Avoid driving "two-footed": when resting your left foot on the brake pedal, the pressure will cause the brakes to gently apply, causing friction at the brakes and holding back the vehicle. This increases the fuel consumption, as well as causing the brakes to wear out quicker.
- Always give yourself plenty of time to get to where you are going. Racing against the clock causes quick accelerations, hard braking and driving too fast, all of which burn fuel needlessly.
- Share a ride whenever possible: this will decrease fuel consumption as well as making the trip more pleasant when accompanied by another person.
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