Ten Tips to Help You Save: Get the most out of every drop of fuel
These days, it seems like everyone is tightening their wallet, and drivers everywhere are looking to get the most out of every tank of gasoline.
While some people use alternate modes of transportation, many need their cars on a daily basis. For those in the driver’s seat, there are simple ways to increase fuel efficiency and save at the pump.“With the cost of vehicle ownership and car care growing every year, we all want to be more fuel efficient,” says Jens Mueller-Belau, Fuels Portfolio and Category Manager North America, Shell Retail. “Using money-saving driving techniques and car care tips are an easy way to help get the most out of every gasoline purchase.”
Following are ten Shell “Fuelstretch” tips designed to help drivers save money.
- Drive smoothly: Avoid heavy acceleration or heavy braking. Speeding, rapid acceleration and heavy braking can use as much as 33% more fuel than sensible driving.*
- Service your car regularly: A well-tuned engine alone can improve fuel economy by up to 4%*, so follow your car manufacturer’s recommendation for servicing, and change your oil as required. It’s also important to keep your entire vehicle well maintained. A poorly maintained vehicle can increase fuel consumption by up to 50%*. Even replacing dirty spark plugs can improve fuel consumption by 5%*, so you should read the vehicle owner’s manual thoroughly to familiarize yourself with its mechanical maintenance requirements.
- Make sure tires are not over or under-inflated: Proper air pressure cutsdown on fuel used while driving. A tire that is under-inflated by just two psi (14 kPa) can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as two percent and reduce the tire’s life by about 6,500 kilometres.*
- Use the correct grade of oil in your engine: Following your manufacturer’s motor oil recommendation can improve fuel efficiency by one to two percent. Look for motor oil that says “energy conserving” on the label.
- Choose a high-quality gasoline: Top automakers say thatcarbon deposits can build up on critical engine parts, which can decrease the power, performance and fuel efficiency of your vehicle. Audi, BMW, GM, Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen introduced a TOP TIER detergent standard to raise the bar on fuel quality beyond minimum requirements and to help drivers avoid lower quality gasolines. All Shell gasolines meet TOP TIER standards and are designed to stop gunky build-up on critical engine parts, which helps cars to perform at their best.
- Use cruise control on major roads and in free-flowing traffic: Maintaining a constant speed can improvegasoline mileage.
- Avoid idling: When you idle, it wastes gasoline, and you are getting exactly 0 km/litre.
- Avoid higher speeds: The faster you go the more wind resistance you’ll encounter and the more fuel your vehicle will consume just to maintain speed. In general, increasing your speed from 100 km/h to 120 km/h will increase fuel consumption by about 20 percent.
- Plan your outings to avoid separate trips: Combine your errands into one outing to avoid short separate trips. This planning helps avoid unnecessary cold starts and keeps your car’s engine running warmly and more efficiently.
- Get rewards for your fuel purchases: From May 4 to July 12, 2009, Shell customers will receive ten times bonus AIR MILES rewards with a minimum $30.00 purchase of Shell V-Power gasoline or Shell V-Power diesel, and five times bonus reward miles with a minimum $30.00 purchase of Shell bronze, Shell silver gasoline or Shell diesel. AIR MILES collectors can redeem their reward miles for great rewards.
Whether running errands around town or commuting to work, these money-saving driving techniques can help you get the most out of every drop of fuel. More information is available online at www.shell.ca/fuelstretch.
*Estimates for fuel savings from sensible driving are based on studies and literature reviews performed by Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc., Washington, DC., Natural Resources Canada Office of Energy Efficiency Auto$mart Thinking program and Transport Canada Media Room.
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Find-a-driving-school.ca. He has been writing for beginner Canadian drivers for several years.
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