Top 8 Tips For Reducing Fuel Consumption
Something that is on the minds of millions of people all over the world these days is global warming, and there are many who are doing their part to try and help the environment before it is too late. Of course, reducing fuel consumption is a great way to do so, and there are some people who can even afford to get hybrid cars that do not use nearly as much fuel as vehicles with regular engines do. Even if you cannot afford one of these expensive cars, you can still do your part to reduce your fuel consumption. All you have to do is follow a few simple tips, and use your own common sense while driving.
Here are some of the top tips for reducing fuel consumption:
Ways To Be Greener
Check your tire pressure
Believe it or not, something as simple as making sure you have the right amount of air in your tires can help in your fuel consumption efforts. When tires are not inflated enough, they generate too much heat, they wear out a whole lot faster, and they give you much more resistance against the roads. You should be checking your air pressure at least once every week or two (every week is preferable). Make sure that when you do this that you do not do it while the tires are warm. Check to see how much pressure should be in your tires, and make sure that you put in that amount, do not overfill. Doing this regularly will give you a smooth ride, and help with your fuel consumption.
Don’t weigh your car down
The more junk you have in your vehicle, the heavier it is going to be. The heavier your vehicle is, the more fuel it is going to burn to keep it moving. You probably have all kinds of things in the back seat and in the trunk that you really don’t need. Get rid of that barbecue from last summer. Take out the road salt or ice, which is really heavy (although it can be an asset on icy roads in the winter and you need weight for traction). The lighter you can make your vehicle, the less fuel it is going to burn.
Stick to the speed limits
The faster you drive, the more gas you burn. So, it really only makes sense to stick to the posted speed limits. Plus, when you are not speeding, you are not risking getting into accidents or being pulled over by the police and ending up with fines. More than half of the power your engine uses is to overcome wind resistance, and the faster you are driving, the more resistance your vehicle is going to be up against, meaning that you are going to consume more fuel. For example, if you are driving at a speed of 110 km/hr, you will be burning 25% more fuel than if you were driving along at 90 km/hr. The high cost of fuel these days is another reason to drive within the speed limits.
Don’t rev too high
Make sure that your vehicle’s engine is always in tip-top running condition. If it is revving too high, get it checked. Ideally, it should be revving at around 1,500 to 2,500 RPM, and the higher it is revving, the more fuel it is going to burn. While you are at it, make sure that you clean your air filter regularly as well, and don’t forget about all of the other little basic maintenance that needs to be done regularly. The better working condition your car is in, the less fuel it is going to consume.
Don’t idle too long
If you are stopped at a red light, you pretty much have no choice but to idle for a minute or two. But there are other times when many of us leave our vehicles idling unnecessarily, which does not help when it comes to reducing fuel consumption. If you have to run into the store quickly, shut the motor off. If you are waiting to pick someone up, don’t just sit there idling, especially since you never know how long you will end up waiting for people. Use your common sense. If it seems like you have been idling too long, chances are that you have.
Come to a complete stop
You will actually burn less fuel if you start driving from a complete stop than if you just slow down. You need to come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs anyway, and now that you know it is going to help you save on gas, you have even more of an incentive to make sure that you are following this important rule of the road.
Don’t drive if you don’t have to
If you can walk somewhere easily, is there really any need to waste the gas by driving? Of course, if the weather is nasty, you will probably want to drive. But if the weather is fine, you can save fuel by walking, and you will be getting some much-needed exercise at the same time. Bring the kids along, and make it a family outing, and you may find that you start going for walks a lot more often.
Start a carpool
If you and your neighbours all travel in the same direction every day, maybe you should get together and start a carpool. This is a great way to conserve fuel, because only one vehicle instead of many will be on the roads. You will also be saving money, because you will not be spending nearly as much on gas every week. Pick a different driver each day, or have one person do the driving for a week, then another driver takes over the next week. You can also set up carpools for getting the kids to and from school every day.
We all need to do what we can to help the environment, and the way we drive our vehicles is one way we can do so.
By following the most important rules of the road, such as driving within posted speed limits and coming to complete stops, as well as by doing other things, we can all help when it comes to fuel consumption.
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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