Tips For Saving Fuel While DrivingSep 7th, 2016
We’ve all done it. “Why are fuel prices so high?” or “Back in my day, they were 50 cents per litre” We have all complained about the high price of gas but it will only continue to go up as our demand for it continues to grow. But there are some simple things that you can do to save fuel while driving and in the bigger picture will save you money.
Drive more efficiently
We’ve all seen them, the jackrabbits at the lights. As soon as the light goes green they accelerate hard to the speed limit (or a bit above it) and then brake hard at the next stop light. A vehicle uses the most amount of fuel during acceleration as the engine needs the power to get the vehicle’s weight and momentum moving. Accelerating more slowly and keeping the rpms low saves you a bit of fuel as well as coasting when arriving at a stop light. Modern engines use no fuel when coasting so you could save more fuel if you coast to a stop light and then braking rather than just braking at the last possible moment.
Another tip is to make sure your vehicle is cutting through the air as efficiently as possible. Removing a roof rack or roof box when not using it is a huge improvement on aerodynamic efficiency. Also keeping the windows up at high speeds will further improve aerodynamic efficiency. Watching your speed is one thing we normally don’t think about when trying to save fuel but driving at the speed limit (and not above it like how most everyone does) will also save fuel. The reason is because the faster a vehicle is moving, the more air tries to resist it. In other words there is more air resistance the faster you go thus forcing the engine to work harder and burn more fuel.
Maintain your vehicle
The condition of your vehicle also has a dramatic affect on your fuel bill. Tire pressures are the most neglected and yet simplest fix for anyone trying to save fuel. All modern vehicles have stickers on the driver’s side door jamb that states the ideal tire pressure for the vehicle.
Keeping the engine well maintained as well is another key to saving fuel. Replacing a dirty or clogged air filter, replacing spark plugs as per vehicle’s maintenance schedule, performing fuel injector cleaning are all steps to not only save fuel but to also ensure that the engine has a long life.
Purchase fuel wisely
Fuel prices fluctuate as often as the weather changes. At one time of the day they’re one price and at the end of the day they’re something completely different. Knowing at what time to buy fuel will save you a few bucks here and there but eventually those bucks add up. Normally gas prices are at their highest during the weekends when people have time to go out and buy gas or are going on a trip during the weekend and usually the lowest prices are in the middle of the week. You can also check online websites that report daily fuel prices of gasoline stations in your local area.
Using the correct grade of fuel is the biggest money saver and also the biggest misconception of motorists. Most drivers think that using premium grade fuel, even if the vehicle doesn’t require it, will improve fuel efficiency. That is not the case. Fuels have different octane ratings to prevent engine knocking rather than improving fuel efficiency. Only high performance engines require higher octane fuel. If your vehicle owner’s manual recommends regular fuel then there is no benefit from purchasing the more expensive premium fuel.
But the best way to save fuel is to just not drive if you don’t have to. If you have errands that are close to home or work, walk or take transit. If you do have to drive, plan your trip ahead of time. Don’t zig zag across a city, try to hit all of your destinations in one big loop. All of these tips will save you a bit of fuel here and there but combine them and you’ll definitely notice the savings when you stop at the pumps… or rather how often you pass by the pumps.