Transportation: Fuel Saving Tips
Fuel saving tips are useful no matter where you live. With today’s fuel prices approaching all time highs, the cost of commuting to and from work as well as our every day non-work travels can put these costs right up there with our other big budget items, such as our food.
Depending on where you live, transportation spending can account from 20% to 30% of your monthly budget. Most of us do not have a choice about getting to and from work, school, running errands, etc. But this does not mean we can’t trim our transportation expense.
Here are some fuel saving tips which can make your fuel last longer:
Change Your Driving Habits
Despite how exciting it may look in Fast and Furious, you should avoid smashing down on the gas petal to accelerate very quickly from either a stopped position or from a slow cruising speed. We are speaking here of moderate versus aggressive driving. The same goes for coming to a stop. Avoid hard braking, where safe, by looking far ahead up the road.
This one tip can improve your fuel economy from 31% to 37% right away.
Avoid Stopping and Starting your Car Frequently
Idling and restarting the engine both consume fuel. The trick to making your fuel last longer is to know when to do which. Use the ‘one-minute’ rule to decide which to do. If you’re going to be stopping for a minute or less, keep your car idle as it burns less gas compared to restarting the engine. If you’re going to be stopping for more than a minute, then just turn it off, as idling will burn more gas than restarting the engine. In engineering tests conducted in this area, it was shown that you can save up to 19%.
Slow down and drive at a constant speed
Driving at high speeds consumes more gas. So does braking and accelerating constantly. To save from 12% to 14% try driving at the posted speed limit, especially on the freeway. This gives you the benefit of reducing your gas consumption as well as the ability to use your cruise control more.
Turn the AC down
Turning the AC up consumes more gas. In newer cars, the AC compressor runs intermittently, so the AC doesn’t affect fuel efficiency as much when compared to older cars. Nevertheless, you should use the AC only when you really need it, or at least avoid blasting it at the highest level. One way to reduce the use of the AC is to park in the shade. In this way, you don’t need to use as much AC to reduce the temperature inside when you finally get back into the car.
Get Rid of Unnecessary Weight
The heavier your vehicle, the more gas it consumes. This is why heavy vehicles often use far more fuel than a lighter vehicle over the same distance. Take time to clean out the trunk or truck bed because an extra 100 pounds you are carrying can reduce your mpg by two percent.
This should go without saying but carpooling is a great fuel saving tip. When you carpool you split the costs of fuel between all of the participants. Depending on the length of the commute and the number of days you do not have to drive, the savings can really add up. In addition to the fuel savings, your vehicle will have less wear and tear and you will experience less stress. To be successful at carpooling, all of the participants must show a good deal of flexibility.
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