Fuel Efficiency In Cars: How To Save Money On Gas

Car Fuel Efficiency

With the steadily rising price of gasoline, purchasing a fuel-efficient automobile makes an incredible amount of sense. According to J.D. Power and Associates, roughly 25% of new automobile consumers will reject a car due to weak gas consumption. Unfortunately, purchasing a fuel-efficient vehicle can be very costly to your finances. Most of us just cannot afford it. Thankfully, there are a myriad of ways that you can upgrade the fuel efficiency of your current automobile while you save money to buy that gas efficient SUV that you have your eyes on.

The way you drive has an enormous effect on how much fuel you burn. You can much more efficiently manage your fuel costs by driving more slowly and maintaining a constant speed. Fuel Economy reports that the amount of fuel being used at 80 mph is nearly double the amount being used at 60 mph. In fact, gasoline mileage declines quickly at any speed over 60 mph. Furthermore, you use more fuel every time that you abruptly speed up or slow down. Just by accelerating from 60 mph to 70 mph, you are raising fuel usage by nearly 20%. Aggressive driving is also an inefficient use of your gasoline. Popular Mechanics maintain that speeding and making hard brakes can reduce your gas mileage by almost 35%.

The amount of time you spend not driving, with your car idle, also affects your fuel usage. Sitting idly wastes gasoline and puts pressure on the engine. If you know that you will be idle for more than 5 minutes, just turn your car off immediately. In addition, try to not rely so much on air conditioning. Keep your windows open and air circulation at a maximum if possible. According to The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, rampant use of your air conditioner can increase fuel usage by nearly 20%. If using an air conditioner is unavoidable, then set the system to cycle smoothly and go off when a cool enough temperature is reached. Also think about getting either a sunroof or tinted windows.

Not properly maintaining your vehicle can also drive up your fuel costs. Car-X Auto Service notes that going in for regular tune-ups can enhance your gas mileage by nearly 5%. There are a few things you can do yourself as well. Ensure that your spark plugs are discharging correctly and that your engine timing is accurate. Also replace dirty air filters and keep your tires well inflated. More gas is required to push an under-inflated tire vs. a well-inflated tire. In addition, check your tire pressure on a frequent basis, searching for indications of uneven wear or sharp objects embedded onto the tire. These objects could potentially cause an air leak.

Also, make sure that you are using the proper gas for your vehicle by inspecting your car’s user manual. Furthermore, do not use premium gas unless your car really needs it. According to the American Automobile Association, only 7% of automobiles in the United States require premium gas. Using it needlessly can cost you over 60 cents more per gallon purchased. Also, when pumping gas, do not try to top off your tank. More than likely, fuel will spill and you will have just wasted valuable gasoline. You need to be saving fuel, not wasting it!

If possible, try to combine your errands so that fewer trips are required. Starting up your car several times for numerous trips uses up much more fuel than just starting it up once for one trip. Furthermore, with merely a bit of careful scheduling, you can ensure that you avoid congested roads and construction zones, therefore reducing your idle time and making sure you do not have to take any detours. If you live in a large city with lots of traffic, consider carpooling if possible. It can easily slash your fuel expenses in half, allowing you to save more money for that SUV we talked about earlier.

In closing, gas prices are very likely to keep rising. We all want that super duper hybrid techno-car of the future that offers perfect fuel efficiency. Unfortunately, most of us have a long way to go before we can afford it. In the meantime, there are many things we can do to at least lower our current gas consumption. The moral of the story: Be a fuel-saver, not a fuel-waster!