by: Justin G.
Think about the last time your low-fuel light came on and you were miles from the nearest gas station. You drove cautiously, light-footed on the gas pedal, you didn't speed. Those very same fundamental principals can be applied to every-day driving to maximize your fuel economy!
Here are some quick tips to use fuel more efficiently while driving:
Don't let your vehicle idle for long periods
The longer you idle, the more fuel is used.
Ease into the gas pedal when leaving from a stop. Hard acceleration uses more fuel.
Maintain steady speeds
Constantly accelerating and braking uses more fuel than holding the accelerator (gas pedal) at a constant place.
Speeding causes the engine to burn fuel less efficiently and that speeding ticket will cost you big $$$ too.
Coast longer to decelerate
If you see traffic coming to a stop ahead, let off the gas pedal earlier and coast before braking.
Check your tire pressures
If your tires are low, it causes more rolling resistance for the vehicle which means more fuel is used to get the car moving. Make sure tires are inflated to manufacturer's specs.
Reduce vehicle weight
The heavier your car is, the more power it takes to get it moving. Remove unnecessary items from inside and outside of your vehicle.
Reduce vehicle drag
Bike Carriers, Roof baskets, flags, and other things attached to the outside of your vehicle cause drag which slows the vehicle down. If you can, drive with the windows and sun roof closed too.
Don't use the air conditioner
The AC unit draws a lot of power from your vehicle, turn it off to save fuel!
If possible, drive less - if you're not driving, you're not using fuel! Walk or bike to nearby areas.
If you need to run errands, plan out your route so that you are efficient in your driving without going back and forth around town. Do all your errands at one time.
Make sure to use the correct weight oil. Check your coolant level and transmission fluids. Old oil can cause engine sludge and low fluid levels can over-heat an engine.
Dirty air filters and old spark plugs don't allow the proper air/fuel mixture resulting in a partial-burn. When the fuel mixture/burn isn't efficient, your fuel mileage won't be either.