Most of us know that certain cars are more fuel-efficient than others. It’s also understandable that how you drive our vehicles can impact fuel economy as well. Whether your ride is a reputed fuel saver or gas guzzler, you can make it more efficient with a few tweaks to your maintenance routine. These simple fixes really add up to significant savings at the pump.
Take a look below for 16 Ways How to Be Fuel-Efficient.
1. Replace Your Air Filter
Although replacing or changing an air filter is one of the most practical and simple ways to increase fuel efficiency by up to 15 percent, it is often neglected. Replacing your car’s air filter helps make your engine run more efficiently by enhancing its capability to pull air from the environment. A clogged air filter makes the engine work twice as hard, increasing fuel usage.
2. Stay in Tune
A tune-up can boost gas mileage by as much as 4 percent. Also your Check Engine light can be caused by a malfunctioning oxygen sensor, and you may be able to improve your vehicle’s fuel economy by up to 40 percent by replacing it.
3. Use the Right Oil
Vehicle manufacturers test motor oils to determine which types will help your engine perform at its best under various conditions. These companies provide an extensive list of suggested motor oils and alternatives. If you use a grade of oil that is not recommended, your engine may suffer from increased friction, which will cause it to work harder.
4. Do You Really Need Premium?
There is a tendency to think that premium gas is automatically the ideal fuel type for any car. However, your car’s manufacturer has specified which type is suitable for your vehicle based on extensive testing. Check your owner’s manual to find which type is recommended for optimal performance.
5. Watch Your Gas Cap
Your car’s fuel cap has a rubber seal that protects against air entering into your fuel tank. This seal disintegrates eventually, potentially allowing air into your engine and making your engine consume more gas.
Many newer vehicles come with sensors that detect the condition of the seal, and replacing them is quite simple. OEM parts are best because your vehicle’s sensors may not recognize non-OEM components.
6. Install a Tonneau Cover
Research has shown that tonneau covers can reduce drag by almost 6 percent. This enhancement can amount to a gas mileage improvement of about 2 percent. Accessories such as Toyota Tacoma tonneau covers not only add aesthetic appeal to your vehicle, but they can help your engine perform better.
7. Drive the Best Route for Your Engine
The shortest route may not be the most efficient for your car. If one route is hilly, for example, a flat route would be a better alternative for fuel economy, as much as 20 percent more efficient.
With constant idling and start-stop driving, traffic congestion squashes fuel efficiency by as much as 40 percent. If you can spare the time, take the road less traveled.
8. Roll Right Along
Choose wheels that will not add strain to your car’s engine. Ideally, you want wheels that are sturdy yet lightweight. Upsizing your wheels will affect your vehicle’s fuel efficiency as well. You should also consider your expected driving conditions as you determine which wheels are best for your car.
9. Trim Down the Weight
Toting excess stuff in your car knocks at least 2 percent off your fuel economy. The smaller the vehicle, the more its efficiency will be impacted by weight. Increased weight equals increased strain on your engine, much like the added stress you would feel carrying extra pounds. Consequently, your vehicle consumes more fuel.
10. Consolidate Errands
How many times have you returned home from running an errand only to find yourself heading back out for another quick trip? Those multiple short trips may cost you up to twice as much fuel. Planning your errands before leaving home will help you get the most out of your gas.
11. Pressure Matters
Another easy but forgotten way to increase fuel economy is to keep your tires inflated at the proper pressure. Driving with low pressure in your tires inflates your tires’ rolling resistance, and you lose gas more quickly. You should check your tires’ tread pattern too. Many newer tires are produced with low resistance, so this amounts to a lighter workload on your engine.
12. Speeding Makes You Lose Fuel Faster
Driving above the speed limit is dangerous, illegal, and bad for fuel economy. You can improve fuel efficiency by 7 percent by using cruise control at normal highway speed. With cruise control, you will not need to brake or accelerate constantly, and that lessens the burden on your engine.
13. Fit a New Fan
Most newer vehicles have electric thermatic fans instead of the belt-driven ones in older cars. Fortunately, you can install an electric unit in an older car. This would lessen the drag in belt drives. Gas mileage improvement may not be noticeable, but having a more efficient fan may contribute to reduced fuel consumption overall.
14. Know When to Use Your A/C
Cooling down your car too often can cost you up to 25 percent fuel efficiency. The air conditioner may help fuel economy at high speeds, but it would be better to let down the windows at lower speeds because of aerodynamic drag.
15. What a Drag
Racks and storage accessories (including aerodynamic storage shells) not only add weight to your vehicle, but they may also intensify aerodynamic drag. The extra weight and drag require more energy from your engine to push through air. If it is possible to take off your roof racks when they are not in use, you will be better off without them.
16. Hogging the Road Doesn’t Pay
Aggressive driving (sudden acceleration, speeding, and stopping) can decrease your fuel economy by up to 30 percent on the highway and up to 40 percent in city traffic. While zooming from 0 to 60 in five feels impressive, your car has to work harder against the increased drag.
Sudden acceleration and the added drag use up more fuel. Most importantly, it just is not safe for yourself and other drivers.
Fuel efficiency boils down to vehicle type, driving methods, and understanding what factors can add or decrease stress on the engine. Basically, anything that causes the engine to work harder will result in higher fuel consumption. Make these tips a part of your vehicle care routine, and enjoy your savings on fuel.