How to Reduce Fuel Consumption
As the price of gasoline continues to rise, many drivers are looking for ways to reduce the amount of money they spend filling up their vehicles’ gas tanks. Tips to reduce fuel consumption range from changing how you drive to bizarre additions to the mechanics of your car. Below are some of the most reliable ways to reduce your fuel consumption and spend less money at the pump.
How To Proceed
One of the best ways to reduce your fuel consumption is to purchase and drive a vehicle that is projected to get great gas mileage. Many affordable vehicles are rated at thirty miles per gallon or higher. Even if you cannot afford to purchase an electric or hybrid car, you should be able to find a fuel efficient model that fits your needs. In general, stay away from large SUVs, vans, and trucks if you are concerned with lowering your fuel budget.
Reduce the amount of time you spend on the road. If reasonable, set up a carpool system with neighbors or co-workers. Limit the amount of trips you take to the market and other outings. Consider walking instead of driving to a restaurant during your lunch break.
Reconsider how you purchase your fuel. The vast majority of vehicles can perform on low-grade gasoline without any adverse consequences. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the lowest grade fuel that your vehicle can use. Also, pay attention to gas prices at different stations. Gas prices can fluctuate significantly within two or three blocks.
Change the way you drive. Many drivers do not connect their vehicle’s gas mileage to their driving practices. Always drive at or right below the speed limit, especially on interstate highways. Avoid rapid accelerations and raising your RPMs excessively.
Streamline your vehicle. Many people become most aware of their gas mileage when they are driving great distances. If you are travelling, avoid storing luggage on top of your vehicle. Also, remember that pulling a trailer, camper, or boat behind your vehicle will radically lower its fuel efficiency.
Keep up with general maintenance. Many drivers do not properly maintain their vehicle. Avoiding routine maintenance can adversely affect your vehicle’s miles per gallon rating. Change your oil and oil filter as suggested in your owner’s manual, have your tires rotated and properly aligned, keep your tires properly inflated, and regularly replace parts such as air filters and spark plugs. Most drivers find that taking their automobile to a dealership or mechanic once a year for a tune-up can address issues that affect fuel consumption before they become too costly.
Drive a car with a manual transmission. Stick shift cars allow the driver to have more control over the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. If you are comfortable driving a car with a manual transmission, you might want to consider buying a stick shift as your next vehicle. Drivers of cars with manual transmissions can learn to drive their vehicles more efficiently in a variety of situations to help reduce gasoline consumption.
Reevaluate your route, particularly ones that you take often. For example, if one route to work is shorter but includes numerous stop signs, hills, or traffic lights, your vehicle might use more gasoline on it than it would on a longer route with fewer stops and level roads. Drive an alternate route to work for a few days and compare fuel consumption.
There is an abundance of special additives and formulas that claim to drastically lower your vehicle’s fuel consumption; however, the best way to spend less money on gas is to use common sense. Purchase a fuel efficient vehicle, practice safe driving techniques, and pay attention to your car’s performance to get the most miles out of every gallon.
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Driving-Tests.org. He has been writing for beginner US drivers for several years.
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