Gas prices are climbing. I know I don’t need to tell you that – you already know. I thought now would be an appropriate time to share some tips about how to conserve fuel.
Let’s start off with the most simple change you can make: Follow speed limits, especially on the highway. Optimal fuel economy on most cars tops out at 55 to 60 MPH. Just a five-mile-an-hour increase can mean a 9% loss on fuel economy! Using cruise control also helps you to stay at an optimal speed and helps conserve fuel. Additionally, pressing on your gas gently, avoiding aggressive driving and avoiding rapid starts and stops will all help to stretch your gas mileage.
When the weather warms, open your windows rather than turning on the air conditioning. Using the air conditioning is one of the biggest drains on engine power and fuel economy. Using air conditioning can increase gas consumption by 5 to 20 percent depending on the vehicle and the way it is driven.
Regular car maintenance, tire rotation, and proper tire inflation also enables your car to get maximum miles-per-gallon. Tires that are not aligned correctly can waste fuel and a dirty air filter can clog an engine’s air supply. Ensuring you are not driving around with extra weight in your car will also help. Avoid driving during rush hour if possible.
Do not idle your car, for any reason ever. I have written columns about this and if you are going to be idling for more than 10 seconds, turn your car off! It’s better for your car and better for your wallet.
Consider carpooling as much as you can. Carpooling to work and school means spending less on gas and means fewer cars on the road, which is a win-win for your wallet and the environment. Choose to bike or walk when you can. This is a good way to also keep your body healthy and in shape! Another win-win. You can also start taking public transportation. The less you drive your car, the less gas you will need to buy.
Lastly, if you are in the market for a new vehicle, give serious consideration to an electric or hybrid model. The technology is continually improving and will only get better. I know my next car will be electric!