Reducing fuel consumption, is a big concern today, because of the constant increase, in the price of fuel.
However, proactive steps can be taken, by paying attention to your driving habits and following, a vehicle’s maintenance schedule.
In other words, you can take several common-sense steps in, reducing fuel consumption.
But, the fastest and most important way in, reducing fuel consumption is to follow, proper vehicle maintenance.
Fuel-efficient driving can save you hundreds of dollars in fuel each year; and also prevent unnecessary wear on your vehicle.
So, if you’re concerned about the price of fuel or want to minimize the impact of your driving; on the environment, you don’t have to, scrap your car for a hybrid.
Did you know that a engine can burn, up to 30 percent more fuel; if proper maintenance is not performed? So, if you implement a lot of these subsequent tips; these percentages quickly go down.
The following factors can help in reducing the, fuel consumption of your vehicle:
- Driving speed
- The age and condition of your vehicle
- Maintenance schedule
- Weather conditions
- Traffic and road conditions
- Drivetrain, and the powered accessories (like air conditioning)
Basic Tips For, Reducing Fuel Consumption:
Proper Tires Inflation
You can improve your fuel mileage by 0.6% on average—up to 3% in some cases; by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Because, under-inflated tires can lower fuel mileage by about 0.2%; for every 1 psi drop in the average pressure of all tires. So, properly inflated tires are safer and, last longer as well. Furthermore, it is always important to be road safety and take care of your car. In addition, you will also save money by driving safe and; saving money is always great as, you can then buy more fuel.
So, air conditioning can increase a vehicle’s fuel consumption by as much as 20%. Open the windows when you’re driving in the city; and use the flow-through ventilation system, with the windows up on the highway. If you do use air conditioning; use the re-circulate option. Because, it will minimize the impact.
At The Pump
At the pump, keep the hose in the tank until after the pump shuts off. And, make sure you allow all the fuel to pour out of the nozzle. Consequently, as much as a quarter of a cup of fuel, can pour from the hose. It’s yours, you paid for it.
Fuel Or Gas Cap
One reason you may not be getting the mileage you expect is because; there isn’t as much fuel in your tank, as you think. 147 million gallons of fuel were lost last year, due to evaporation. Why did it evaporate?
The fuel cap was not on tight. So, just make sure it is tight and it will enable you to, keep the fuel you paid for.
When appropriate, use your cruise control. Reducing fuel consumption up to 6 per cent on the highway. Every time you step on the gas pedal to accelerate your vehicle, it consumes more fuel. Since cruise control keeps your vehicle moving without requiring you to step on the gas pedal; you won’t be consuming as much fuel. As a result, you will be saving money on fuel because, your miles-per-gallon will be higher.
Corroded battery cables cause, the alternator to work harder, using more fuel. Have them cleaned as a matter of course with each engine check-up.
Don’t let the vehicle idle for more than a minute. Idling consumes half-a-gallon to one gallon of fuel per hour and pumps, needless (CO2) into the atmosphere. The modern engine will consume less fuel turning off and re-starting, than idling for extended periods. We are already being faced with no-idle zones. Also, to effectively warm an engine, drive it, don’t rev it. Engines only work hard under load and will warm up much quicker if you simply start the engine; wait for 20 seconds, (this builds the oil pressure,) and drive away.
Change the air filter at least the set number of times, outlined in the owner’s manual. More, if you drive in dusty conditions.
Have a regular engine check-up. Since the advent of computer controlled fuel injection; there is no such thing as an old fashioned “tune-up” any more. At worst, you may be expected to replace spark plugs, oxygen sensor, the air and fuel filters.
Oxygen (O2) Sensor
If your car was built since the mid-1980s, chances are, it has an oxygen (O2) sensor in its exhaust system. It should be replaced just as you would spark plugs, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
This little device, trims the fuel delivery and has a profound effect on, reducing fuel consumption.
Using The Correct Gear
Driving in the highest gear possible without laboring the engine, is also a good way of, reducing fuel consumption. Driving at 60 km/h; a vehicle will use 25 per cent more fuel in third gear, than it would in fifth. Travelling at fast rates in low gears, can consume up to 45 per cent, more fuel than is needed. If you have an onboard trip computer, you probably have an, “Instant fuel economy” setting. Watch this gauge and keep the liters per 100 kilometers, as low as you can.
Carrying Extra Weight
Think carefully about what you need in your vehicle. If you do not need something, do not pack it. Remove roof racks if not needed, as they create wind drag. The lighter the load, the lower the fuel consumption and emissions. Also, an extra 100 pounds in the trunk, reduces a typical car’s fuel economy by 1 to 2 per cent. As a result, carrying excess weight wastes fuel.
The Right Octane Fuel
Choose the right octane fuel for your car. Check the owner’s manual to find out, what octane your engine needs. Octane ratings measure the fuel’s ability to resist engine knock. But, the higher the octane, the higher the price. Consequently, only about 6 percent of cars sold, need premium fuel. Still, premium fuel accounts for about 10 percent of all fuel sold. Resist the urge to buy higher octane fuel, for “premium” performance.
Combining errands into one trip, saves you time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel. For example, a longer multipurpose trip, covering the same distance, when the engine is warm. Finally, trip planning ensures that travelling is done, when the engine is warmed-up and efficient.
Correct Engine Oil
You can improve your fuel mileage by one to two per cent; by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade, of engine oil. For example, using 10W-30 engine oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30; can lower your fuel mileage, by one to two per cent.
Thicker oil is harder to pump. This adds to parasitic horsepower loses.
Avoid “revving” The Engine
Avoid “revving” the engine, especially just before you switch the engine off. Because, this wastes fuel needlessly and washes oil down, from inside the cylinder walls. Consequently, this is a really bad thing for the next startup, as the cylinder walls will be dry.
Drive At A Constant Speed
Drive steadily. Because, slowing down or speeding up, wastes fuel. Also, avoid tailgating. Not only is it unsafe; but it affects your economy, if the other driver slows down unexpectedly.
Left Foot On The Brake Pedal
Do not rest your left foot, on the brake pedal while driving. Consequently, the slightest pressure puts “mechanical drag” on components, wearing them down prematurely. This “dragging” also demands additional fuel usage, to overcome the drag.
Avoid rough roads whenever possible. Because, dirt or gravel, can rob you of up to 30 percent of your fuel mileage. Every time the wheels bounce up and down, forward motion energy, is removed from the vehicle. The best way to describe this is to, experience driving on a “washboard” road. Not only is it very uncomfortable, the vehicle will actually slow down, from the transfer of energy. As a result, this causes the driver to apply more throttle, wasting fuel.
Inspect Suspension And Chassis Parts
Inspect suspension and chassis parts for misalignment. Bent wheels, axles, worn shocks, and broken springs can contribute to drivetrain drag; not to mention the unsafe condition they create.
(SUV) owners should consider switching, from an aggressive patterned off-road tread, to a fuel efficient highway tread.
Don’t fear fuel additives. Look for those that contain polybutene amine (PBA); which can clean out deposits from carburetors, fuel injectors, and intake valves.
They also may be able to restore your engine’s overall performance and help, lower your carbon footprint. But, don’t overdo it. Consequently, using too much of a particular fuel additive, can actually cause damage.
Synthetic Engine Oil
If you haven’t already, upgrade to synthetic engine oil. Finally, check your owner’s manual for recommendations, specific to your vehicle.
Avoid traffic jams. Even with all of today’s modern navigation systems, getting stuck in traffic, happens to all of us eventually. But, if you can plan a route that avoids congestion; even if you’re driving a few more miles, you may be better off. That’s because a stationary vehicle requires, a lot of energy from the engine.
Change your fuel filter. One filter that will have a direct impact on your gas mileage is, your fuel filter. Manufacturers recommend changing your fuel filter, every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. Even a tiny grain of dirt, can clog injectors, leading to erratic performance and lousy fuel mileage.
So, there are many different ways of, reducing fuel consumption. Some are small changes in driving habits, others involve, simple maintenance tips. Some of these methods improve your mileage by only a few percentage points, others by more. Finally, when you add them all up, it becomes a large increase.
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