Changing your driving habits is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. But it can also save you hundreds of dollars in fuel each year.
Use these fuel-saving tips to be good to the planet and your wallet.
Aggressive driving and sudden acceleration is hard on your fuel consumption. Improve your gas mileage by accelerating gently and get into the habit of fuel-efficient driving.
Avoid top speeds on the highway
Sticking to the speed limit isn't just safer. It's good for your fuel costs, too. Increasing your cruising speed from 90 km per hour to 120 km per hour can increase your fuel consumption by up to 20%.
Use cruise control
Varying your speed between 75 km and 85 km per hour every 18 seconds has been shown to increase fuel consumption by up to 20%. Using cruise control to maintain a steady speed on the highway can reduce fuel costs.
Coast to slow down safely
Unnecessary braking kills your car’s forward momentum. You’ll burn more fuel if you’re constantly accelerating to regain that momentum. Where possible (and safe!), coasting to slow down can help you reduce fuel costs over time.
Don't idle your vehicle
Stopping for more than 60 seconds? Turn your engine off and avoid burning additional fuel. Every 10 minutes of idling wastes 300 millilitres of fuel for an average vehicle.
Ditch any unnecessary weight
Heavier vehicles burn more fuel. An extra weight of 100 pounds (~45kg) can reduce your mileage by 2%. So get rid of that bag of salt in your trunk during summer and remove any other unnecessary equipment when it’s not needed to avoid wasting fuel on an extra load.
Remove your roof rack
Aerodynamic drag can increase fuel consumption by as much as 20%. In other words: more drag burns more fuel. Streamline your vehicle and improve fuel efficiency by removing the roof rack when it's not needed.
Go easy on the air conditioner
Believe it or not, air conditioning can increase a vehicle’s fuel consumption by as much as 20%. Opening the windows or using your car’s flow-through ventilation system can help.
Traffic jams are bad news for fuel consumption. Plan ahead to avoid peak hour. And tackle multiple errands on a single trip to reduce the amount of time you need to use your car.
Measure the tire pressure monthly
Underinflated tires can increase vehicle fuel consumption. In fact, if your tires are under-inflated by 56 kilopascals, it can affect a 4% increase in fuel consumption. Make sure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure for your vehicle (you can find it on the tire information placard) and save fuel in the long run.
Regularly replace spark plugs
Bad spark plugs can decrease fuel economy by up to 30%. If your car's average mileage drops suddenly, it’s highly likely that a spark plug is misfiring.
Check tire alignment
Misaligned tires can reduce your car’s fuel efficiency by as much as 10%. If your steering wheel vibrates (a common symptom of tire misalignment), have a mechanic balance, rotate, and align your tires. It’ll help you save fuel and improve performance.
Keep an eye on the fuel consumption display
If your car has a fuel consumption display, check it regularly. Tests have shown that many drivers end up consuming less fuel by monitoring and acting on the data that a fuel consumption display provides.
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