Want to improve your fuel efficiency and drive in an environmentally responsible way? From small cars to SUVs, you can use the following tips to maximize your tank of gas, even without having a hybrid vehicle.
1. Keep Your Cool
Aggressive driving which involves rapid acceleration and deceleration can decrease your fuel efficiency by up to 33 percent. It also quickly wears down your brake pads and could potentially damage your transmission by placing unnecessary strain on vital parts. Increase speed gradually whenever you can, avoid swerving in and out of traffic and increasing speed when approaching a yellow light.
2. Ease Up on the Gas Pedal
Most cars drive at top efficiency around 55 mph. The further you creep over this standard, the worse your fuel efficiency. At 65 mph, the average vehicle experiences an eight percent drop in efficiency. 70 mph leads to a 17 percent drop, and driving at 80 miles an hour leads to a dramatic 28 percent drop. You may get there faster, but you will be pulling right into the gas station when you do.
3. Keep Your Windows Up
While it can be tough to resist that wind through your hair feeling, rolling the windows down makes your car far less aerodynamic, which at highway speeds means your engine may need up to 10 percent more fuel to produce the same speeds.
4. Avoid Idling Your Car
With current engine technology, it is far more fuel efficient to turn your car off if you will be idling for more than 10 seconds at a time. However, make sure to not put yourself at risk by cutting your engine while in traffic. If you are waiting at a red light, leave it running. If you suddenly remember an important document you left inside while sitting in your driveway and need an extra 45 seconds to run back inside, shut it off.
Aside from the obvious fuel saving benefits of reducing the number of cars on the road, carpooling will allow you access to the High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes which connect many cities in Arizona. HOV lanes are open during times of peak traffic and are open to only motorcycles, electric vehicles, and vehicles with more than one occupant. Not only will you save time and avoid the general misery of stop-and-go traffic, but you will also expend less fuel getting to your destination.
Small changes to your driving habits can reap large savings at the pump. Incorporate these tips into your driving style, and both your wallet and the ozone layer will thank you.