How to Improve Fuel Efficiency
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 76.4% of American workers traveled to work alone, and 9.4% carpooled. When you factor in driving to school, shopping, or activities like going to the movies and road trips, there’s a lot of reasons to be in a car—and a lot of reasons to burn up gasoline. As of this blog post, the cost for regular gasoline per gallon is $3.534 in Hawaii, $3.399 in California, and $3.057 in Washington.
That’s a lot of money.
But don’t worry, Christian Brothers Automotive has got your back. Here’s a comprehensive list of easy ways you can improve fuel efficiency.
Get rid of your lead foot
The absolute best method for improving fuel efficiency is to watch your speed and not drive aggressively. This includes speeding and rapid acceleration and braking. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, getting rid of your lead foot can save you gas mileage anywhere from 10-40% depending on if you’re driving on the highway or in traffic, as well as the kind of vehicle you drive. Your vehicle also has a speed where it uses the optimal amount of fuel, and in most vehicles, that speed is 50 mph.
Avoid excessive idling
You may think that sitting in your car while parked doesn’t use gas, but it does. The fuel consumption isn’t as high as when you’re driving, sure, but it still uses gas nonetheless. So, if you’re parked for a few minutes, we recommend you shut off the engine. Trust us, your wallet will thank you by the end of the day (or week).
Note: If you do shut off your engine while waiting in your car, don’t listen to the radio. When the engine is off, the battery isn’t charging and may die after a while!
Maintain your tire pressure
When your vehicle’s tire is properly inflated, the vehicle moves much more smoothly and efficiently. In contrast, an underinflated tire requires more work to propel forward. Thus, not only is maintaining tire pressure good for your tires, but it’s good for your gas mileage too.
You can find your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure in the owner’s manual or inside the driver’s door. For most cars, this level will be around 30 PSI, but be sure to check in case yours is closer to 40. Check out one of our previous blogs on when and how to check tire pressure.
Lighten your load
It may seem like a negligible change, but less weight inside the car equals better fuel efficiency. This is for the same reason that maintaining your vehicle helps gas mileage—less weight means less work the vehicle has to do to move forward.
It also helps if you avoid hauling items on the roof of your car. Sometimes using a cargo box on top of your vehicle is unavoidable (during a move or while camping, for example), but just remember to take it off when you’re done. Not only does the extra weight make your vehicle work harder, but storage containers increase aerodynamic drag, another cursed force that hurts fuel efficiency.
Looking to service your car to help improve fuel efficiency? Make an appointment with your local Christian Brothers Automotive, and we’ll have your car in tip-top shape!