I'm sure that you have probably come across tips on how to maximize your fuel economy at some point and wondered if they actually make a difference. They can.
How to Maximize Your Fuel Economy
Known to some as ecodriving, there are indeed ways to maximize your fuel economy and decrease your gas consumption with certain habits and practices. The best way to see a significant difference is to attack the issue on three fronts:
- Change Your Driving Style
There are seemingly limitless changes you can make to your driving habits that will have an impact on your fuel economy.Aggressive driving, like speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking can decrease your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and 5% in city driving, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).Excessive idling is also a drain on your fuel. Look for routes that avoid stop-and-go traffic and always turn your engine off when you are parked.Then there is the great air conditioning vs. having your windows down debate. While the AC does increase fuel consumption, having your windows down raises your vehicle's aerodynamic drag which causes your vehicle to use more gas. According to a study from the Society of Automotive Engineers, the key is to take advantage of both depending on the situation.
The study found that driving with the windows down at speeds of more than 55 mph decreased fuel efficiency by as much as 20% in some vehicles, compared to the 10% decrease from using the air. That means it's best if you use the AC when you are going to be driving at speeds upwards of 50 mph, while at lower, city speeds, it's more efficient to roll down the windows.
- Improve Your Vehicle Maintenance
The way you treat you car also plays a role. You shouldn't be carrying any excess weight, as the heavier your car is, the more gas it uses; this is especially true for cargo containers on your roof, which greatly increase wind resistance. Make sure that your tires are properly inflated at all times, as that can increase fuel economy by as much as 3.3%, according to the DOE. You should also get regular oil changes, using the manufacturer's specified motor oil.
- Alter Your Driving Mindset
We've become a very car-dependent society, and while our personal vehicles are often necessary, there are still ways to limit our driving. You should combine all of your errands into one trip; take it a step further by heading to a strip mall or a hyper-market where you can do all of your shopping, banking or whatever you need in one location. Also, when you know you have to take a long trip, use the most fuel efficient car in your household. And, of course, if you are really trying to save big, walk or use public transportation when you aren’t pressed for time.
Small Changes, Big Difference
The Consumer Guide believes that these vehicle practices can improve your overall fuel economy by 15-20%. For an automobile that averages a modest 18 miles per gallon, that means you are adding close to 4 mpg, saving you hundreds of dollars in annual fuel costs. While it may not seem like much in the moment, a collective effort in all three areas makes a huge difference in the long run.
Shopping for Your Next Car
If you are in need of a car, you may be able to afford one more comfortably if you implement these fuel-saving practices. At Auto Credit Express, we make it our mission to help those with bad credit get a car loan. Fill out our obligation-free application to get started today.