Fuel-Efficient Driving Techniques


Fuel-Efficient Driving Techniques

The way you drive and handle your vehicle makes a profound impact on the fuel efficiency of it. The following is a list of driving tips that will help you improve your gas mileage, or mpg:

Like a lot of good advice, these driving tips can be difficult, initially, to implement as habits, but nonetheless are simple concepts. The following is a list of driving tips that, when performed habitually, will help you significantly improve your gas mileage, or mpg:

Avoid Driving Aggressively

Jack-rabbit driving (excessive accelerating and breaking) requires considerably more gas than driving sensibly. Some good procedures to follow include (1) using your cruise control, (2) avoiding breaking until you’re under 40 mph (when approaching a necessary stop, coast until you’re below 40 mph before applying pressure to the break), and (3) keeping your RPMs under a certain limit (will depend on your vehicle, but I shoot to generally keep my RPMs under 2000 for highway and 1500 for city).

To keep your RPMs under this limit, if you have a manual, just shift before you hit this appropriate number, if you have an automatic, just let your foot off the accelerator for a second to gear up when accelerating, you’ll feel the shift and see the RPMs drop. Try it.

Lighten Your Load

For every 50 lbs of cargo you carry, you can assume your vehicle’s fuel efficiency will decrease by about 1%. Some people take this so far as to keep there gas levels low (but just keeping say 5 gallons or less in the tank), but if you think about it, say you decide to start keeping your tank 10 gallons below full, a gallon of gas weighs about 6 lbs.

So you’re carrying about 60lbs less weight, which amounts to just over 1% gain in fuel efficiency; the extra trips you’ll have to make to the station will simply negate any gains you saw in fuel efficiency.

That said, removing other unnecessary cargo is always a smart idea. So if your carrying an extra 250 lbs of weight around in the back, you’ll have about a 5% decrease in fuel efficiency, which amounts to a knock off of about 1 mpg for your vehicle. Remove that excess cargo and recoup your fuel efficiency.

Avoid Idling

Maybe your vehicle gets 40 mpg highway and 36 mpg city, but keep in mind that it will always get 0 mpg in idle. I’ve heard it said that an engine start-up uses the equivalent of about 2 minutes of fuel when your vehicle is running.

What does that mean?→For all general purposes, if you make a stop and you’re vehicle will be idling for more than 2 minutes, shut it off.

Obey the Speed Limit

Speed limits were not just implemented for safety reasons; when officials determine speed limits, they also factor in environmental impact (emissions, wear and tear on roads, and traffic noise), as well as impact on fuel economy.

Gas mileage decreases significantly for every mph exceeded over 60 mph.

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