Ways to Save on Fuel
by Emily Staton
With the influx in the cost of fuel in the last few months, it's time to rethink our driving habits and pinch pennies when we can. Below are a few helpful ways to cut down on your trips to the fuel pumps.
1. Reduce Unnecessary Idle Time
When a vehicle is idling, it uses an estimated half of a gallon per hour. However, this could differ depending on the type and size of your engine.
Going to a fast-food restaurant? Park and go inside rather than waiting in a drive-through.
Waiting on someone? Crack your windows for fresh air and turn your car off while you wait.
If you have the opportunity, choose to ride with another person and split the fuel cost. Find coworkers who live in your area, and create a carpooling schedule to cut down on your weekly transportation costs.
3. Avoid Extra Weight/Cargo Load
The heavier a vehicle, the harder the engine must work to drive, consequently using more fuel.
Check your vehicle for heavy objects that you may not need to carry with you regularly. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, reducing cargo weight by 100 pounds will improve a vehicle’s miles per gallon by 1%.
4. Be a Friendly Driver
Eliminate your habit of stomping on the accelerator and pumping on the brake, to avoid burning through fuel. Be a patient driver, avoid revving your engine, and avoid slamming on the accelerator when the light turns green.
5. Plan Errands
Are you running errands and need to make multiple stops? Plan ahead and map your route to drive the shortest distance.
Vehicles are aerodynamically engineered to improve fuel intake. Things such as bike racks, exterior storage compartments, and even open windows make a vehicle considerably less aerodynamic. The less aerodynamic a fast traveling object is, the higher the drag, which negatively impacts the miles used per gallon.
Though implementing these tips and tricks will not completely change the amount you pay for fuel, every little bit counts.