In our day and age, there reasons aplenty why we should improve the fuel efficiency of our vehicles. No one enjoys paying for gas regardless of the price that the major oil companies are gouging us on a daily basis. I'm not sure how much I believe that the supplies are running out but that's just me. However, this doesn't change how we can directly decrease our dependence on these companies. Improving our fuel efficiency is one such way we can go about doing this.
How, you might say?
Here are 5 easy ways!
Lead Foot No More!
This one is super-straight-forward. When we step on the pedal, it engages the vehicle to draw more fuel to run the car so logically, how we step is directly going to affect the fuel efficiency. Many modern vehicles come equipped with a fuel consumption indicator and this is a great way for you to see how your vehicle is doing at any given time during your commute. Some of these indicators may even give you real-time readings so you can see just how a little more pedal pressure consumes more fuel.
Another very straight forward way you can improve your fuel efficiency. This involves the presence of mind to see what is coming in the distance and driving accordingly. For example, if you know the stale green traffic light in the distance is changing before you get there, slowing down early might make it that your vehicle does not make a full and complete stop. Hopefully, by the time you arrive at the intersection, the traffic light will be green again in time for you to just cruise through. To have your vehicle come to a complete stop then to have it start up again and for what we want to achieve is counter-intuitive. This method doesn't mean you have to brake on your way to the intersection, just taking your foot off the pedal would have you cruise to a stop (if it's one of those long lights).
Shed Some Dead Weight
For some reason, as I was writing this post, a picture emerged in my head and I think it was very applicable. I pictured a boat great distress within a storm and in the process of a jettison. In this process, the crew members of the vessel purge the contents of the ship into the water to give them a fighting chance in case of an emergency. A jettison lightens the ship to escape a situation where they're stranded or gives them more stability when inside of a raging storm. Applying this same concept to our vehicles is what we want to achieve. No, I am not recommending you throw out your belongings while your vehicle is full speed on a highway (this would be hilarious to watch by the way). But rather, getting rid of all the dead weight in your vehicle. This enables our vehicle to not work so hard to carry our weight in the course of movement. The more weight, the more fuel consumption. Simple again!
This is more of a maintenance-related way of getting the most out of your vehicle and its potential for fuel consumption. Minimizing the amount of work your vehicle has to do in order to spin the tire to get moving is the premise of this point. If your tires are under inflated or not all equivalently inflated, your vehicle will not perform efficiently fuel-wise. Check in your vehicle manual for the specifications for your vehicle's tires and the exact pressure needed. Topping up your vehicle tires to just the right pressure could spell significant improvements in your vehicles fuel efficiency.
Do Not Idle
For our fifth and final way to improve the fuel efficiency of your vehicle, we had to save the best for last. This also happens to be the most overlooked method of fuel efficiency. If ever your vehicle is idling, like at an intersection or traffic, for more than 10 seconds, it's actually more fuel efficient to turn off your engine and turn it back on when you actually start moving. Outside of that 10 seconds, you save more fuel to restart the engine instead of keeping your car on the entire time you are stopped. This method is also a great way for us to do our part in saving this planet. Not only are we saving fuel and minimizing exhaust from our own personal vehicle, but for every second our car isn't on, that's less pollution exiting into our atmosphere. You save money, the Planet breathes better, and we all win!
Let us know what you think about these tips and feel free to post your own fuel-saving secrets in the comments below!
A Canadian Tow-Nut