You cannot drive your car without gas, even with your defensive driving skills. That is, before you drive, you have to spend on gas. Let’s face it: the economy is tough, and so it helps to save a dollar here and there. In a year, these bits could be worth much. The fuel is also expensive, and no driver in his right mind would not want to learn some proven driving hacks to help save gas.
We are not talking about always going for the cheapest gas, or waiting to buy fuel in bulk when the price comes down. The cheapest fuel may not be the right one for your car.
Are There Tricks You Can Employ To Use Less Gas Than Usual For The Same Distance?
Yes, there are. Fuel-efficient driving techniques not only preserve your money; you also get to show that you care for the environment. Using less gas means less carbon dioxide (a pollutant) is emitted. You gotta play your little part in making the earth a better place to live in, at least for future generations.
Fuel-efficient driving methods also slow wear and tear on your car’s components.
Anyway, here are the nine driving hacks that will save you gas money:
1. Accelerate Gently
It goes without saying that hard acceleration consumes more fuel than a gentle, measured one. Learn to drive smoothly, easing off the accelerator early when the traffic lights are red. You will use less fuel.
To achieve smooth driving, stay focused on the road to read the road ahead to anticipate the possible actions of other road users. You also get to see the potential hazards, hence nothing catches by surprise.
2. Drive within the Required Speed
Speeding may get you to your destination fast but at a price: you spend more fuel when you speed than when you maintain the speed limit (50-80 KMH for most cars, SUVs, vans, and pick-ups).
When you drive at 120 km per hour, the car consumes 20% more fuel than if you drive at 80-100 KPH.
On the other hand, speeding is not safe for you and other road users. It also increases the wind resistance, and the car must spend more fuel to overcome the resistance.
3. Overloading is a No-No
The less your car weighs, the less fuel it consumes. Do not keep unnecessary items in your car, as is some people’s habit. For instance, it’s common to find sports equipment in the car: football, hockey sticks, etc.
Do you really need the roof rack all the time? You should remove it whenever it’s unlikely you’ll use it. Remove all the junk in the boot. More weight calls for more fuel. Imagine an overloaded car climbing a hill.
The only time you may want to have much luggage in your car is when going on a long journey.
Something else: under-filling your tank isn’t for the engine, but it doesn’t mean you should always drive with a full tank. Where possible, have only enough fuel you need for the journey. This will help cut weight.
4. Avoid Changing Speed Now and Then
You use more fuel when you keep changing the car speed after some seconds than when you maintain constant speed until it’s necessary to change it.
Braking now and then is another bad habit that wastes your fuel. This is especially common when in traffic when you keep driving fast to catch up with the front car, then braking in time to avoid hitting it.
Another instance is when you are driving between bumps while you are in a hurry.
5. Drive on Inflated Tires
A car with under-inflated tires uses more fuel and also ages too fast. You should ensure the tires have the proper pressure. You may have to learn how to check the tire pressure if you are not skilled in that.
When the tire is under-inflated, more of its surface touches the road, leading to a drag. You have to use more fuel to maintain your usual speed if you must drive a car with under-inflated tires. Of course, this should not mean that it is safe to over-inflate your tires. It is not.
6. Turn off the Engine When the Car is Idle
Keeping the engine running when you are idle wastes fuel, no matter your reasons. You are also pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Many drivers would rather leave the engine running for a while than switch it off and restart when they are ready to move because switching off and restarting uses more fuel than an idle but running engine.
That is undoubtedly true, but modern cars are more efficient, so you are likely to use less fuel switching off and later restarting than have the engine running all that time.
Therefore, make it a habit to turn the engine off until when you need it. This can also keep you from fines because it is illegal to leave your car engine running for long.
7. Perform Regular Car Maintenance
You should service your car regularly so that the engine can always be efficient. An inefficient engine uses more fuel. While at it, you should use the correct engine oil. Change the oil after a period.
8. Know When Not To Use Air-Conditioning
Air conditions increase fuel consumption, so you should only turn it on when highly necessary. When you are driving at low speeds, open the air vents and windows so that the cooling breeze could sweep in instead of using air-conditioning.
9. Avoid Rush Hours
As you have noted so far, some of the fuel-draining habits we have mentioned can only happen when you are in heavy traffic. On-and-off braking, for instance. Where possible, avoid rush hours.
When you are out to cut on your fuel consumption, start by monitoring how much fuel you use per week or month. Keep records to help you determine if your fuel preservation efforts are worth it.
You may consider this an extreme technique, but another way to save fuel is to use your car only when you have. Why not walk if it’s a short distance?
Pierre Paul Driving School is one institution you get to learn not just how to drive, but also helpful ideas like driving hacks that preserve your fuel.
Contact us today to start your journey on the road.