For all of the car industry’s hybrid-this, eco-that, gasoline remains one of our most guzzled resources–and biggest monthly expenses. But you don’t have to run out and buy a fancy new car to cut down on your fuel usage. Changing your driving habits can actually have quite the impact.
(Cruise) control your consumption.
The cruise control button isn’t just for the lazy. It also forces that lead foot of yours into submission. Open stretches of highway have you revving your engine? Rather than put the pedal to the metal, cruise control will keep your speed steady and energy usage in check.
Axe the A/C.
When the gas light on your dashboard illuminates, what’s the first thing you do? If out of nothing but habit, one of your first moves is likely to shut off the A/C. It turns out that move is well-placed. Turning on the air conditioning increases fuel consumption by 15%. On a 100-mile journey, that can add up to an entire gallon of gas.
Don’t skimp on service.
Changing your oil, replacing the filter, and replacing spark plugs aren’t just fables devised by fanatical mechanics. They can all improve your automobile’s efficiency. Most owners’ manuals recommend routine oil changes every 5,000 miles.
Driving rain ain’t for driving.
That drag you feel while driving through a rain-soaked route drags on your fuel consumption, too. To reduce friction and save on fuel, postpone that Target run until the rain lets up.
Lighten your load.
For many of us, our trunks are more akin to an abandoned storage facility than a useful space for transporting purchases. But all of that weight requires a lot of energy to transport. Emptying your trunk will improve your gas mileage immediately.
Perfect your tire pressure.
An underinflated tire brakes poorly and guzzles fuel mightily. Under-inflating by as little as 0.1 atm can add as much as 3% to your gas station bills. Once again, your owner’s manual doesn’t lie. Read it, check it, inflate it. It’s as simple as that.