Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fuel Economy Tips


Simply practicing efficient driving techniques can improve fuel economy.  

Observe the Speed Limit
Over 50% of the energy required to move a vehicle down the road is spent overcoming aerodynamic drag (pushing air out of the way). When driving faster, the aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance increase. Consequently, the fuel economy decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.  

Overdrive Gears and Cruise Control
When using overdrive gears, it's possible to still drive at highway speeds, but the engine speed decreases. Overdrive gears reduce both fuel consumption and engine wear. Also, using cruise control on highway trips helps maintain a constant, steady speed rather than a variable speed and as a result helps reduce fuel consumption.  

Anticipate Traffic Situations
Anticipating traffic conditions ahead and not tailgating can improve gas mileage by 5 to 10 percent. This driving strategy is not only safer, but also reduces wear on tyres and brakes. When driving in the city, nearly 50 percent of the energy needed to power a vehicle is for acceleration. Unnecessary braking wastes that energy. Avoid driving during rush hours. Leaving your home for the office half an hour earlier, and leaving the office only after the traffic jam has subsided, can help you make huge fuel savings.  

Avoid Unnecessary Idling
No matter how efficient the car is, unnecessary idling wastes fuel, costs money and pollutes the air. If waiting for more than a couple of minutes, turn off the engine. Also, do not leave the car idling while running into a store for a "quick" errand, as it is also an open invitation for auto theft.  

Carpooling, Mass Transit, People Power and Telecommuting
On one or more days a week consider: - Carpools and ride-share programs - Walking or biking to work - Telecommuting one or more days a week  

A loaded roof rack can decrease fuel economy by as much as 5%. Therefore, to reduce the aerodynamic drag of these space savers and improve fuel economy, place items inside the trunk whenever possible.  

Tyre Maintenance
Be sure the tyres are properly inflated. Car manufacturers are required to place a label in the car stating the correct tyre pressure. This label may be found on the edge of the door or door jamb, in the glove box, or on the inside of the gas cap cover. If the label lists a psi range, use the higher number in order to maximize fuel efficiency. Under-inflated tyres cause fuel consumption to increase by as much as 6%, cause the tyres to wear quicker and can make it difficult to handle the vehicle. Be sure wheels are aligned and brakes are properly adjusted to minimize rolling resistance.  

Change Your Motor Oil and Air Filter Regularly
Changing the oil regularly will increase the life of the car's engine. Clean oil reduces wear caused by friction between moving parts and it removes harmful dirt and grit from the engine. The car's air filter keeps impurities in the air from damaging internal engine components. Not only will replacing a dirty air filter improve fuel economy, it will protect the engine. Clogged filters can cause up to a 10% increase in fuel consumption.  

Keep Your Engine Tuned
Studies have shown that, depending on a car's condition; a poorly tuned engine can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10-20 percent. Following the recommended maintenance schedule in the owner's manual will save fuel, help the car run better and last longer.

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