Improving gas mileage benefits the environment as well as your wallet. Driving wiser reduces greenhouse gas emissions and slows down climate change. By following five simple steps you can lower your ecological footprint.
1. Drive Calmly and Slow Down
Speeding up and braking suddenly lower fuel efficiency. Keep a three-second following distance from the car in front of you to allow ample time to slow down if it stops. Using cruise control helps you maintain your speed, and some newer vehicles offer cruise control systems that control your vehicle’s speed as your following distance decreases, thereby optimizing fuel efficiency. Traveling at speeds above 50 mpg decreases mileage efficiency. If you travel regularly on freeways, you can’t avoid high velocity, but avoiding slamming on your brakes and minimizing acceleration assure you’ll save at the pump.
2. Only Haul When Necessary
Free your trunk and passenger seats of cargo you don’t use. Every pound increases the amount of work your car performs. To understand why, consider how much harder it is to walk up three flights of stairs with a brick in your hand as opposed to climbing with only your body weight. Avoid hauling cargo on top of the vehicle, which increases wind resistance. If you have to carry containers on the exterior, place the items on the rear of the vehicle to minimize the effect on your fuel efficiency. Always remove external cargo boxes when not in use.
3. Maintain Your Vehicle
Making sure your car gets regular tune-ups and passes emissions standards is a great way to increase gas mileage. Underinflated tires cut fuel efficiency, so find your car’s optimal tire pressure on the sticker on the driver’s side door, and check your tire pressure every time you fill up your tank. Replace your air filter as recommended, and use the recommended oil in your car.
4. Plan for Efficiency
Combine trips to save on fuel costs. Your engine optimizes gas when it’s warm, and it functions better if it doesn’t have time to cool down between trips. You can find apps which create the most economical route for you based on addresses you input. Reduce driving during peak traffic hours. If you can’t evade busy traveling times, carpool or ask your boss if you can work from home, exposing your car less to stop-and-go driving.
5. Buy a Fuel-Efficient Vehicle
Nowadays there are many options for fuel-efficient SUVs and cars. When you decide to buy a car, do your research. Prioritize vehicles with good EPA fuel economy. Check out hybrid vehicles, which combine two different power sources to reduce emissions output and increase mpg. Consider the savings of purchasing a car which saves on gas as part of your long-term financial plan. Spending less on gas means more money in the long run.
Enhance your financial situation and your environmental impact simultaneously by refining the way you commute. Every small step makes a difference.