Fuel Saving Tips

7 Things You Need to Know About Saving Fuel with the Rising Oil Prices

Fuel and money savings are inextricably linked. Smart drivers use different techniques to take advantage of this fact. Saving fuel costs can be a daunting task for some drivers with the rise of oil and gas prices. To help drivers save on fuel costs, we have put together the ultimate guide to fuel-efficient driving. This method of driving is also known as eco-driving. How you drive is probably the most influential factor in the fuel economy, but many other ways can have a huge impact on the money you spend on oil prices.


1. Avoid aggressive driving 

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     According to studies, fast starts, winding in and out, and accelerated traffic in and out of traffic lights neither save a lot of time nor fuel. You can reduce fuel consumption simply by limiting sudden acceleration and braking. Light and uniform pressure help to minimize the amount of fuel used and maintain a more modest and consistent speed.
     The EPA advises that drivers can save up to 20% on fuel by not driving aggressively. Each vehicle achieves optimum fuel economy at different speeds (or speed ranges), but above 50 mph, fuel economy usually drops rapidly. Pay attention to the eco indicator and mpg in your dashboard when driving. Always adjust your acceleration to drive in those eco ranges shown by indicators as much as possible. Also, you can listen to the sound of the engine while driving. You will be able to listen and identify whether your driving is wasting too much fuel or not just by listening to the sound of the engine while you drive. The biggest secret to getting a high mpg is to drive in the highest possible gear of the vehicle while staying within the speed limit. The best advice in urban areas is to shift gears as soon as possible at the lowest possible revs, probably around 2000 rpm. Keep in mind that the faster the engine speed, the more fuel it uses.
     Sometimes it may be impossible to reach the ideal speed of the vehicle due to road conditions and slopes. Therefore, you need to learn how to improvise and adapt your driving behavior to the road ahead. This is a technique called hypermiling. Practice yourself to use the speed of travelling downhill with the help of gravitational force to climb up the slopes using minimum amount of fuel. Also, you can use the engine braking and frictional forces of your vehicle to let it slow down by itself without applying extra brakes. These practices will help you to save fuel in considerable amounts. 


2. Use the momentum of the vehicle to your advantage

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       Keeping the car running with fewer accelerations or braking is essential for fuel economy. If there are fewer obstructions from the traffic conditions, keeping attention on the momentum of the car is important. Look far ahead and predict what is happening in front of you. Maintain proper distances with other vehicles and predict the driving behaviours of the vehicles in front. The best advice is to drive as gently as possible and use the steering, accelerator and brakes gently. It is important to maintain gear when decelerating. This activates the fuel cutoff switch on the fuel injection engine and virtually eliminates fuel when braking. If you find a hill coming, try accelerating a little before reaching it and then slowing down as you climb. The extra momentum should be enough to minimize the extra fuel consumption.
       Cruise control is usually best suited for driving on the highway, as it helps save fuel only when driving on consistently flat surfaces. One of the keys to saving fuel is to drive at a constant speed. Cruise control can do this effectively on flat surfaces, preventing unnecessary acceleration. However, using cruise control regularly rather than on flat roads presents the problem of increased fuel consumption. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that driving at 55 mph instead of 65 mph will improve fuel economy by 10% to 15%. 


3. Avoid excessive idling

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          Idling pushes the vehicle to its worst mileage which is 0 mpg. The gas consumption of the engine when idling for long periods (For example at a railroad crossing, when making a phone call) can be eliminated by simply turning off the engine. Engine restart uses the same amount of gas as an engine idling for 30s. Therefore turn off the engines that idle for long periods.
          However, stopping the engine may disable vehicle functions, including safety features such as airbags. Drivers should be careful to use this strategy only in situations where there is no risk of collision. You can also combine journeys to make one round trip rather than traveling several short trips. The engine runs more efficiently when it is warm.


4. Use the AC and heat only when needed

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           Air conditioning uses fuel. Since AC uses engine power, it is contributing to fuel efficiency. This goes for heat as well as cooling, so try to dress for the weather, even inside your car, if fuel efficiency is a big concern.  Use the air conditioner only when needed. This applies to both heating and cooling. Therefore, if fuel efficiency is a major concern, be sure to dress appropriately for the weather, including in the car. Use the air conditioner only when necessary. Air conditioning puts an additional load on the engine and requires more fuel to be used. Air conditioners are one of the biggest burdens on engine performance and fuel economy. In addition, parking in the shade reduces fuel consumption by evaporating less gasoline when the car is not in the sun. Depending on the vehicle type and driving style, proper AC control can reduce fuel consumption by 5 to 20%. Even during winter, park your vehicle in a warm place like a garage to save winter gas. This prevents the cold and uses less gas to warm up later. Another thing you can do is not leave the heater on for a long time in a parked car. It is recommended to turn on the heater just before getting in the car or when the car is moving. This reduces warm-up time and saves fuel.


5. Don’t use premium fuel unless specified

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            Unless your vehicle needs it, resist the urge to buy high octane gasoline for "premium" performance. Octane has nothing to do with gas performance. Do not use premium fuels unless specifically required by the vehicle's instruction manual. Have a look at your vehicle/ engine manual for the proper octane number to be used. Since the engines of vehicles are designed to run efficiently in those recommended octane numbers, use those guides to find the suitable fuel type for you. By using regular fuel instead of premium, you can reduce fuel costs by up to 10 cents per gallon. Search the web for the best fuel prices. GasBuddy.com is a network of over 179 city-specific user-submitted gas pricing websites. Also, wholesale clubs offer some lowest gas prices. Discount retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Kmart, and grocery stores that have pumps also charge less than the competition to attract more people. The additional benefit from these retailers is the absence of a membership fee.


6. Lower the load and drag

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           It’s natural that the heavier the vehicle, the more fuel it uses. The mileage of the vehicle will be much longer if it is not loaded with unnecessary weight. For every 200 pounds weigh fuel efficiency drops by a mile. Most drivers collect material in the trunk of a car, but some of it is unnecessary. Remove all the unwanted items such as unwanted tools and materials from the vehicle. 
          Aerodynamic drag is another important factor that causes the engine to work harder reducing fuel economy. To reduce the impact of aerodynamic drag, don’t leave your roof bars and roof box on. The drag from these items increases with the vehicle speed, leading to waste a considerable amount of fuel. A large blunt rooftop cargo box can reduce fuel consumption by 2-8% for city driving, 6-17% on highways, and 10-25% at highway speeds (65 mph-75 mph). A rear-mounted cargo box or tray significantly reduces fuel consumption. 1-2% for city driving and 1-5% for highways. Driving with an open window also reduces your mpg. 


7. Maintain your vehicle properly

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         Regular service and maintenance will improve vehicle efficiency and fuel economy. It is especially important to make sure the tires are inflated to the correct pressure specified in the owner's manual, as both under-inflated and over-inflated tires affect fuel economy. Tire pressure depends on the cargo you are transporting. If you have 4 passengers and luggage, the tires should be inflated to the recommended maximum pressure.
         If you're not sure how much air your tires need, check inside the driver’s door. Many new cars have stickers listing the correct PSI for your car. There are several reasons for this. At first, it has something to do with wear and tear. If the tire is inflated too much, the tread section will round out. As a result, the middle-tread wears faster. This will cut the life span of a tire by 50%. The second reason is related to the loss of traction. The more inflated, the more likely the tire will lose contact with the road surface. This can lead to spin outs and crashes. This is more common during the winter months when roads are smooth. The third reason is related to driving. If the tires are overly inflated, you will feel all the bumps when riding. By inflating the tires to the correct pressure, you can improve fuel economy by up to 3.3%. Tires with insufficient air pressure can reduce fuel consumption by 0.3% for every 1 psi pressure drop on all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. Keep in mind not to use the maximum pressure printed on the tire sidewalls.
         Other areas you should focus on in-vehicle maintenance are misaligned wheels and air filters. Misaligned wheels can waste fuel.  If the air filter is dirty, the engine intake will be blocked, leading to a higher air-fuel ratio, and fuel consumption will increase. Use high-quality energy-conserving (EC) oils with a viscosity grade that meet the instructions in the manual.

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