Saturday, August 7, 2010

Top 9 Ways to Improve Your Fuel Economy.

The cost of gas is steadily rising, but our income isn't! In the summer of 2008 gas prices reached ridiculous heights. Some gas stations were charging up to $1.30 per litre. Now in Ontario with the HST, gas prices have shot up 9-10 cents a litre overnight. In the future fuel prices are likely to keep increasing, which has huge impacts on our cost of living. By using less fuel we are also doing our part for the environment. With these tips you may never have to go to the gas station again! Here are the top 9 ways in which you can improve your fuel economy, the environment and your bottom line:

1) Walk, Bike & Bus - The easiest way to save on gas is not to drive at all. This may seem like common sense, but I've heard of people who are so lazy that they even drive to the corner store for milk. So if you can walk, do it! If your destination is too far to walk than bike. If biking is too strenuous than take public transit. If you live close to the grocery store and hate carrying groceries home, perhaps it would be wise to invest in a small cart to wheel a couple bags of groceries home.

2) Engine Maintenance - Ensuring that your engine is well maintained is an excellent way to improve the fuel economy of your vehicle. Changing the oil about every 6 to 8 thousand km's is important to ensure your engine is properly lubricated and running efficiently. Getting the engine air filter changed is important so that the engine can properly mix fuel with air, that should be done about every 15 to 20 thousand km's (or every two oil changes).

3) Don't Idle - If your keeping your car running longer than 5 seconds than it's best just to shut the engine off. Idling is a terrible waste of fuel. Another form of idling is waiting in line in the drive-thru. Just park your car and go into the Tim Horton's. You can easily save fuel this way.

4)Tire Maintenance - Making sure your tires have a good amount of thread is important to ensure you have the best traction. Also, maintaining the optimum tire pressure will increase your fuel efficiency. On the side of the tire there should be markings that indicate the optimum tire pressure. Be sure to always be in that range.

5) Remove Excess Cargo - OK you should keep your spare tire on board, but come on do you really need those golf clubs in the trunk in the dead of winter? Removing any excess cargo in your car can significantly increase your fuel economy, since you're not carrying around a bunch of dead weight. Be sure to always unload everything when you are finished shopping and try to keep your vehicle as light as possible.

6) Learn To Drive Manual - Driving a manual vehicle is not only a lot of fun (it really makes you feel like a race car driver, as long as you're not stuck in traffic) but also a great way to save on fuel. Driving manual can increase your fuel efficiency by 10-15%. So when you're choosing your next car consider learning how to drive manual, you'll also say a thousand dollars or so off the initial purchase by not having an automatic transmission. To further improve your fuel efficiency buy a compact (i.e. Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Mazda 3, etc...) or hybrid (like the one pictured above). Also, if you lose the 4-wheel drive your fuel economy will improve.

7) Rack Up The Windows - On those hot summer days you want to keep the inside of your vehicle as cool as possible, while being fuel efficient. When you're going at low speeds you should turn the air conditioning off and rack down the windows. If you're going faster than 40 km/h than the drag with the windows open will become significant and you will start to hamper your fuel economy. In that case you should rack the windows back up and turn the air conditioning on.

8) Buy Gas When It's The Cheapest - Although this tip doesn't improve on your fuel efficiency it can save you a significant amount of cash. Check out the following website to find out if the gas prices are likely go up or down in your area ( ). If you time your fuel purchase right you can save big!

9) Drive The Limit - OK you're not Mario Andretti. Your vehicle is designed to run the most efficiently between 90-110 km/h. By driving the limit you also avoid speeding tickets which can be extremely costly.

For extra tips I've included a video with 30 ways to save on fuel!

1 comment:

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