Fuel costs have risen dramatically in the last decade or two, and as we approach peak oil production there is no doubt that they will continue to rise. Saving fuel greatly benefits you and makes for more money in your pocket at the end of the week.
Luckily, there are a number of ways you can increase your fuel efficiency through a mixture of better driving and also a few car tweaks.
Power to Weight
One of the things that really impacts on fuel costs and mileage per gallon is weight. People seldom even consider this, but any added weight means your engine has to pull more, and therefore work harder and a harder working engine burns more fuel.
Check your car trunk for extra items that add excessive weight. Heavy objects such as golf clubs, bike racks and roof racks all weight down a car and decrease the efficiency of your car. The double jeopardy here is that items such as bike racks and roof racks also cause an increase in drag and wind resistance. This aerodynamic impact can greatly lower efficiency and destroys the natural aerodynamic profile of some cars.
Manual or stick shift cars and the way you use them also impact greatly on the efficiency of the drive. If you choose the wrong gear, your car is then burning more fuel. As a very rough rule, changing to a higher gear and keeping the revs down will decrease the fuel use.
If you tend to drive in low gears at high revs your engine will not run smoothly, and you will end up in trouble. For instance accelerating through gears will always burn more fuel than cruising at 1500RPM in fifth gear as the car has to work harder. A smooth drive is the best way to lower costs. Many companies with car leasing cars for business nowadays even bring specialists in. These instructors teach company representatives to drive the company car in a greener manner and to save fuel.
Driving over the limit may seem necessary sometimes, but it burns a significant amount of petrol or diesel. According to the AA in the UK, if you tend to drive at 80mph rather than the speed limit of 70mph, you will burn 25% more fuel. Not only is it illegal to drive at 80mph, but also incredibly in efficient.
Many cars nowadays come with a range of green technology that helps you drive in a greener manner. New cars come with gear change advisors, that show you when is most efficient to move up or down gear.
Other cars with GPS navigation systems also provide you with live updates of traffic issues and congestion. This allows you to avoid such problems, making for a smoother ride and a lower usage of fuel use. GPS is also perfect when driving abroad, in another car or when car leasing.
Using air conditioning and other items constantly will also cause you to burn fuel and is ill advised if you want to save. Open a window if you can; it costs a lot less than air con and has the same benefits.
Keeping cars serviced and in top condition also saves on fuel consumption. Cars need changes of oil filters and other parts every so often, and without these changes they are less efficient. Keep your car serviced to ensure it runs at the optimum level.
About The Author
Check out our auto loan reviews.