When you own a car, there are some things you just have to do — carry insurance, change its oil, get it inspected, and head to the gas pump on a regular basis. While insurance and inspections might represent a fixed cost, how often you pull up to the pump doesn’t have to be. A few simple changes to your driving habits can reduce your fuel consumption, saving you green at the pump and helping you to be greener, more eco-friendly driver.
Slow and Gentle Might Just Win the Race
Everyone’s seen the drivers who rev their engines at one traffic light, zooming up to full speed in no time at all, only to slam on their brakes again at the next light. Revving your engine like you’re a race car driver doesn’t do much to help you in terms of getting from point A to B, but does do a lot when it comes to blowing through fuel. Putting the pedal to the metal can cut your gas mileage by about a third if you’re on the highway, according to FuelEconomy.gov. You not only waste gas and put excess wear on your car when you drive like there’s no tomorrow, you also make the road a little less safe for other drivers.
Know When to Switch on the AC
To use the air conditioning or not to use the air conditioning — that’s the question many drivers face on a hot day. While it’s true that your car’s AC unit can be a gas guzzler, reducing your gas mileage by up to 20 percent, according to the Leonia Environmental Commission, there are times when it’s actually greener to use it than to drive with the windows down.
If you’re zooming along the highway, going at least 40 mph, go ahead and turn on the AC instead of relying on the breeze from the open windows. At that speed, the amount of drag the open windows creates is enough to make your car’s engine have to work harder, causing it to burn through more fuel in less time.
Group Your Errands
The less time you spend driving, the less gas you’ll use and the better off the environment will be. Try to group your errands as much as you can to avoid making multiple trips. For example, try stopping at the supermarket on the way home from work, instead of going home first, then heading out again after supper. When you group errands together, go to the place that’s furthest away from your starting point first, then work your way back, so that you don’t add miles to your trip.
You don’t have to boost your car’s fuel economy by much to see a difference in your wallet and in the environment. Small changes that bump your gas mileage up by a few miles can mean hundreds of extra dollars in your pocket this year and a greener planet, too.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.