Battle Rising Gas Costs with These Gas-Saving Tips
We are living in a time where gas prices in America fluctuate and regularly reach astronomical levels, fueling demand for more energy-efficient models of cars, and causing everyone to be wary of their traveling habits. Read this carefully for tips you may never have heard of in order to squeeze a few extra miles per gallon out of your vehicle, and to save some more of your hard-earned money.
1. Coasting Is Your Friend When Approaching a Stop
Did you know that a driver who stop his or her car by coasting to a red light, or a stop sign, conserves a considerably larger amount of fuel than a driver who simply stomps on the brake pedal to go from let's say 40 mph to 0 mph within a few seconds? Brakes remove the kinetic energy, the energy in an object due to its motion, of a moving vehicle, and this translates to a lower state of fuel-efficiency. The next time you anticipate or actually see a red light far ahead of you, do yourself a favor, take your foot off the gas pedal, and coast to the end where you can put your brakes to wiser use. You will see that your gas costs will diminish the less you use your brakes.
2. Don't Accelerate Like a Slowpoke
Some people believe that accelerating slowly conserves fuel, but this is not the case at all. You can help maximize your car's fuel efficiency by accelerating at neither a slow, nor rapid pace, because accelerating too slowly forces your car to stay longer in a lower gear, which operates on a lower fuel economy than that of a higher level gear. On the other hand, accelerating too rapidly forces your car to accommodate this sudden shift in movement with a small burst of needlessly wasted fuel. The ideal acceleration rate for each vehicle depends on factors such as the weight of the car and its gear ratios, but, generally speaking, accelerating at a normal pace will help you save money in the long run.
3. Open the Windows at Low Speeds
This is an easy one. Studies have shown that it is actually better to open your windows instead of using the air conditioning when you are driving slower than 55 mph. However, once you go above 55 mph, it is more fuel-efficient to turn the A/C on. At higher speeds the open windows increase the aerodynamic drag on the car, which causes the car to use more gas in order to maintain the same speed. For this reason, using A/C is the better option for driving on highways. For driving in the city, try just leaving two of the windows down instead of all four when you can, as this will boost your vehicle's miles per gallon rate even more.
4. Try to Cruise Lower than 80 Miles Per Hour
The energy required to accelerate a car from 40 mph to 60 mph is far less than the amount of energy required to get it from 60mph to 80 mph. In other words, the amount of energy required to propel a car forwards becomes disproportionately higher and higher as the actual speed increases. Please take safety into consideration, as traveling at 40mph on a highway where everyone is traveling at 70mph is obviously not safe, or courteous. Use common sense when using this rule, but there is usually no reason to go above 80mph if you truly wish to save on gas, as well as avoid potentially costly tickets.
5. Keep Your Tire Pressure at the Right Levels
It is always a good idea to keep your tires properly inflated, as this decreases the surface area of the contact patch between the tire and the road itself. Tires that are at too low of a pressure will increase the amount of friction with the ground, and therefore increases resistance, which then causes you to spend use more gas. However, be sure to not to overdo the inflation on the tires as this will result in too small of a contact patch between your tires and the road. This can lead to a serious accident, if, for example, you cannot brake in time before hitting an object because there is not enough friction to slow your car down quickly enough.
6. A Warm Engine Is a More Efficient One
In the event where you have multiple destinations to reach, start driving to the farthest destination first, then the second farthest, and so forth. The first run will ensure that your engine is warmed up, and warmer engines have a better fuel economy, which will benefit you as you tackle the errands that are closer to your home.