#1: Drive carefully
Nothing burns fuel like burning rubber. According to Fueleconomy.gov, aggressive driving (stomping the gas pedal and then slamming the brakes) can lower gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town. The lesson here? For a guy named after fuel, Vin Diesel wastes a lot of gas.
Fuel Economy Benefit: 5–33%*
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.18–$1.19/gallon*
#2: Observe the speed limit
Each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is often like paying an additional $0.25 per gallon for gas. If that’s not reason enough, going the speed limit also helps prevent accidents.
Fuel Economy Benefit: 7–14%*†
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.25–$0.51/gallon*†
#3: Remove excess weight
Aside from the cold-weather gear you packed after reading another article in this edition of Fuel for Thought, avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle. An extra 100 pounds can reduce your mpg by up to 2%. Extra weight affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones, but lightening your load is always a good idea.
Fuel Economy Benefit: 1–2%/100 lbs*
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.04–$0.07/gallon*
#4: Avoid excessive idling
How many mpg do you get while idling? None. Idling can use a quarter to a half-gallon of fuel per hour, so turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked. (Restarting uses only a few seconds' worth of fuel.)
Fuel Economy Benefit:
$0.01–$0.03/min. (AC off)*
$0.02–$0.04/min. (AC on)*
#5: Use cruise control
Consistency saves gas, and nothing helps you maintain a constant speed like cruise control.
#6: Use overdrive gears
In automatic-transmission cars, overdrive gearing decreases a car’s engine speed, saving gas and reducing engine wear.