driving techniques

It’s time to put the breaks on fuel consumption and save money at the gas station.

Using less energy also means doing something to help save the planet. 

How can you do this without reducing the number of trips you make? It’s all about driving techniques. We’re here to steer you through seven tips that’ll change the way you drive. 

1. Go Easy on the Pedal

Don’t let living in a fast-paced world get you into the habit of sticking your foot to the floor the moment you get into the driver’s seat. The harder you accelerate the more fuel you’re going to waste. 

It’s far better to go easy on the accelerator by pressing it gently. Imagine that you’ve placed a glass of water on the dashboard and are trying not to spill any. 

The most fuel-efficient way to move off from a stop is to take around five seconds to get up to fifteen miles per hour.

2. Keep It Steady

If you vary your speed regularly then you will end up using more gas. That will translate into higher fuel bills. If your speed varies by fifty miles an hour every twenty seconds or so then your fuel consumption could go up by a fifth.

If it’s appropriate then using cruise control will help. It could also be that driving in the highest gear at a given speed uses much less gas. This is because the engine doesn’t have to work as hard. 

Traffic jams are not only annoying but they’re also costly. Whenever your car is placed in first gear it will take a vast amount of energy to get it moving again from a standstill. If you can avoid it, never travel during rush-hour.

If you have to travel at busy times then try and keep your speed at the most consistent level possible. Look at the traffic ahead and try to anticipate how you can maintain a steady speed.  

3. Think Ahead

Whenever you use the brakes, you’re actually wasting energy that could take you forwards. This will often be necessary and you should always be sure that your brake pads are in great condition.

You can though save fuel in certain situations by taking your foot off the break and coasting at your preferred speed.

Extra loads in your car will also have a negative impact on the amount of gas you use. The drag from a roof rack, for example, will mean that you use more fuel. That’s because it will take your car more energy to push itself through the air.

Leaving a load in the trunk of the car which you don’t need for the journey means you’re using up unnecessary amounts of fuel. If your car acts as a kind of storage unit for items that don’t have to be there you will be wasting hard earned cash.

The same principle goes for air conditioning. It’s easy to get into the car and leave the settings at exactly the same place as they were when you last drove out of the garage.

Air conditioning is a gas guzzler. It can increase fuel consumption by up to a fifth. It’s far more fuel efficient to open the windows or to use the vehicle’s ventilation system, particularly when on the highway.

4. Check Tire Pressure 

Even if your tires are just slightly under-inflated then you can increase your rate of fuel consumption by up to four percent.

There is another downside too. Not inflating your tires to the correct pressure will have a negative impact on their life expectancy. Check your car’s manual so that your tires are always kept at the optimum pressure.

If you are traveling with heavy loads or with a car full of people then increasing the tire pressure will equate to using less fuel. Failure to keep the tires at the correct pressure increases their rolling resistance on the road surface.

Manufacturers make tires these days with far less rolling resistance than those produced in the past. This not only makes the tire last longer but also increases fuel efficiency.

It’s important to understand when your tires need changing. Purchasing a new set can sometimes be a great investment. It’s recommended that you check your tire pressure once every two weeks.  

5. Keep Your Speed Down  

Speed limits are there to keep you safe but they’ll also save you money if you stick to them. Cars are designed to be more fuel efficient these days but only if you keep them at the right speeds.

Increasing your speed from sixty to seventy miles an hour will mean you could end up using twenty percent more fuel. The amount of time that saves you could be a few minutes. Commonsense says it’s not worth it. 

6. Use the Correct Oil for Your Vehicle  

Claims of energy efficiency often come hand in hand with the oil you’re buying for your car. Bear in mind though that these claims may only apply to the make and model of the car the oil has been tested on. 

What you need is for your engine to run smoothly and with as little friction as possible. It’s advisable to always use the type of oil that’s recommended by your car’s manufacturer. If in doubt, check the manual.

7. Get the Best Possible Price

Because filling up the tank is a necessity, it’s easy to become lazy and fill up at the most convenient gas station. Always do your research and check the prices within your area.

A minor reduction in the advertised price of gas can translate into big savings in the cost of a full tank. It’s worth considering taking out a gas loyalty card too. Used with the right credit card, these can translate into big savings at the gas station. 

Save Money with the Right Driving Techniques

Making just a few simple changes to your driving techniques can have a dramatic effect on the amount you spend at the gas station. The time you may save by driving faster may not actually be worth the price you have to pay.

Check here for maintenance tips that can save you more money in the long-term and keep your car running more smoothly.