Fuel Miser Driving Tips

Fuel Miser Driving Tips

if​ you​ drive to​ work every day, chances are that keeping your​ gas tank full is​ getting somewhat pricey. Increasing numbers of​ people are considering alternative ways to​ commute, including carpooling and​ various forms of​ public transportation. These options aren't for​ everyone, however. Perhaps, out of​ choice or​ necessity, you've committed to​ the solo commute.

The most obvious way to​ cut down on​ fuel usage is​ to​ purchase a​ vehicle that gets excellent gas mileage—a hybrid or​ a​ very light, compact car. Don't worry, though, if​ a​ new vehicle isn't in​ your​ future. a​ few minor changes in​ your​ driving habits can help your​ current car to​ use less fuel.

Remove excess weight.

The heavier your​ car, the more fuel it​ takes to​ get it​ and​ keep it​ moving. Clean out your​ car, leaving only what's necessary. Don't remove your​ spare tire, tools, or​ other required items, but get rid of​ the miscellaneous non-essentials that have been riding around in​ the trunk.

Drive at​ moderate speeds.

The faster you​ go, the more fuel your​ car uses. During the gasoline crunch of​ the early 1970s, the national speed limit was set to​ 55 miles per hour for​ good reason: it​ was the most economical speed at​ which long distances could be traveled in​ a​ reasonably short time. Going at​ higher speeds won't get you​ to​ your​ destination​ in​ much less time, but will consume a​ considerably larger amount of​ fuel.

Engage your​ cruise control.

Usually we don't think of​ using cruise control unless we're on​ the interstate or​ turnpike. When you're driving on​ secondary highways, consider clicking it​ on, even if​ you'll only be using it​ for​ a​ couple of​ miles. Minimizing variations in​ speed actually will improve your​ car’s gas mileage.

Use the highest gear possible.

An engine in​ a​ higher gear is​ operating at​ a​ lower rate of​ rotations per minute (rpm), and​ requires less fuel. Use the highest gear at​ which it​ works efficiently. Keep in​ mind, though, that too high of​ a​ gear is​ hard on​ the engine—if​ you​ feel it​ begin​ to​ labor or​ lag, it's time to​ downshift.

Accelerate gradually.

Accelerating quickly drives up the engine's rotations per minute. Upshifting a​ little sooner will cause you​ to​ accelerate more gradually, but will reduce the workload on​ the engine.

Decelerate gradually.

There's no need to​ accelerate right up to​ a​ stop sign or​ red light—you're going to​ have to​ stop in​ a​ few moments, anyway. Instead, start decelerating farther back, shift into neutral, and​ allow the vehicle's existing momentum to​ carry it​ up to​ the stopping point.

Enlist gravity.

this​ one's a​ little trickier, and​ should be used only with care. if​ you​ have a​ manual transmission, push in​ the clutch when starting down a​ hill, and​ let gravity do its work. By coasting downhill, you​ remove most of​ the workload from the engine. this​ does entail some loss of​ control, so be ready to​ take your​ foot from the clutch at​ need. When shifting back into gear, make sure that you​ choose the gear appropriate for​ your​ current speed. Note that this​ is​ not recommended for​ automatic vehicles; because they require a​ driver to​ shift between neutral and​ a​ drive gear, it​ might not be possible to​ reengage the engine quickly enough in​ an​ emergency situation.

Admittedly, these are very small adjustments to​ your​ driving habits; no single driving technique will result in​ a​ huge savings of​ fuel. Still, even minor changes can have a​ cumulative effect over time. When used together and​ with consistency, these techniques could help to​ lower the rising cost of​ your​ solo commute.

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