The price of gas at the pumps may greatly vary, but it’s always a major expense for most drivers. A car’s fuel efficiency is affected by many factors. A vehicle’s mechanical components and exterior design play a large role, but there are other elements to keep in mind when considering efficiency. If you are wondering how you can improve your car’s fuel economy, here are a few effective ways to get the most out of every litre of gas and save money.
1. Keep Tires Properly Inflated
Underinflated tires can cause your vehicle to burn more fuel than it would if your tires were properly inflated. Make sure you’re checking the pressure in all of your tires at least once a month and adding air if necessary. Check tread to ensure even wear and get tires aligned, or replace worn out tires as needed.
Cold tire pressure: This the recommended PSI level for each tire inflation. When checking the pressure, make sure the vehicle has been parked for at least three hours before taking a PSI reading and making any adjustment. Do not inflate the tires to the maximum pressure shown on the sidewall of the tire. Over inflated tires will adversely affect safety performance and cause uneven tire tread wear.
2. Starting and Stopping
Altering your driving habits can be the biggest detractor to a vehicle’s fuel efficiency. When you excessively speed, you’re basically throwing away money at the pump. Instead of taking off like a Formula driver, try taking things gradual. We know it sounds like we’re parents telling kids to drive slower, but if you want better fuel efficiency, reducing speed is the way to go. Also, when you see that a traffic light is turning red, start slowing down ahead of time to reduce brake usage. Moderating your speed can save you up to 15% on fuel economy. Improving your driving habits can help with your car’s efficiency. Using cruise control or staying at a steady speed helps improve fuel economy.
3. Reduced Drag and Lighten your Load
Roof racks and other ornamental accessory items can cause additional drag and more drag means your engine needs to work harder in order to overcome the added friction. Meanwhile, a lighter vehicle doesn’t have to work as hard to speed up and slow down, so make sure to remove any unnecessary cargo items from your trunk or back seat. This will help lighten your load and save you money at the pump.
4. Stay up to date with vehicle maintenance
A properly-tuned vehicle is able to perform as efficiently as possible, and that includes fuel efficiency. Make sure you are keeping up with your vehicle’s routine maintenance schedule and getting regular check-ups to replace things like dirty air filters or faulty oxygen sensors. Schedule a checkup with the Sherwood Ford Service Center for peace of mind.
5. Combine errands
Instead of taking multiple single trips, consider combining errands by planning the trip ahead of time and driving a shorter distance. Not only does planning your route carefully save you time, it also means you’re keeping your engine warm and efficient rather than letting it cool down completely between errands.
6. Car Pool
Also known as car sharing, carpooling is the arrangement between two or more people to travel to a shared destination in a single vehicle. Although a heavier car consumes slightly more fuel, it is usually much more efficient than two people driving separate cars towards the same destination.
7. Drive a more fuel efficient vehicle
Driving a smaller car makes a great difference – the fuel cost is about half for a small sedan than for a very large SUV or truck. Similarly, drive with a less powerful engine than you need. Don’t pay for an eight-cylinder engine when four cylinders work just fine. Unless you’re hauling heavy loads on a routine basis, the extra cost of a bigger engine results in more money spent on gasoline. Some drivers are turning to alternative battery electric vehicles, hybrids and plugin-hybrid vehicles to eliminate or drastically reduce fuel consumption. Take a look at our inventory of new Ford models and start saving with a more fuel-efficient vehicle.
8. Idling wastes fuel and money
One of the easiest actions that motorists can take to help save fuel and money is to avoid unnecessary idling. Idling longer than 10 seconds uses more fuel compared to restarting the engine. But will turning off the vehicle to avoid idling result in higher maintenance costs and extra wear and tear for the starter and battery? Actually, the break-even point to offset any incremental maintenance costs is under 60 seconds. You’ll save money on fuel that should more than offset any potential increase in maintenance costs.
If you would like to learn more about improving your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, feel free to get in touch with our team at Sherwood Ford.