Have you seen the price of automobile fuel? When I started driving, I could buy three gallons of gasoline and some candy with one dollar.
Folks are asking me what they can do to minimize the cost of driving.
I tell them it is all in their hands and feet.
The greatest impact that they can have is to change the way they drive.
Fuel efficiency is more about the driver than it is about the car.
Accelerating hard, weaving erratically, or grinding to a halt all waste fuel.
WE THROW FUEL AWAY WHEN WE: • Accelerate fast • Turn on the air conditioning • Leave heavy stuff in the trunk • Drive with the moon roof open • Roll down the windows • Speed • Idle • Brake
Your brakes change the momentum that you paid fuel dollars for into wasted heat. Try stopping without braking. At least use your brakes as little as possible.
Learn to coast as much as possible. When you see that the traffic light ahead is red, take your foot off the gas and coast toward the light. If you can avoid coming to a full stop you save fuel.
Accelerate slowly and obey the speed limit. Try driving as if you don't have brakes.
Jackrabbit starts may be fun but they are a major fuel waster. If you drive an automatic, accelerate moderately so the transmission can shift up into the higher gears as soon as possible. Stick-shifters should shift early to keep the revs down, with out lugging the engine. Your goal should be to get into overdrive as soon as possible.
Keep an eye well down the road for potential slowdowns. If you accelerate to full speed then have to brake right away, you are throwing fuel away.
The best way to learn to drive economically is to have a fuel consumption display, which shows mpg in real time. I test-drove a Cadillac that had one and learned that I was not as efficient a driver as I thought I was.
Instead of a fuel consumption display, some folks call them game gauges. They use them just like the score on video games. Keep trying to beat your best score in miles per gallon.
MORE GAS SAVING TIPS
Drive with the truckers. Have you ever notice how, in traffic jams, cars seem to constantly speed up and slow down. Trucks tend to roll along at the same leisurely pace. A constant speed keeps shifting gears to a minimum, important to those who have those ten-speed transmissions, but it also aids economy. It takes much more fuel to get a vehicle moving than it does to keep it moving. Rolling with the big rigs saves fuel.
The defroster/heater fan and AC use energy that subtracts from your mileage. Use them as little as possible.
For the best fuel economy drive with all four windows closed. This is especially important at highway speeds.
Try parking at the highest spot in a parking lot. That way, you rely on gravity to get you rolling rather than the accelerator peddle.
At the mall, pick a parking spot that you can drive in and drive out with out changing directions. You may need to walk a little farther. If you drive through one spot and park in the facing spot, you will be headed out. When you park this way, you are ready to leave without backing and changing directions.
Don’t use cruise control when driving in hilly roads. Most cruise controls accelerate excessively going up hill. You can do a better job yourself.
Do use cruise control on flat level roads. Your cruise control will maintain an even speed and reduce acceleration/deceleration. Combining errands into one trip saves you time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip. With a little planning, you can avoid retracing your route and reduce the distance you travel. Good trip planning ensures that you drive when the engine is warmed-up and efficient. You will not only save fuel, but also reduce wear and tear on your car. The secret to your fuel economy is in how you use the foot peddles.
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