8 Easy Ways to Save Fuel
The more technology develops, the more cars become a necessity in the modern world. Most American cities don’t have adequate public transportation, often making an automobile the simplest choice for work, school, and leisure.
However, as we all know, cars aren’t cheap. Purchasing and maintaining a vehicle costs thousands of dollars before you even account for the high cost of fuel – a constant, recurring expense which absorbs a decent chunk of your budget.
America spends more than any other country on gasoline at $1.5 billion across the nation every single day. By the time you’ve had your car for 15 years, you will have spent over $20,000 on fuel alone. The best solution for the costs of gas — monetary and otherwise — is purchasing and owning a fuel-efficient vehicle like the Honda Accord Hybrid. However, there are plenty of simple ways to cut down on costs and make each mile count.
It might sound like something your mechanic would say to get you to come back to the shop, but regular maintenance and oil changes are extremely helpful for keeping your miles per gallon high. Finding a dealer or mechanic you can trust is essential when owning a car, and routine maintenance is a much safer option than waiting until something goes wrong. At Hendrick Honda, we offer several regular check-up agreements for your needs.
You may have noticed, especially if you’ve purchased a new car in the last decade, the cost of an oil change has risen dramatically. While this may seem like a symptom of inflation, in many vehicles it’s due to new, fully synthetic oils that increase performance, including fuel efficiency. Seek out a mechanic or technician you can trust, and if you’re changing your oil yourself, don’t skimp where it counts.
When it’s hot outside, the go-to move is to blast that icy cold air directly at your face until it might as well be the middle of winter. However, air conditioning can be a big factor in fuel efficiency. Instead of keeping your cool air at full power the whole ride home, try starting it strong and lowering the intensity as you grow more comfortable. Obviously, features like air conditioning exist to make your ride better, but if you’re trying to save gas, it’s smart to be more conscious of your use.
Check the Weight
Unless we’re planning to tow or haul something specific, we usually trust our cars to carry any amount of weight, small or large. However, every vehicle has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or GVWR, and it’s helpful to know yours before you load up all those brand new dumbbells. You can usually find it on the inside of your door.
Most cars can carry a lot of weight, but to increase your fuel efficiency, the key is to get rid of unnecessary items. Many times, we leave things in our cars far longer than they should be there. Don’t leave things like golf clubs, musical instruments, or heavy equipment sitting in the trunk. Also, unless you’re traveling constantly or ride your bike every day, remove any topper or rack attached to your vehicle, which increases drag.
Another great way to manage your fuel efficiency is to keep your tires at a healthy pressure, as well as making sure to get them rotated and balanced on a regular schedule. At Hendrick Honda, we make sure your tires are in top condition, and our experts can tell you if it’s time to get a new set or simply rotate and balance your current tires.
Easy on the Pedals
The biggest mistake most drivers make on a daily basis is careless pedal usage. Cars, especially newer ones, are designed to coast with minimal drag, meaning you don’t have to keep your foot on the gas at all times. Gently get your vehicle up to speed, then let it coast until you need to tap the pedal again. Also, try to avoid heavily trafficked areas as much as possible, as stop-and-go traffic is generally terrible for your mileage.
When it comes to gasoline, each car is different, and it’s important to understand how. For some cars, usually luxury vehicles, premium fuel is required, and it can help your car with fuel efficiency and performance. The main benefit of premium gas is that it helps to prevent engine knocking, which can decrease fuel economy and eventually damage your engine. However, there is no reason to use premium gas or anything above standard if your car doesn’t require it, and it can actually do more harm than good. The FTC recommends learning about your vehicle to choose your gasoline, which usually just means checking out your owner’s manual.
If you live near your coworkers (and you like them enough to spend even more time with them), carpooling is one of the most effective ways to cut your spending on gasoline. If two people share the cost of one car’s gasoline, you can effectively cut your fuel budget in half. If you have a third or even fourth person to add to the carpool, your cost will dramatically decrease. To avoid the typical difficulties of ride-sharing, make sure you trust the person driving (or do the driving yourself) and communicate the schedule, cost, and location of the carpool.
We hope that these fuel-efficiency tips help you spend less to drive more. If you’d like to learn more, set up a maintenance schedule, or discuss fuel-efficient vehicles, please contact us today!