Gas Saving Tips

Posted by Dave W. | Friday, June 06, 2008 | ,, 0 comments |

With gasoline over $4.00/gallon in most places, ARI Fleet shares some great tips on how to get the most mileage out of that increasingly expensive tank of gas:

1. Avoid Long Idling. The worst mileage a vehicle can get is 0 mpg, which occurs when it idles. Idling for long periods of time consumes gas that could be saved by simply turning off the engine. Restarting an engine uses about the same amount of gas as idling for 30 seconds. When idling for longer periods of time, shut off the engine. However, turning off the engine may disable vehicle functions, including safety features like airbags. Drivers should be certain to only utilize this strategy in situations where there is no possibility of collision.

2. Eliminate Unnecessary Weight.  Vehicles get better mileage when they’re not loaded with unnecessary weight. Every 200 lbs. of additional weight trims one mile off fuel efficiency. Most drivers accumulate material in their vehicle trunks, some of it unnecessary. Remove all non-required items from the vehicle, such as unneeded tools, tires, or materials.

3. Keep Tires Inflated to the Correct Pressure.  One underinflated tire can cut fuel economy by 2% per pound of pressure below the proper inflation level. One out of four drivers, on average, drives vehicles with one or more underinflated tires. When a tire is underinflated by 4-5 psi vehicle fuel consumption increases by 10% and, over the long haul, causes a 15% reduction in tire tread life. Check the vehicle’s doorpost sticker for minimum tire inflation pressure.Remove snow tires during good weather seasons. Traveling on deep tire tred dramatically decreases fuel efficiency.

4. Don’t Buy Premium Fuel.  Resist the urge to buy higher-octane gas for “premium” performance. Octane has nothing to do with gasoline performance. Per Johnson & Johnson policy drivers are required to use the lowest cost 87-octane regular unleaded fuel available per vehicle manufacturer’s specifications and requirements.

5. Observe Posted Speed Limits.  This tip may save a life as well as fuel. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates a 10-15% improvement in fuel economy by driving 55 mph instead of 65 mph.

6. Fill Your Tank during the Coolest Time of Day.  During morning and evening hours gasoline is densest. Avoid filling the gas tank to the top. Overfilling results in sloshing over and out of tank. Never fill gas tank past the first “Click” of the fuel nozzle.

7. Use Alternate Roads when Safer, Shorter, or Straighter.  Compare traveling distance; remember that corners, curves, and lane jumping require extra gas. Avoid rough roads whenever possible because dirt and gravel rob you of up to 30% of gas mileage.

8. Use A/C SparinglyUse the air conditioner only when needed.  An air conditioner is one of the biggest drains on engine power and fuel economy. It can reduce gas consumption 5-20%, depending on the type of vehicle and the way it is driven. Don’t use it as a fan to simply circulate air. If it’s just too hot to bear without A/C, keep it set around 72 degrees. Use the vent setting as much as possible.9. Keep Windows Closed When Traveling at Highway SpeedsWind drag is a key source of reduced fuel mileage, causing an engine to work harder, thereby reducing fuel economy.Minimize wind drag by keeping the windows rolled up. This allows air to flow over the body, rather then drawing it inside the cabin and slowing down the vehicle. A wide-open window, especially at highway speeds, increases aerodynamic drag, which could result in a 10% decrease in fuel economy. If you want fresh air, run the climate system on “outside air” and “vent,” and crack the window for additional ventilation.

10. During Cold Weather Watch for Icicles Frozen to the Car Frame.  Up to 100 pounds can quickly accumulate. Unremoved snow and ice cause tremendous wind resistance.

11. Anticipate Traffic Flow.  Anticipate traffic conditions and accelerate and decelerate smoothly — it’s safer, uses less gas, and reduces brake wear.In stop-and-go commuter traffic, look two or more vehicles ahead as you keep an eye on the driver in front of you. This enables you to accelerate and decelerate more gradually.By anticipating a traffic light change, an upcoming stop sign, or the need to slow down for a curve, you can avoid or reduce brake use and save gasoline in the process.

12. Avoid Uphill Speed Increases.  When climbing a hill, the engine is already working hard to overcome gravity. Pushing it harder by stepping on the gas is simply a waste of fuel. If you accelerrate, do it before you reach the hill and not while you are on it.

13. Use Cruise Control during Highway Driving.  Unnecessary changes in speed are wasteful. The use of cruise control helps improve fuel economy.

14. Avoid Aggressive Driving.  Time studies show that fast starts, weaving in and out of traffic, and accelerating to and from a stop light don’t save much time and wear out components such as brakes and tires faster.Simply limiting quick acceleration and fast braking can increase fuel economy. When accelerating, pretend you have a fresh egg underneath your right foot. A light, steady pressure helps to minimize the amount of fuel consumed and maintain a more moderate and steady speed.By not driving aggressively, drivers can save up to 20 percent in fuel economy, advises the EPA.

15. Monitor Preventive Maintenance Schedules.  Proper maintenance increases a vehicle’s fuel economy. For example, unaligned wheels that fight each other waste fuel. Keep the air filter clean. A dirty filter clogs an engine’s air supply, causing a higher fuel-to-air ratio and thereby increasing gasoline consumption. Get regualr tune-ups to ensure best fuel economy. Check the owners manual for regular maintenance intervals.