If you haven’t abandoned ICEs completely and still drive around in one, even if it’s a hybrid, you can always squeeze a bit more distance out of every tank of fuel. This is possible not just in theory but also in practice by following these fuel-saving tips.
Photo: Andraz Lazic on Unsplash
Considering that fuel prices are going up again after falling for some time at the beginning of the pandemic, saving a few gallons here and there can positively impact your budget. This is especially true for gas-guzzling engines but also smaller, more efficient ones and even hybrids.
Check tire pressure
Grossly ignored by many drivers, tire pressure can make a surprising difference in terms of fuel economy. That’s because under-inflated tires have more rolling resistance, which means that the engine needs to work harder to keep the vehicle moving.
So, check the pressure at least twice a month and make sure you keep it within the manufacturer-recommended values.
Adjust your driving style
Photo: Samuel Thompson on Unsplash
For some, this may be extremely hard to do but if you care about saving some money, try to drive more like a regular person and less like a race car driver.
As speed increases, so does fuel economy, so instead of driving right on the edge of the speed limit, reduce it a little bit. You will be amazed by the results.
Another bad habit that results in poor fuel economy is overrevving your engine. Try to accelerate moderately and change gears in lower revs. Sure, the engine sounds better, and the vehicle feels sportier around 4,000-5,000 rpm, but it will also use a lot more fuel.
Keep the air filter clean
Photo: Donar Reiskoffer on Wikimedia Commons
You won’t believe how much harm a dirty air filter does to your vehicle’s engine. It can noticeably decrease performance and increase fuel consumption.
If it's easy to access, check it yourself by taking it out and holding it up to the sun. If you’re unable to see light coming through it, it’s time to replace it.
We would recommend a reusable filter like those made by K&N. They’re more expensive than a throw-away paper filter but last longer and can be regularly cleaned. These high-quality performance filters provide better airflow, which also helps improve fuel economy.
Drive behind trucks on the highway
Photo: Trust "Tru" Katsande on Unsplash
If you follow motorsports, you surely heard about the notion of slipstreaming. In this context, it’s a partial vacuum created behind a race car that helps reduce air resistance and is often used by the trailing car to overtake.
What does this have to do with trucks and highways? Well, the same principle can be applied to save fuel. You can just drive behind a bigger vehicle which will decrease your car's air resistance, resulting in better fuel consumption. It’s not a myth; it’s actual science, so the bigger the vehicle ahead, the better. Don’t forget to keep a safe distance, though.
Avoid using air conditioning all the time
If it’s not exceptionally hot or cold, drop down your window and turn off the air con/climate control. The engine will have to work less if it doesn’t have to operate the system’s compressor, so if the conditions permit it, enjoy the breeze.
Don’t drive at all
Finally, the simplest way to save fuel is to leave your car home and walk or use alternative means of transportation. If you don’t live exceptionally far from your workplace, try riding a bike when the weather allows it. It’s good for both your wallet and your health.
Vlad's first car was custom coach built: an exotic he made out of wood, cardboard and a borrowed steering wheel at the age of five. Combining his previous experience in writing and car dealership years, his articles focus in depth on special cars of past and present times. Full profile
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