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Be Fuel Efficient

There are many common mistakes drivers make that use excess gas.

Speeding up too fast, driving too slow, and using the brakes too often are present practices on the road. They may seem like small actions at the time but correcting them can significantly reduce the amount of gas that is wasted.

To start, if you are waiting in a car for over one minute, it is best to turn the car off until you begin driving again. It is also best to avoid a series of short trips. If your destinations are within walking distance of one another, by all means get some fresh air. You can always drive to the initial destination and from there explore any surrounding sites on foot. This way you can save the driving for longer, infrequent trips.

Clean out your trunk, and other cluttered spaces in your car. The more items your car must lug around, the more fuel it uses to support the extra weight. It is best to maintain your car and keep it as light as possible.

When saving fuel it comes in handy to know what operating speeds are the most efficient. This can be tricky at first as the optimal speed will vary with different models.  For many cars it is best to drive between 35-45 mph, as they are most fuel efficient within this range. While newer models with more efficient tanks reach their optimal peak between 50-55 mph. Others are at their optimal speed within 50-60 mph. This is why you should watch the tachometer to find which speed range is most efficient for your car and stick with it as much as the law allows. For most vehicles driving above 45 mph creates wind resistance, regardless of optimal speed. To prevent this, keep windows closed when driving beyond 45 mph.

Avoid starting or stopping abruptly. But don’t go off to a sluggish start either. Accelerate moderately until your desired speed is reached. If you have the option to use a car with a warm engine, choose to drive that car rather than a car with a cold engine. The most engine wearing occurs when starting a cold engine, making it less fuel-efficient. For example, if a car’s current temperature is 78 degrees Fahrenheit, it will take 15 minutes for a cold engine to reach its most efficient operating temperature. To better warm a cold engine, drive once the oil pressure reaches normal. You also don’t want a hot engine, either, as excess heat wears the engine and reduces mileage. To keep the engine from overheating, fill the radiator with coolant.

Resources:
“Drive Right”, Margaret L. Johnson, Owen Crabb, Arthur A. Opfer, and Ronald L. Budig

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