Car Efficiency Tips

Did you know that the average car releases about one pound of carbon dioxide for every mile driven?

Driving a fuel efficient car, driving to maximize fuel efficiency, and maintaining your car properly can greatly reduce your car's impact on the climate.

Here are 14 Easy-to-Follow Tips to Increase Your Fuel Economy

Plan Your Route

Don't make unnecessary trips, and combine several errands in one trip so that you void starting your car more often than you need to. If you have several things to do, but the timing is unimportant, save them up to do together in one longer trip.

Keep Track of Your Gas Mileage

A drop in your car's fuel economy can be a sign of engine trouble. If you keep track of your gas mileage, you'll know when something is wrong and can have it fixed.

Take A Load Off

The heavier your car is, the more gas it uses. Every extra 100 pounds costs you about a half-mile-per gallon, reducing fuel economy by about 1 percent. So don't carry unnecessary weight.

Avoid Rush Hour

Stop-and-go driving burns more gasoline and increases emissions of smog-forming pollutants.

Get Regular Oil Changes

In addition to making your car last longer, replacing the oil and oil filter regularly will also help fuel economy.

Follow the Speed Limit

Driving 65 mph instead of 75 mph will increase your fuel economy by about 10%.

Keep Your Vehicle Well Tuned

Simple maintenance will lengthen the life of your car as well as improve fuel economy and minimize emissions. Be sure to check for worn spark plugs, dragging brakes and low transmission fluid; have your wheels aligned and tires rotated; and replace the air filter if needed. A badly tuned car uses almost 10% more gas than a well-tuned car.

Inflate Your Tires

Check your tire pressure at least once a month and maintain it at manufacturer specifications. Keeping your tires properly inflated helps reduce the amount of drag your engine must overcome, saving you fuel. If your tires are under-inflated by just 3 pounds, fuel economy goes down by about 1 percent and it will cost you a half-mile-per-gallon.

Don't Wait For A Parking Place

Don't drive around the parking lot waiting for a convenient place to open up. Park in the first space you find and walk. It's quite likely to save you time.

Avoid Drag

If you drive with a roof rack, aerodynamic drag increases and results in higher fuel consumption. A roof rack that is not permanently fixed to your vehicle should be removed when it is not being used.

Go With The Flow

Jack-rabbit starts and abrupt stops increase both fuel use and emissions. Try to manage your lane changes so that you avoid slowing down and speeding up. Anticipate traffic stops. Use cruise control when you can. Accelerating hard and braking hard wastes gas, increases pollution and wears out your brakes.

Try Not To Idle For More Than A Minute

During start-up, your engine burns extra gasoline. Once you're underway, however, letting your engine idle for more than a minute will burn even more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting it. If there's a long line at the drive-in window, turn off your engine or park and go inside.

Drive Less

Give your car a rest by taking public transportation, riding a bike, or walking. The exercise will do you good.

Leave off the Air-Conditioning (if possible)

AC increases fuel consumption, increases smog-forming NOx emissions in some vehicles, and involves environmentally damaging fluids. At high speeds, open windows increase drag; use vents if possible.

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