With the prices of fuel going up and down sporadically, it is important to try and maximize fuel efficiency so that you can reduce your costs during both low and high price times. Also, since fuel is a finite resource, it is environmentally friendly to try and reduce wastage. Here are some tips:
It is better to drive at a steady pace then to jack-rabbit between high and low speeds. You can reduce your fuel consumption by as much as 40% if you reduce hard brakes. The correct way to accelerate is to do it slowly and smoothly and get into a high gear quickly.
It is important that you drive under the posted speed limit for legality’s sake but also because you will save fuel if you go slower. For instance, going from 55mph to 75mph can make your fuel consumption go up by 20%.
If you are in the habit of letting your engine idle while you wait for it to warm up, you are wasting fuel. In the winters, you need to idle the engine for no longer than thirty seconds.
If you tires are not fully inflated you will end up wasting fuel. Under-inflated tires increase consumption by 6%. Check the pressure every month, on cold tires. If the tires need to be inflated, get it done before you start your drive.
When you are driving, make sure you are driving in the highest gear you can. Driving in lower gears wastes fuel. At the same time, letting an engine run in a high gear on hills and corners also wastes fuels.
You can also reduce costs by using your air conditioner sparingly. If you think its cold enough outside, open the windows. This will also help you stay awake on long drives. Depending on the speed though, using an air conditioner can be efficient. So the faster you are, the more efficient it might be to turn the air conditioner on due to wind resistance on the windows.
Choose the fuel that best suits your vehicle. You can check with the owner’s manual to find out which one to use.
Make sure you vehicle is serviced regularly. Poorly tuned engines can increase fuel consumption by as much as 50%. Dirty air filters can increase your fuel consumption by 10%. Even using the wrong oil can cause you to use more fuel.
Before you turn the ignition off, make sure you shut down any power accessories. This way, next time to start the vehicle, these won’t pull unnecessary power.
When you get fuel, make sure you the gas cap is on tight and properly.
Whenever possible, make sure the engine is under a shade. This will keep the engine cool and reduce the need for air conditioning in the cab, as well as reduce fuel evaporation.
Hopefully, these tips will help you increase your fuel efficiency when out on the road, and increase the profits you can make.
J. Mikula is a business writer and consultant.