Fuel is such a necessity today that it has become somewhat of a second-nature expense. The fuel light comes on and we instinctively pull over to feed our cars at a cost that could equate to a nice meal out.
Being fuel-efficient, however, is sometimes not as instinctual. These days, we want to save where we can, and fuel is no different. Driving your car inefficiently will not only drain your gas tank, but your savings, as well. Follow these easy steps to being a more fuel-efficient driver and use the extra savings for something more fun than gasoline!
Don’t be the tortoise or the hare: We all know that quick starts consume a lot of fuel. But, when you accelerate at a snail’s pace, the car stays in a low gear, which also has poor fuel economy. A good rule of thumb is to spend 15 seconds getting to 50 mph.
Clean and maintain your vehicle: Keeping your car clean has more than an aesthetic benefit. Removing 100 pounds of junk from your car’s trunk could increase fuel efficiency by up to 2 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Maintenance is equally important. Adjusting the pressure of your tires once a month can increase a car’s fuel efficiency by up to 3 percent, the Department of Energy reports. And, don’t forget to check the gas cap. Damaged, loose or missing gas caps can let the gas vaporize into the air.
Look at the big picture: Don’t only look at the car immediately in front of you; try looking farther down the road. This will help you anticipate potential danger situations and allow you to reduce your speed by coasting to a stop rather than slamming on your brakes, which causes a loss of momentum that increases the amount of fuel you burn at a given time. Except for in an emergency situation, this hard stop-and-go action should be avoided.
Fill up for less: Of course, you will find yourself at the pump sooner or later, so loyalty programs are a great way to help you pay less for fuel. There are several programs out there that will allow you to go about your daily routine and save on fuel at the same time, at no extra cost.
What are your tips for being a more fuel-efficient driver? Share in the comments below.
Guest blogger Melissa Martin is the Social Community Manager at the Fuel Rewards Network™ program, a free loyalty program that helps members pay less for fuel.