How much money do you spend on fuel every month? If you are reading this, I bet the amount is high. How would you like to save some of that money and spend it on something else? The amount of fuel you spend depends on various factors including your driving habits, car maintenance, and mileage covered. If you think that you are spending too much on fuel every year, the first step is to determine how much you spend. Once you estimate your monthly fuel cost, use the following tips to minimize the cost.
Reduce your mileage
Simple changes like driving your car less often can save you a lot of money. Think of the many times you hop into your car to go for groceries a few meters from your house. You do not need your car for that. You can walk right into the store and get what you need. Besides, it will keep you fit when walk often. Alternatively, you can ride your bike, which is even better for your health. This may be unimaginable if you have the best car in town but take public transport occasionally. If the system works perfectly in your area, take the bus or train at least twice a week. You will not just save fuel but have a chance to meet new people and interact.
Do you like your sunroof open when driving around? Well, it is time to close it if you are considering fuel economy. We all love the feeling of opening the sunroof and windows. However, your car uses more fuel when resisting too much wind. The sound of the wind as you drive may be exciting but it increases your fuel budget. Use the air conditioning if it gets too hot inside. You can leave the sunroof and windows open if you are just driving around town. If you hit the highway for a long trip, forget about the sunroof and just drive to your destination.
Your dealer and mechanic must have told you several times to have your car checked consistently. Check if your tyres have enough pressure. A car uses more fuel when the tyres have low pressure. How does that work? When your tyres are under-inflated, the friction between the rubber and road is high. Consequently, your engine uses more energy to keep your car moving, which translates to more fuel. Do not over-inflate your car tyres but maintain the recommended pressure level for your care model.
Driving at a very low speed especially on a highway does no good to your fuel tank and other road users. Your car will need more energy to resist the wind when driving at a slow speed. However, if you have to accelerate, do it slowly or smoothly. Move slowly from the low gears to the middle gears and finally to the top gears. Once you achieve a comfortable and safe speed, avoid slowing down unless if they are bumps or any incidents. Do not try to move from the low gears to the top gears within three seconds.
Turn off the AC
Sometimes the little things you ignore when driving contribute to the high monthly fuel consumption. We told you to close the windows and sunroof and use the AC instead for fresh air. However, if it is not that hot outside, turn off the AC and save the dollar. You need a functional AC in your car. In fact, you need to replace it immediately if it is broken. It will save you from accidents on misty days and lower temperatures in summer. You just need to be conscious enough to turn it off when the temperatures are comfortable.
Stay away from traffic
If you drive to work daily or regularly on the same road, you know when traffic builds up. Do you have to get on the road on a rush hour every day? Do the math. You can stay in your office and get more work done as everybody else tries to get home. Alternatively, you can continue to waste your time and fuel in traffic every day. Stay away from all that agitation on the road during rush hours or find alternative routes to get home.
Get rid of excess weights
The solution to your fuel dilemma could be sitting right there in your car boot. Get rid of any excess weights in and on your car. Why is this important? Your car engine will use up more energy to drag all that weight to your destination. Make a habit of inspecting your boot and removing any unnecessary items every day. You know that roof rack that makes everyone in town know that you like the outdoors? Well, it has to go as well. Chances are that you had it installed after buying your car. If you are serious about fuel economy, you need to have it removed.
Buy a fuel-efficient car
Is it time to buy a new car? Maybe it is if all your money goes to gas. Think about fuel consumption before you write the check or transfer the funds. In fact, fuel consumption should be among the first questions you ask the dealer. The truth is that you will find many car models that will meet your personal or family needs and use less fuel. If the car you drive uses too much fuel, consider trading it for another fuel-efficient model. Heads may not turn when you drive by as before but you will feel the positive effect on your wallet.
Go slow on the brakes
This calls for a change in your driving habits when slowing down. Avoid stepping hard and fast on the brakes unless if you are about to crash into something or the car ahead. The secret is to study the road when driving. Check for bump signs or zebra crossings while you are still far off. Sometimes just observing traffic movements can tell you where you need to slow down. Do not maintain the high speed then halt suddenly when you get to the stop sign or bumps. Remember to accelerate slowly after the low-speed spots.
Many drivers are guilty of this habit. You switch on the engine and keep it running as you wait for everyone to get into the car. If you are driving a modern car, it does not need much time to warm. In fact, it does not need any warm up at all. Switch on the engine when everyone is in and ready to go. Switch off the engine when you are stuck in traffic as well. However, you have to check the traffic movements and ensure that you are safe with your engine off.
Fuel economy is not a rocket science.You just need to make small changes to your driving habits and service your car regularly. It may take you some time to undo some of the habits you have learned since you bought your first car. However, it is worth the trouble. The tips outlined above will get you moving in the right direction. Implementing one tip may not give you the significant change you need in the fuel cost. You need to combine several if not all of the tips to see the change.
Author : Karas Will.
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