Jan 5, 2006

Car Tip 32 - Driving More Efficiently


Driving More Efficiently

Practicing fuel efficient driving techniques can improve fuel economy more than 10%.

* Observing the Speed Limit

In highway driving, over 50% of the energy required to move your car down the road goes to overcoming aerodynamic drag (pushing air out of the way). As you drive faster, aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance increase. As a result, at speeds above 55 mph, fuel economy decreases rapidly.

By driving 65 mph instead of 70 mph , you'll save gas. Of course it will take you longer to get to your destination, but for each extra hour you spend driving you'll save $5.00. Owners of larger trucks and sport utility vehicles may save as much as $10.00 for each extra hour spent driving.

Staying within the speed limit is not only a matter of safety and obeying the law, it can also save you money!

* Over-drive Gears

Over-drive gears improve the fuel economy of your car during highway driving. When you use over-drive gearing your car's engine speed decreases. This reduces both fuel consumption and engine wear.

* Using Cruise Control

Using cruise control on highway trips can help you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will reduce your fuel consumption.

* Anticipating Traffic Situations

In city driving, nearly 50% of the energy needed to power your car goes to acceleration. Unnecessary braking wastes that energy.

Avoid extreme acceleration except in emergency situations. Hard acceleration causes your engine to enter a less efficient "fuel enrichment mode" of operation.

If you anticipate traffic conditions ahead of you and don't tailgate, you can avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration, and improve your fuel economy by 5-10 %. This defensive driving strategy is not only safer, it will also reduce wear on your tires and brakes and save you money.

* Avoiding Unnecessary Idling

Warming up your car isn't necessary for most cars today. No matter how efficient your car is, unnecessary idling wastes fuel, costs you money, and pollutes the air.

* Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated

Your tires are designed to operate at peak efficiency only when they are inflated to the proper air pressure. You can read the maximum inflated tire pressure on the sidewall of the tire. By adhering to these recommendations your car will not only get better tire wear, but you will get better fuel mileage because you'll have less rolling resistance.

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