Saving Money, Saving Fuel, Saving The Environment.

April 15, 2008

Courtesy of a piece of junk mail that escaped my blocking efforts. I figure if they can send me unsolicited mail, I can create a blog post out of it!

Here are several ways to improve fuel economy:

1. Driving 55 vs. 70 mph saves up to 20% more fuel. Use cruise control when appropriate to save even more. (I really need to work on this one)

2. Drive consistently. Jackrabbit starts and hard stops burn more gas.

3. Avoid idling. Sitting in the drive-through for 15 minutes for that quarter-pound burger can burn up to a quarter of a gallon of gas. Consider parking and going inside to order.

4. Chill out. Roll down your windows to cool off in city driving, saving the air conditioner for highway travel, when open windows are a drag – literally – on a vehicle’s aerodynamics.

5. Lighten the load. Carrying extra cargo burns more gas. So take the golf clubs out of the trunk when not hitting the links.

6. Fill up when it’s cool. Early morning or late evening fill-ups generate fewer vapors.

7. Don’t top off the tank. Doing so can result in spilled gasoline, which creates environmental issues.

8. Use the correct fuel grade. Unless the manufacturer requires it, high-octane gas is a waste of money. (A very important one!)

9. Climb every mountain…but build up speed first, then maintain it on the way up. Coast down to save gas.

10. Remove the roof rack. If you don’t need it, stop wasting gas carrying it around.

11. Get a tune up. A properly tuned engine improves fuel economy by about four percent, according to the EPA.

12. Replace a dirty air filter. One that is full of dirt makes the engine work harder and can let impurities damage the engine. Replacing a plugged air filter improves fuel economy by up to 10%.

13. Keep your tires properly inflated. Under-inflated tires can decrease mileage by 3% and can lead to reduced tire life-spans.

Well there you have it. Something good came out of junk mail!

Filed in: Automotive • Tags: , ,

About the Author:

After a varied past of being a test driver for automotive television programs, a Hollywood studio lackey, and an online media sales director, David is now the publisher and editor of The Good Human. In his spare time he rides motorcycles, drinks good beer, and builds stuff in the garage. You can follow him on Twitter at @thegoodhuman or G+ at Google
Like this post? If so, please consider subscribing to my full feed RSS. Or, if you would prefer, you can subscribe by Email:

Enter your email address in the box below. Address will only be used to deliver a daily email and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Comments (5)

  1. David says:

    I like doing that as well…sometimes I think the guy behind me gets scared though! Thanks for the thoughts Maria!

  2. maria says:

    re: “avoid idling”–my husband and i started shutting our engine off at some stoplights, just the ones we’re familiar with. if we know we just missed the light and it’s going to take a while to come back around again, we put it in park and turn the car off. it does mean you have to pay attention (we start it back up when the light before ours in the sequence goes yellow) so the person behind you doesn’t get annoyed, but it saves a lot of idling time at a long light.

  3. Willy says:

    The speed that a car gets its optimal mileage at changes for every vehicle. So going 55 could make your mileage worse than 70, depending on gearing and engine power curves. Shutting an engine off at a light only saves gas if its a very long light as starting an engine takes quite a bit more gas than people might think, plus it’ll burn out your starter much more quickly. High power demands on the highway means using A/C at higher speeds will put a lot of strain on your engine and have a MUCH bigger effect on mileage than the windows being down. If you drive a 400hp sports car, this isn’t an issue but that isn’t exactly your average vehicle… Using higher fuel grade constantly provides no benefits, but used occasionally can help keep your engine clean and help seals and such, so using it about once every 5-10 fill-ups depending on the exact engine can help mileage in the long run. Also, over-inflating tires can cause small drops in mileage and BIG drops in tread life.

  4. I like the idea,it’s very good,thanks.

  5. I think this idea is truly.
    “Shutting an engine off at a light only saves gas if its a very long light as starting an engine takes quite a bit more gas than people might think, plus it”™ll burn out your starter much more quickly. ”

    and you?