One Change leads to another. Do rising fuel prices have you searching for ways to save and improve your car’s fuel efficiency? When if come to saving fuel, saving money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions simple actions matter. Below you will find some simple tips to get you started. You can also visit our fuel efficiency website for more tips to save fuel.
Check your tire pressure once a month
You could save up to two week’s worth of fuel every year simply by checking and maintaining correct tire pressure. Checking and maintaining correct tire pressure is so important, in fact, that One Change has developed a fuel efficiency initiative to encourage drivers to take this simple action regularly. To learn how to check your tire pressure, visit our how to check your tire pressure web page.
Perform regular maintenance on your vehicle
Maintaining your vehicle as specified in your owner’s manual can save you fuel and extend the life of your car. There are a number of vehicle maintenance checks that you can perform yourself to help keep your vehicle in top condition like checking your vehicle’s fluid levels including the engine oil level and making sure the belts are not frayed or worn. Don’t forget to take your vehicle in every 3 months or every 5,000 kilometers/3,000 miles (whichever comes first) for a regular check-up from an automotive professional.
Avoid unnecessary idling
If you are parked and going to be idling for more than 10 seconds, save fuel by turning off your vehicle. It will take much less gas to re-start your car than to leave it idling. Every 10 minutes of idling produces 276 grams of CO2. This may not sound like a lot but adds up over time. There is no question, idling gets you nowhere.
Avoid quick starts and aggressive driving
Quick starts and aggressive driving can increase fuel consumption by as much as 39%. A smooth, steady speed saves fuel and reduces wear and tear on your engine, tires, transmission and brakes—helping to avoid costly and inconvenient repairs.
Use air-conditioning sparingly
Air conditioning can increase your vehicle’s fuel consumption by up to 20%. Where possible, use your vehicle’s flow-through ventilation on the highway or open a window when city driving.
Lighten your load
Remove unnecessary excess weight from your car, like sports equipment or a roof rack not in use. An extra 45 kg (100 pounds) can reduce fuel efficiency up to 2%. Also, the decreased efficiency of your vehicle’s aerodynamics caused by roof or bicycle racks contributes to increased fuel consumption.
Drive the speed limit
Fuel efficiency decreases about 1% for each kilometer per hour over 100 km/hr or 62 mph. For example, reducing your speed from 120 km/h to 100 km/h (74.5 mph to 62 mph) saves about 20% on fuel.
Leave your vehicle at home
Walk, ride a bike or take the bus. You’ll save money and stay in shape! By using these alternatives you will immediately reduce both your fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
Warm up by driving
The best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it. You need no more than 30 seconds of idling on cold days before driving away. Anything more simply wastes fuel and increases emissions. The wheel bearings, steering, suspension, transmission and tires, only warm up when the vehicle is moving –but make sure that windows are free from snow and properly defrosted before driving away!
Several short trips taken from a cold start can use up to twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Trips of less than 5 kilometers/3.1 miles do not allow the engine to reach its peak operating temperature, which means fuel consumption and emissions will be significantly higher.