|The keys to climate control are in your hands.
| You can boost the overall fuel-efficiency of your car as much as 30% by simple
vehicle maintenance and attention to your style of driving.
Here are some tips on fuel-efficient driving that will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, but could save you hundreds of dollars a year in fuel costs.
|TIPS FOR FUEL-EFFICIENT DRIVING:
Avoid aggressive driving. "Jack-rabbit" starts and hard braking can increase fuel consumption by as much as 40%. Tests show that "jackrabbit" starts and hard braking reduces travel time by only four percent, while toxic emissions were more than five times higher. The proper way is to accelerate slowly and smoothly, then get into high gear as quickly as possible. In city driving, nearly 50% of the energy needed to power your car goes to acceleration.
steadily at posted speed limits.
Increasing your highway cruising speed from 55mph (90km/h) to 75mph (120km/h) can raise fuel consumption as much as 20%. You can improve your gas mileage 10 - 15% by driving at 55mph rather than 65mph (104km/h).
Note how quickly efficiency drops after 60 mph.
Note: The graph above is based on EPA and fueleconomy.gov statistics. There
are many factors which affect fuel economy, however, and these figures can
To calculate your own mileage, read: How to calculate gas mileage
idling your vehicle,
in both summer and winter. Idling wastes fuel, gets you nowhere and produces
unnecessary greenhouse gases. If you're going to be stopped for more than
30 seconds, except in traffic, turn off the engine. In winter, don't idle
a cold engine for more than 30 seconds before driving away. (Older vehicles,
however, may need more idling time when first started. In
cold, winter conditions all vehicles may need more idling time
to warm up and ensure the windshield is fully defogged. Be sure your vehicle
is warmed enough to prevent stalling when you pull out.)
Make sure your tires are properly inflated
prevent increased rolling resistance.
the right gear. Change
up through the gears and into top gear as soon as possible without accelerating
harder than necessary. Driving in a gear lower than you need wastes fuel;
so does letting the engine labour in top gear on hills and corners. Automatic
transmissions will shift up more quickly and smoothly if you ease back
slightly on the accelerator once the car gathers momentum.
Choose the octane fuel which best suits your car. Premium, high-octane fuels aren't necessarily the best choice for your car; higher price doesn't guarantee better performance. In fact, such fuels don't provide any greater fuel efficiency. Many cars are designed to use regular low-octane fuel. Check your owner's manual to see what your car requires.Service your vehicle regularly, according to the manufacturer's instructions. A poorly tuned engine can use up to 50% more fuel and produces up to 50% more emissions than one that is running properly.
Dirty air filters can also cause your engine to run at less than peak efficiency
Regular visual checks of the air filter will tell you if it needs replacing
and your owner's manual will also recommend appropriate replacement intervals.
Clogged filters can cause up to a 10% increase in fuel consumption.
Oil: Using the correct viscosity oil is important because higher viscosity oils have greater resistance to the moving parts of the engine, and therefore use more gas. Clean oil also contributes to better gas mileage. It is usually recommended that engine oil be changed every three to five thousand miles.
Monitor power accessories. Be
sure to shut off all power-consuming accessories before turning off the
ignition. That way, you decrease engine load the next time you start up.
Items that plug into your vehicle's cigarette lighter, such as TV consoles
for mini-vans and SUVs, can cause the alternator to work harder to provide
electrical current. This adds a load to the engine and added load increases
fuel use, decreasing your gas mileage.
Changing the oil in your car?
Disposing of used motor oil by pouring it into storm or sewer drains, dumping it onto the ground, or placing it with household trash may create risks to human health and the environment.
Human health is affected if rainwater carries metal-laden oil into underground streams and contaminates drinking water. It is almost impossible to clean up groundwater once it has been contaminated. Surface runoff from ground disposal and oil poured down drains often lead to water treatment plants, streams or rivers, which can also affect drinking water supplies.
Used oil from a single oil change can ruin a million gallons of fresh water, a year's supply for 50 people.
Pour all collected used oil into a clean, empty, sealable container such as a plastic milk jug. Specialized used oil containers can be purchased at local auto parts stores. Take it to a used oil collection site (UOCS) that accepts and recycles used motor oil. These sites, generally places such as service stations that sell motor oil, can be identified by an amber and black "Recycle Oil" logo.
In the US call 1
800 CLEANUP, and in Canada call 1 800-667-4321
for the nearest used oil disposal facility.
"Hi, Your site says "You can boost the overall fuel-efficiency of your car as much as 30% by ..."
Make that closer to 40%. I get 72 MPG regularly, but my 2003 VW Jetta TDi's official EPA combined estimate is only 45. No custom tech, just efficient driving. And that's not pure highway driving either. My last tank was 69.9 MPG with 40% city driving. The car's efficient diesel engine helps too. Also, the Wall Street Journal mentioned a Honda Insight owner who gets 100 MPG on occasion -- that's fully 58% better than the official combined of 63 MPG". Alexander Passmoore
"Not all cars get the best economy at 55MPH, it depends on gear ratio, I have had cars that deliver better fuel economy at 70 MPH, Like a 1970 Plymouth Duster I had years ago, it got over 21MPG at 70 MPH pulling a double snowmobile trailer with two machines on it and it was over 340 Horse Power. And my 1986 Corvette will get 32 MPH at a steady 70MPH, and only about 28MPH at 55 MPH. Thank You" Richard Heater
www.fueleconomy.gov produced by the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Fueleconomy.gov has a user friendly interface which allows you to compare any vehicle, any size, any year from 1985 to 2001 side by side and even show you a picture of what the vehicles look like. You can do your comparisons by miles per US gallon or by litres/100km. If you're from outside the US, ignore the annual cost data, since it's based on US fuel prices.