Many drivers want to know how to improve fuel efficiency to keep their vehicles in prime condition. It’s no secret that when your vehicle works the way it was designed to, it’ll burn less fuel and you’ll save yourself some money. Typically, fuel-efficient vehicles are able to achieve high fuel economy. While this is good news, it’s also important to realize that not every vehicle is made the same way, and as such the level of fuel efficiency may vary from manufacturer. In this post, we’ll cover information and share some tips that’ll help you improve fuel efficiency (i.e. how well your vehicle uses fuel) and maximize fuel economy (i.e. how far your can go using a set amount of fuel).
Reduce Unnecessary Idling
According to Natural Resources Canada, drivers can expect higher fuel consumption in the winter months, because unlike summer driving, winter weather creates more difficult driving conditions, the engine works harder and the snow increases wheel slippage which in turn causes higher fuel consumption. In addition, winter gas has lower energy density than summer gas. One of the ways drivers can reduce the impact especially during colder months is to eliminate idling to warm up their vehicles. Natural Resources Canada also suggests, not using remote starters or letting your vehicle run for 10 minutes to warm up the cabin. This is because 10 minutes of idling can burn between 0.25 to 0.50 liters of fuel and can also emit 600 to 1,200 grams of Carbon dioxide, depending on the vehicle and weather conditions. Idling for long periods has no benefit for your vehicle; rather driving for a few minutes is the most efficient way to warm the engine drivetrain and the cabin.
Check Your Tire Pressure Often
Believe it or not, having underinflated tires affects how your vehicle consumes fuel. Tire pressure should be one of the top things on every vehicle owner’s list to check, the same way regular oil checks are important. It’s best to check your tire pressure monthly in order to ensure that your tires aren’t negatively impacting how your vehicle uses fuel. For the best results, consult your vehicle owner’s manual for the proper tire pressure numbers. Overinflated tires will also be an issue, so make sure to follow the recommended tire pressure gauge for your vehicle.
Schedule Preventative Maintenance
In order to make sure that you have a reliable vehicle, schedule preventative maintenance. We have a customized Preventative Maintenance Program based on your manufacturer’s recommendations, your driving habits and current vehicle mileage. This is a good step to take in order for car professionals to check things like your engine, oil, fuel and air filters. You can also improve the fuel economy of your car by using the manufacturer’s recommended motor oil grade. Performing preventative maintenance also presents a good opportunity to chat with your vehicle technician about those parts of your car that are costing you savings when it comes maximizing fuel efficiency. Once you’re able to identity these parts, you can then fix or replace these parts and enjoy a car that is performing in tip-top shape.
Combine Trips When Possible
This one will vary based on your daily schedule and commute routine. If possible, outside of your regular work commute, try to schedule your daily errands together and at times when traffic volume is lighter. You’re probably thinking, how does this affect my vehicle’s fuel economy or efficiency? Well, combining multiple trips into one can spare you the unnecessary extra drive and fuel burn. In addition, choosing a time when traffic volume is lighter will help reduce fuel consumption and increase savings. Think about it, if you can group errands that are in close proximity to one another when there’s no traffic, you won’t have to complete one errand, and spend time idling in traffic before completing another.
Don’t Blast the A/C
According to Natural Resources Canada, simply using the a/c can increase fuel consumption by up to 20% because of the extra load on the engine. A good thing to consider when driving is whether you really need the a/c or not. If you don’t, save yourself some gas and turn it off. If you must have it on, consider using the re-circulate button because it’s cooling the air that is already inside your vehicle and not expending energy bringing outside air to be cooled. There’s a little bit of a debate surrounding this one as vehicle owners often get confused by whether rolling the windows down while driving on the highway versus using the a/c while driving in the city is better. However, we’ve kept it simple for you in this tip; just don’t blast the a/c when it’s not necessary.
Making a conscious effort to put these tips into practice will bring about an improvement in how well your vehicle uses fuel and how much distance it can get out of it. This also means that your car can last on the road longer and your wallet will notice more savings annually. For new car buyers, there’s also more great news, auto manufacturers are beginning to take notice of the growing demand for more efficiency from vehicle owners and are making newer models of their vehicles more fuel and energy efficient. Since most cars still run mainly on fossil fuels, you don’t have to ditch your car for a hybrid and you can’t solely depend on automakers to change the industry overnight in order for you to experience maximum fuel economy and savings. We must take the steps that’ll allow us to make the most of our vehicle’s capabilities.
So, there you have it, our top four tips to help you improve fuel efficiency on your vehicles. Please note that fuel efficiency is also very dependent on the type of vehicle you’re driving (i.e. SUV, Sedan, Hybrid). As such, it’s important to gain a good understanding of how your vehicle works which will in turn allow you to make sense of the positives you can gain from using these tips.